Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney
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It can be terrifying to think that the people who you trust to help you get better can contribute to your serious injury, or even worse, death. Unfortunately, this can be the case when a person becomes the victim of medical negligence or malpractice.
Most of the time, medical personnel are strong, skillful and caring. They do their very best to give us the best of healthcare, ensuring we can live long and healthy lives with our loved ones.
Sadly, we find in some cases that the level of care provided by certain healthcare personnel falls below the required standard. Medical personnel cannot afford mistakes and this is why they are required to undergo painstaking training. When certain unqualified or unethical healthcare personnel expose you or your loved ones to harm, you have a right to sue for medical malpractice.
At Uche PC, we’ve been providing quality and successful legal representation for victims of medical malpractice and their family members in Chicago and Cook County. Our services include a free case review where we can help you examine your case and identify your options for a successful recovery.
Get in touch with us here or call our experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney at 888-251-4428 as soon as possible.
Common examples of Medical Malpractice
This may come as news to some, but medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the US. Every year, billions of dollars are paid out in medical malpractice settlements.
Medical malpractice comes in different forms and relates to errors in every medical specialty. In Chicago, medical negligence is defined under the law as:
A negligent act or (omission to act) by a healthcare provider, in the rendering of professional services, which act or omission is the proximate cause of a personal injury or wrongful death, provided that such services are within the scope of services for which the provider is licensed and which are not within any restriction imposed by the licensing agency or licensed hospital.
In simple terms, medical malpractice can be said to have occurred when a medical personnel acts negligently or deviates from the acceptable ‘standard of care’ in treating a patient.
The ‘standard of care’ can be identified from what a reasonably prudent medical provider would/would not have done under the same or similar circumstances.
Medical malpractice can occur in numerous settings such as pharmacies, hospitals, medical clinics, nurses, and laboratories. That said, the common instances of medical malpractice claims include:
- Failure to diagnose,
- Improper surgery or treatment,
- Delay in treatment,
- Prescription errors,
- Anesthesia errors, and
- Failure to properly explain a medical procedure or treatment.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury or disability due to negligence or inadequate care from a medical facility, you might have been a victim of medical malpractice.
If this is the case, your Chicago medical malpractice attorney can help you file a claim for financial compensation against all negligent parties.
Who can be sued for medical malpractice in Chicago?
In Chicago, medical negligence laws apply to all healthcare providers and facilities licensed by the state. As such, parties that can be sued when a medical malpractice occurs include:
- Physical therapists,
- Hospitals, Clinics, and Laboratories.
Proving medical malpractice in Chicago
The harm that can be done in a medical malpractice case can leave damaging injuries or even lead to the victim’s death. In holding the liable parties responsible for the injury, you have to establish a ‘prima facie’ case for malpractice.
To do this, there are 4 Ds of medical malpractice that must be established. These are:
- Direct cause
Duty in medical malpractice cases
The first of the elements is duty. It must first be established that the medical doctor, health care provider, hospital, pharmacy, clinic, or other health care entity had a duty, contractual or otherwise, to provide medical care to you.
This means that there must be a doctor-patient relationship between you and the medical personnel. Proof that the personnel was hired or that the personnel agreed to provide treatment to you suffices in this instance.
Dereliction in medical malpractice cases
Having assumed the duty, the medical doctor, health care provider, hospital, pharmacy, clinic, or other health care entity must have breached or violated the applicable “standard of care” for providing treatment. The medical personnel or facility will be seen to have breached a duty of care if:
- An act that would not have been done by a reasonable provider in similar circumstances was done, or if
- An act was not done even though a reasonable provider in similar circumstances would have done it.
The medical personnel is expected to provide ‘standard’ treatment that is ‘reasonably skillful and careful’. Standard of care may be described as the level of skill, knowledge, and care in diagnosis and treatment that another reasonably careful doctor, hospital, etc. would use in the same or similar circumstances.
A medical personnel that fails to live up to these standards will be deemed to have acted negligently in treating you. In proving that the medical personnel fell below the reasonable standard, the testimony of expert witnesses would be required.
Direct causation in medical malpractice cases
The third element in proving a medical malpractice case is ‘direct causation’. Here, there must be evidence that the breach of the medical personnel was the direct cause of the injury you suffered.
The said dereliction of duty must be the direct reason you suffered an objective physical or emotional injury.
This is perhaps the most complex of the elements to be established. Failing to prove the direct causation no doubt makes the medical malpractice claim weak. Determining that slim margin of error then becomes important.
In Chicago the ‘substantial factor’ test is usually used to determine causation in medical malpractice cases. The negligent act must be more than a remote or slight factor.
The ‘substantial factor’ asks: would a reasonable person consider that to be the cause/contributory factor of the harm?
Proving this no doubt would require the services of an experienced medical malpractice attorney and a team of investigators and medical experts.
At Uche PC, we have the means to help us determine if the act of the medical personnel was “more likely than not” the cause of your injuries.
Damage/injury in medical malpractice cases
As an element to be proved, damage/injury comes last. Your Chicago medical malpractice attorney must also establish that you suffered specific injury. A successful med-mal case has to show that the negligence resulted in injury that caused you pain and hardship.
Disability, physical injury, pain, mental anguish, subsequent medical bills, and the loss of ability to work are some examples of specific injuries.
The importance of Expert Witnesses in Medical Malpractice cases
As mentioned already, proving medical negligence would require you to show that the medical personnel deviated from the ‘standard of care’ reasonably expected in the provision of treatment.
This ‘standard of care’ will be derived by what similar doctors would have done under the same circumstances. As such, you’ll require the services of relevant experts in your medical malpractice case.
The expert witness will assess the treatment given to you and then testify as to whether or not the medical personnel acted within the reasonable standard of care.
If the expert finds that the medical personnel was negligent, a testimony will also be given as to whether or not that action or inaction led to your injury.
Not just anybody can give an expert opinion on medical malpractice. Expert witnesses themselves are usually practicing or retired healthcare professionals.
At Uche PC, we have on speed-dial, well-respected and trustworthy expert witnesses that can examine your case and testify on your behalf.
How exactly do med-mal cases work?
Medical negligence can be very tasking to prove if you’re not represented by a very skilled and determined Chicago medical malpractice attorney.
The first step alone is very demanding. This involves gathering all relevant records that may include long term:
- Hospital records
- Surgical records
- Clinic records
- Radiological films
- Pharmacy records
- Any other materials that may help to understand the nature of your treatment and injury sustained.
These records may be reviewed by a qualified med-mal attorney or given to an expert in the field. If it is determined that you have a good malpractice case, the process of determining the negligent parties and recovering financial compensation starts.
After this, your medical malpractice lawyer will file a suit for you in the appropriate court. In most cases, medical malpractice cases are usually settled before trial commences. This means that there’s a very good chance that you won’t even step into a courtroom before your case gets settled.
In the off-chance that your medical malpractice case does not get settled ‘pre-litigation’ or after filing a lawsuit, the case will then go to trial.
What financial compensation can you recover in a medical malpractice case in Chicago?
Both economic and non-economic damages are recoverable in Illinois. If you become a victim of medical malpractice in Chicago, you can recover compensatory damages that will cover your:
- Medical bills,
- Home health care,
- Physical and occupational therapy,
- Lost wages and future earning capacity, and
- Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
The great news is that in Chicago and the rest of Illinois – unlike in some other states – there are currently no caps or limits on the amount of compensation a victim of med-mal can receive.
This was as pronounced by the Illinois Supreme Court in Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital.
In Chicago and the rest of Illinois, you may also be able to recover punitive damages against the negligent parties. In this instance, it must be proved that the act was done with intent/conscious disregard of your rights or safety. This will be inferred if the medical personnel acted recklessly or if it was a case of gross negligence.
Chicago Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice
Statute of limitations for medical malpractice sets a timeframe for when you have to file a claim against the negligent personnel/or healthcare facility. As a victim of medical malpractice, you may no longer be able to file a claim once the timeframe lapses.
The timeframe set for medical negligence cases depends on whether the injured party is an adult or a minor. In Chicago and the rest of Illinois, the statute of limitation is set at two years from the date of discovery for an adult. This date of discovery is:
- The date that you discovered or should have discovered your injuries, or
- The date that you discover or should have discovered that your injuries were the result of medical malpractice.
It must also be noted that in addition to the two-year statute of limitation, Illinois also bars a med-mal victim from filing a claim when it has been more than four years from the date the medical treatment that causes the injuries occurred. This is notwithstanding the discovery date.
For minors (children under the age of 18), the limitation is set at eight years from the date the treatment caused the injuries. Regardless of the age of discovery, the child must however file a medical malpractice claim prior to the age of 22.
It is best to consult us at Uche PC on 888-251-4428 to ascertain your ‘date of discovery’ and determine whether you still have a window to file a claim.
Exceptions to the statute of limitations
Notwithstanding, the timeframe or statute of limitations of a medical negligence case may be discarded in the event that:
- The medical personnel was found to have committed fraud
- The medical personnel was found to have intentionally concealed the wrongdoing
- A foreign body with no therapeutic or diagnostic purpose or effect was found inside the victim, or
- The parent of the minor victim was found to have colluded with the medical personnel or their insurer to prevent the filing of a malpractice action on behalf of the injured minor.
Hire one of the best Chicago medical malpractice attorneys
Medical malpractice cases are always very complex. Only the best of attorneys can ever get any headway in them.
You will need the services of one of the very best to help you through your medical malpractice cases. An attorney with the resources to find crucial evidence can help make your claim a strong one.
At Uche PC, apart from helping you understand your rights and the options available to you, we will also help you:
- Collect depositions of potential defendants, medical experts, and other relevant persons,
- Collect and review medical records for analysis,
- Initiate independent medical examinations (IMEs) to obtain an objective evaluation of your injuries, and
- Review and retain expert witnesses.
With the team of legal experts, investigators, and medical experts available at Uche PC, we’ll help you maximize your compensation.
Get in touch with Uche PC today
Attorney Uche has a reputation for fighting aggressively on behalf of the little guy against powerful institutions. He is currently recognized as a Top 40 lawyer under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers and has been recognized and included in the Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars list; no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the State of Illinois are named to the Rising Stars list. .
The residents of Chicago have, over time, come to rely on him and his legal team to successfully represent them in their medical malpractice cases.
Get in touch with us here for a free consultation or call us at 888-251-4428 as soon as possible.
Beyond focusing on medical malpractice cases, our firm also focuses on other forms of personal injury such as:
- Personal Injury
- Car Accidents
- Birth Injury
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Police Brutality
- Truck Accidents
- Wrongful Conviction
Call us immediately at: (312) 380.5341, if you or your loved one has suffered any injury as a result of a motor accident!
Where We Are
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgAddress: 314 N. Loomis St. Ste G2, Chicago, IL 60607 Business Hours: 24/7