Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawyer
We trust medical professionals with our lives and with the lives of our loved ones. And, often, those doctors, nurses and other health care providers work hard to keep us healthy or cure our illnesses.
But there are instances where health care professionals hurt their patients. A doctor may perform surgery while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Nurses may administer the wrong medication. A hospital clinician might misread test results or never communicate critical information to the doctor or patient.
Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. In a 2013 medical study, it was found that medical errors account for 210,000 to 400,000 deaths per year.
When medical mishaps occur, medical costs can soar. A patient may suffer a permanent disability or untimely death as a result of the medical malpractice. If you have been hurt or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of medical negligence, an Illinois medical malpractice lawyer can help. Call 312-600-8054 for a FREE Legal Consultation.
Types of Medical Malpractice
There are many ways that health care providers can be negligent in the medical setting. For a doctor, nurse or other hospital staff member to be liable for damages, they must have deviated from the standard of care provided by those professionals with similar training and experience.
Some of the most common types of medical malpractice are:
- Misdiagnosis – the most common type of medical malpractice. Approximately 12 million people, or 1 in 20 who seek medical care, are misdiagnosed each year.
- Surgical errors – mistakes and incorrect procedures
- Childbirth injuries – injury to mother or child during pregnancy or delivery
- Medication errors – interaction and dosing
- Anesthesia administration errors
- Monitoring errors – patient status and vitals
- Equipment errors – defects and product liability
Misdiagnosis by Doctor or Health Care Professional
Many medical malpractice lawsuits occur as the result of a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition, illness, or injury. When a medical professional’s misdiagnosis leads to incorrect treatment, delayed treatment, or no treatment at all, the patient’s condition can be made worse, and they may even die.
The top 10 misdiagnosed conditions are:
- Heart attack
- Celiac disease
- Lyme disease
- Thyroid conditions
- Aortic dissection
- Pulmonary embolism
Under the law, physicians and other health care professionals owe a duty of care to their patients. This means that the professional must act in a reasonable manner consistent with that of a medical professional of the same training who receives the same information about the patient. A doctor who acts unreasonably on the basis of the information provided may be sued for medical malpractice.
To protect yourself against misdiagnosis, ask questions, get a second opinion, or see a specialist. Remaining proactive during medical evaluations will help keep medical professionals accountable for their diagnoses.
Surgical Errors by Doctors
More than 4,000 preventable errors occur during surgery every year at a cost of $1.3 billion in medical malpractice payouts. Researchers call these errors “never events” because they are errors that should not happen. Examples of these “never events” include:
- Leaving foreign objects, like sponges or towels, inside a patient’s body after an operation;
- Performing the wrong procedure;
- Operating on the wrong body site.
Consequences of surgical mistakes range from temporary injury in 59 percent of cases to permanent injury in 33 percent of cases to death in 6.6 percent of cases.
There are several procedures in place that are meant to prevent these surgical errors. Counting surgical tools and mandatory “time outs” to review medical records and surgical plans reduce surgical mistakes, but that doesn’t mean mistakes still don’t happen. Lack of attention to detail and resistance to checklist protocols both contribute to the 4,000 surgical errors that occur every year.
Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
The time that is allowed for an individual to pursue a medical malpractice suit is limited. In Illinois, the general rule is that a lawsuit against a doctor, nurse, dentist or hospital must be filed within two years from the date the patient knew or should have known of the injury. However, there is an important limitation under Illinois law. Under no circumstance can a patient file a suit four years after the event. That means that if a patient knew or should have known three years after the act occurred of the negligence, he or she only has one year left to file suit.
When the patient is under 18, he or she has eight years to file suit but in no event can a claim be pursued after the patient turns 22.
In the case of a wrongful death lawsuit, the statute of limitations is two years. It begins to run on the date of the death. However, in order to pursue a medical malpractice wrongful death claim, the decedent must have been able to pursue a medical malpractice claim on the date of the death. In other words, if a patient dies three years after discovering the medical malpractice, the statute of limitations would have already expired and the subsequent death would not revive the cause of action.
Contact an Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawyer
In 2013, $3.7 billion was paid out to patients who experienced medical malpractice. If you’ve been misdiagnosed or injured due to medical errors, you deserve to be made whole. Medical malpractice can cause significant pain and suffering, lost time from work, additional medical costs, and even death.
Time limitations are complex and critical. Therefore, it is important to contact Illinois medical malpractice lawyer Christopher Dixon as soon as possible. An experienced medical negligence and personal injury attorney, Dixon can help you understand Illinois law, your rights and the remedies. For more information, call 312-600-8054. We offer FREE consultations to all injury victims and the families of those wrongfully killed.