There’s no asset more important or more valuable than your health. When your well being or that of a loved one is compromised because of the carelessness or misconduct of a medical practitioner, you deserve to be fairly compensated for the resulting injuries, failing health, or pain and suffering.
We trust doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to exercise the utmost skill and care when delivering treatment, yet mistakes are an unfortunate reality of the medical industry. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 200,000 people in the U.S. die each year as the result of medical malpractice, from misdiagnosis incidents to pharmaceutical errors. And many more are left with significant injuries or illnesses, some which have permanent and life-altering impacts.
Common Questions When Working With Our Lawyers: What is Medical Malpractice Law?
Medical malpractice law refers to specific pieces of legislation that impact health care practitioners who are accused to failing to provide care that aligns with the medical field’s accepted standard of care.
Malpractice lawsuits are a type of civil case (versus a criminal case), although there are some extreme cases of malpractice that may also be considered criminal in nature.
Common Questions: What is Medical Malpractice in Illinois?
Our personal injury lawyers frequently receive questions concerning what constitutes medical malpractice. Each state has slightly different legal definitions, but in Illinois, medical malpractice is defined as a case involving a physician or another health care professional (or health care institution) who commits a breach in the standard of care when providing treatment to a patient, ultimately resulting in some form of harm, injury or even death.
Another key definition concerns the “standard of care,” which Illinois law defines as the generally-accepted standards and practices that are in place throughout the medical community. If a doctor or another health care professional fails to provide the care or treatment that another medical professional would utilize under the same circumstances, then this may be considered a failure to meet the standard of care.
Medical Malpractice vs Medical Negligence – What is the Difference?
Medical malpractice and medical negligence are two very similar terms. Medical negligence is generally unintentional and it typically involves inaction or a failure to take the appropriate action. A medical malpractice case falls under the umbrella of professional negligence. Medical negligence is usually considered a form of malpractice.
The Types of Medical Malpractice Litigation in Illinois
Instances of medical malpractice occur across all areas of health care and with all types of healthcare providers, from hospital workers and private doctors to dentists and chiropractors. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice cases our Chicago personal injury attorneys handle include, but are not limited to:
- Medication errors / Pharmaceutical Errors;
- Missed Diagnosis;
- Delayed Diagnosis;
- Healthcare Provider Errors;
- Medical Device Errors;
- Lack of Informed Consent;
- Birth Injuries;
- Misread X-ray, Slides and Ultrasounds;
- HMO Misconduct;
- Spinal Cord Injuries; and
- Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect.
Sadly, many people who have suffered or lost a loved one due to medical malpractice in Illinois never have the opportunity to obtain compensation. This is where an experienced medical malpractice attorney can assist. We work with clients to secure settlements and jury awards.
Common Concerns: What Causes Medical Malpractice?
Attorneys see many different circumstances surrounding cases that ultimately leads to legal action. Some of the most common causes of malpractice include:
- lack of skill or training;
- lack of experience;
- exhaustion or lack of sleep;
- inaccurate medical tests;
- faulty or poorly maintained equipment, etc.; or
- a large number of patients within a single professional’s care.
What is Medical Malpractice Insurance? How Does it Work?
Medical professionals and institutions, such as hospitals and private practices, typically carry medical malpractice insurance policies, which offer coverage in the event of a lawsuit.
The insurance company typically covers some or all of the financial award in the event that a jury rules in favor of the plaintiff at trial.
Who Investigates Reports of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice may be investigated by your lawyer or your law firm’s private investigation team in connection with your civil claim. But in addition to this, a medical professional may also be investigated by others, such as the state medical board. If allegations of malpractice are found to have merit, then sanctions may be imposed. In some cases, a practitioner’s license may be revoked.
Are You Eligible to File for an Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
More than 8,000 medical malpractice payment reports were made against Illinois medical professionals between 1990 and 2003, according to the state of Illinois. Yet it’s estimated that only 2 percent of medical malpractice victims actually seek compensation. This means that hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents may have been able to recover damages during this period but failed to do so, either because they didn’t realize they were eligible to file suit, did not know or they felt intimidated by the process.
When a medical practitioner makes an error that leads to injury or death, they can and should be held legally responsible. This is where our law firm can help.
Injuries and harm from medical malpractice routinely have devastating effects on patients, from deteriorating health to permanent disability. In addition to the obvious health impacts, medical malpractice victims and their loved ones must often grapple with overwhelming medical bills, the financial strain of lost wages, and physical and psychological pain. When you’re struggling to cope with the aftermath of a medical mistake, your number one priority should be healing and recovery – not worrying about how you’ll pay your bills.
At Phillips Law Offices, our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys have successfully assisted injured individuals and their families for more than 65 years. One of the top law firms in the region, our vast wealth of knowledge and resources helps us obtain compensation and justice in even the most complex medical malpractice cases. In addition to economic compensation, our clients may also be eligible recover non-economic damages such as compensation for pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement.
Medical malpractice lawsuits provide injured people with the financial support and dignity they deserve, while motivating doctors, nurses and hospitals to deliver better care. If you believe that an Illinois doctor or healthcare provider is responsible for injuries or ill health sustained by you or a loved one, our elite team of Chicago medical malpractice lawyers may be able to help. We also deal in a number of other practice areas, such as personal injury cases from accidents and on-the-job accidents. Call us today at (312) 346-4262 or contact us online to discuss your legal options in a free evaluation of your case.