Urgent care centers first opened in the 1970s. Now, more than 10,000 urgent care centers provide a variety of medical services to consumers in every part of the United States.
Urgent care centers treat burns, colds, cuts, cases of flu, muscle strains, ankle and wrist sprains, dog bites, and a number of other conditions. They provide physicals, tests, and x-rays. There’s no question about the convenience of urgent care centers or the number of patients they serve. But as Chicago medical malpractice attorneys, we know that not everything goes seemingly when dealing with urgent care centers.
WHAT IF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE HAPPENS AT AN URGENT CARE CENTER?
But what if medical malpractice happens at an urgent care center – and what if you’re a victim of that malpractice? What are your rights? Can you take legal action against an urgent care facility? If you’re injured by medical malpractice at an urgent care center, can you be compensated?
Urgent care centers offer fast, convenient services to consumers in an era when emergency rooms mean long waits and big bills, but these centers do not have the diagnostic and critical care equipment that ERs provide, so an urgent care center’s emergency services are limited.
WHAT CONDITIONS REQUIRE IMMEDIATE TREATMENT AT A HOSPITAL?
If someone arrives at an urgent care center with a severe or life-threatening condition, the care center staff must have that person sent immediately and without hesitation to an emergency room. These conditions include but are not limited to:
1. gun and knife wounds
2. possible strokes and heart attacks
3. pregnancy-related medical problems
4. severe back, neck, and head injuries
5. severe burns
6. uncontrollable bleeding
WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE CHARGE AGAINST URGENT CARE CENTERS?
The personnel at urgent care centers in the Chicago area are mostly dedicated medical professionals. Most care center staffers at most of these facilities work hard to reduce the risks to patients. But other staffers at other urgent care centers sometimes do not.
As the number of urgent care centers has increased in the U.S., so has the number of medical malpractice lawsuits brought against these facilities. The majority of these claims allege an urgent care center made an incorrect diagnosis or failed to diagnose a serious medical condition.
If you believe that you have been a victim of medical malpractice at an urgent care center, it is important to understand that proving your claim may not be easy, particularly when an urgent care center’s personnel claim that they were acting in good faith. You’ll need a lawyer’s help.
WHAT IS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE AND HOW CAN YOU PROVE IT?
How is medical malpractice defined? What are your rights if you are a victim of medical malpractice? Medical malpractice is defined as a healthcare professional’s (or facility’s) negligence that causes a decline in a patient’s health, additional injury, or wrongful death.
Medical malpractice can happen whenever a healthcare provider operates below the accepted professional standard of medical care or makes a choice that a “reasonable” healthcare professional in the same circumstances wouldn’t make.
Medical malpractice can apply to the negligence of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, hospitals, urgent care centers, and others who provide medical care and services.
WHAT ARE THE OBLIGATIONS OF AN URGENT CARE CENTER?
The staff at an urgent care center must ensure that they are providing the accepted professional standard of medical care and that they are making only the patient care choices that they’re qualified to make.
The personnel at an urgent care center may include nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants who must limit the care that they offer. If a healthcare professional who is not a doctor provides a service or treatment that only doctors are authorized to offer, the consequences could be severe.
If you are injured – or if your health is endangered or damaged – because of medical negligence at an urgent care center in the Chicago area, you may be entitled under Illinois law to monetary compensation, but you will need a good malpractice lawyer’s help to acquire that compensation.
WHAT’S IT TAKE TO PREVAIL WITH A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM?
If you file a medical malpractice claim against an urgent care center, and if that claim prevails, you can be compensated for your additional medical costs and related damages including lost income, lost earning potential, and personal pain and suffering.
To succeed with a medical malpractice action against an urgent care center, the alleged victim (the “plaintiff”) and his or her malpractice lawyer will need to prove that:
1. The plaintiff sought medical services and or treatment from the urgent care center.
2. The “defendant” (the urgent care center) negligently failed to treat and/or diagnose the plaintiff as other healthcare professionals and/or facilities would have treated and/or diagnosed the plaintiff in similar circumstances.
3. The plaintiff’s health deteriorated, or the plaintiff suffered injury, as a direct result of the defendant’s negligence, and the plaintiff is entitled to compensation.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SPEAK TO A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAW FIRM?
If you’ve have been injured or if your health has declined because of medical malpractice in the state of Illinois, it is imperative to act at once and discuss your case with an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney.
Generally, an Illinois medical malpractice victim has two years to act from the date he or she knew “or should have known” of a medical malpractice-related injury. With one exception noted below, Illinois won’t allow a medical malpractice lawsuit to be filed over four years after the incident.
Don’t wait to speak to an experienced Illinois medical malpractice lawyer. Do it immediately if you’ve been hurt by medical malpractice. Your first consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer is free, and there’s no obligation, so there’s no reason to wait.
WHAT IF YOUR CHILD HAS BEEN INJURED BY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?
Illinois has a different statute of limitations for medical malpractice victims who are minors. Anyone under age 18 who is a medical malpractice victim has as long as eight years to bring legal action provided that action is initiated before the alleged victim turns 22 years old.
Don’t wait eight years. If your child has been hurt by medical malpractice, contact an attorney now. Nothing is more important than your health, your family, and your future.
Call an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney today if you believe that you are a victim of medical malpractice in the state of Illinois. Only you can take the first step, exercise your rights, and get the legal help you need.