The medical profession is among the most respected in the U.S., so it is concerning to learn the frequency of medical errors by health care providers. A study conducted by patient safety experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine reveals that medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in America, with around 250,000 deaths per year linked to practitioner mistakes. Many other victims suffer injuries due to negligent medical care, leading to considerable physical, financial, and emotional losses.
Even if you realize that Illinois medical malpractice laws provide you with legal remedies, you may not know where to begin with enforcing your rights. These cases fall under the umbrella of personal injury, but they are far more complex for multiple reasons. You can rely on the Law Offices of David H. Brinton, LLC to pursue negligent health care providers, as these cases are a focus at our firm. We are ready to advocate on your behalf in settlement negotiations and in court, so please contact us today. You can schedule a free case evaluation with a Chicago medical malpractice attorney, and read on for a legal summary.
Overview of Illinois Medical Malpractice Laws
Every U.S. state has laws covering negligence by health care providers, which generally means that a practitioner failed to comply with the standard of care applicable to the situation. However, the specifics vary among jurisdictions. In Illinois, there are certain elements you must prove for a medical malpractice case:
- You must show the details regarding the standard of care, which refers to how a hypothetical health care provider would have treated the patient under the same or similar circumstances.
- You need to prove how your practitioner deviated from this standard.
- You must establish causation, i.e., your injuries were the direct, proximate result of the health care provider’s deviation from the standard of care.
If you have solid evidence proving these essential elements, you may qualify for monetary damages in a medical malpractice case. It is possible to recover amounts for such losses as:
- Medical costs to treat the injuries cause by a negligent medical professional;
- Lost wages, if you missed work because of your injuries;
- Pain and suffering;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Emotional distress; and
- Many others.
Note that it is not just doctors who can be liable for medical negligence. Hospitals, clinics, private medical practices, mental health professionals, nurses, and many other practitioners are also subject to a standard of care.
Common Forms of Medical Malpractice
Considering the complicated nature of the human body, there is a vast range of medical errors and negligent acts that could lead to patient injuries. Common types include:
- Surgical errors, such as wrong patient, body part, or type of procedure;
- Delays or mistakes with diagnosis, especially cancer and other potentially terminal conditions;
- Birth injuries and negligent prenatal care;
- Health care acquired infection (HAI), including sepsis and septic shock;
- Anesthesia errors;
- Medication mistakes with administering, prescribing, and monitoring;
- Nursing errors;
- Emergency room malpractice; and
- Failure to get informed consent for treatment.
Legal Help with Medical Malpractice Cases
These matters are similar to other personal injury claims in the sense that you will be dealing with an insurance company at first, and may need to file a lawsuit in court if the insurer refuses to settle. However, there is an additional legal requirement for medical malpractice cases: You must obtain an Affidavit of Merit from a health care provider, stating that there are “reasonable and meritorious” grounds for a lawsuit– i.e., a medical professional finds that your evidence is sufficient to prove the three elements above.
Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Offices of David H. Brinton, LLC will advocate on your behalf throughout the legal process. You can trust us to:
- Collect evidence regarding the standard of care that applies to your case;
- Retain and consult with a medical expert to fulfill the Affidavit of Merit requirement;
- Prepare all forms for your insurance claim;
- Diligently negotiate settlement with the medical malpractice insurer; and
- File a lawsuit in court and engage in all essential litigation tasks.
Trust a Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer to Protect Your Interests
It is helpful to know the basics behind these cases, but in-depth knowledge of the laws and experience pursuing negligent health care providers is essential for an Illinois medical malpractice case. To learn more about your options and the legal process, please contact the Law Offices of David H. Brinton, LLC. You can set up your complimentary consultation by calling 312.445.4908 or contact us today.