Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Your medical provider had a legal duty to provide you with the standard of care expected from someone in their capacity. They failed in that duty. Now it’s our job to make sure you recover fair compensation. Our medical malpractice attorneys at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish hold negligent doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers accountable for their mistakes. We can help you win your medical medical malpractice case.
When you entrust healthcare professionals with your care, you expect them to act with knowledge, experience, and professionalism. When a medical professional or another healthcare provider makes a mistake, patients like you are often left with serious injuries. In the worst of cases, wrongful death is the result. Medical mistakes cause at least 250,000 deaths annually.
If you suffered harm at the hands of the healthcare professionals entrusted with your care, please contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Our medical malpractice lawyers can also be reached by calling (312) 782-1386.
Medical Malpractice Cases Our Chicago, IL Law Firm Handles
Medical malpractice cases can take many forms. Some medical malpractice claims and lawsuits arise in the emergency room, when a negligent doctor or another medical professional makes a mistake. Other times, surgical errors, dangerous medical devices, medication errors, or birth injuries cause malpractice victims to suffer harm.
Some of the most common cases our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers handle involve:
Delayed diagnosis may result in conditions going untreated. This type of medical malpractice occurs when physicians overlook symptoms and do not diagnose a patient’s medical condition in a timely manner. When such delays keep patients from receiving necessary medical treatment, serious injury, or even wrongful death may occur.
Delayed diagnosis differs from misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis refers to situations in which the cause of a patient’s symptoms is incorrectly correctly identified. In wrong diagnosis cases, medical providers incorrectly treat the victim’s symptoms as that of another condition.
Numerous types of healthcare providers may be liable in medical malpractice lawsuits involving medication errors. Pharmacists, doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and others may be charged with making sure medications are correctly prescribed, delivered, and administered to patients. When failures happen, it may cause serious personal injury or wrongful death for patients.
Medication errors occur for numerous reasons. Some of the most common causes of this type of medical malpractice include:
- Labeling mistakes
- Mixing up charts or medical records
- Failing to screen for adverse recreational or prescription drug use
- Illegible handwriting
- Administering the medication at the wrong time or via the wrong method
Surgical procedures don’t always have the intended outcome, and those events are often outside the surgeon and medical team’s control. However, other times, preventable mistakes are made during surgeries that may cause patients substantial pain and discomfort and, in some cases, even wrongful death. Types of surgical errors may include performing the wrong procedure, performing the procedure on the wrong body part, leaving a foreign object inside the patient, or neglecting to provide appropriate post-operative care. When surgical mistakes occur, patients may need additional procedures or treatment to correct the effects.
Radiology is a field of medicine that deals with diagnostic imaging and the interpretation of those images. Errors during radiological exams occur when radiologists misread or misinterpret diagnostic films, such as x-rays, CT scans, MRI, ultrasounds, and sonograms. Mistakes in reading these types of scans may result in conditions going undiagnosed or the misdiagnosis of conditions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one out of every 31 hospitalized patients on any given day has at least one hospital-acquired infection. The broad term hospital-acquired infections refers to several infections typically contracted while patients receive treatment at healthcare facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes. With appropriate cleanliness and care, however, most of these types of illnesses are preventable.
Some of the most commonly contracted hospital-acquired infections include:
- Clostridium difficile
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
- Central-line associated bloodstream infection
- Sepsis or bacteremia
Failure to Monitor
An essential aspect of caring for patients includes monitoring them during and after administering treatment. Should they fail to do so, the consequences may be dire for patients. Appropriate monitoring includes routinely checking patients’ vital signs, reviewing patient medical histories, reviewing test and lab reports, watching for signs of adverse reactions, and taking other preventative measures to help ensure patients’ well-being.
When medical providers fail to monitor those in their care, patients may suffer complications, serious injuries or conditions, or death.
We help families navigate wrongful death lawsuits when these or other instances of healthcare provider or facility negligence cause the death of patients. Our medical malpractice lawyers provide the compassionate and thorough counsel that spouses, children, and parents who have lost loved ones due to doctor errors need and deserve to get through these difficult times.
How Can Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Chicago Help You?
At Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish, our attorneys have been recognized as some of the best medical malpractice lawyers in Chicago, IL. We take on some of the most complicated medical malpractice cases involving area hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, and other medical professionals, and we win. How do we do it?
When people in our community suffer harm at the hands of medical providers, our medical malpractice attorneys take their injuries personally. Our law firm works with top medical experts to help us identify what when wrong, and who may be liable for our clients’ injuries. Our proven medical malpractice attorneys have extensive trial experience, and we don’t back down to large medical providers or their insurance companies.
Holding Nursing Homes Accountable for Medical Malpractice
Maltreatment of residents in long-term care facilities and assisted living homes can take many forms. Nursing home negligence may include not providing assistance with regular hygiene, neglecting to regularly adjust the positions of residents with limited or no mobility, failing to help residents eat or drink, and not providing adequate medical care. When nursing home negligence involves substandard medical treatment, or the lack of access to necessary medical treatment, victims may have grounds for medical malpractice lawsuits. If you or a loved one suffered injruies in a nursing home in Chicago, IL, an experienced medical malpractice attorney at our law firm can help you obtain compensation.
Winning Birth Injury Claims in Chicago, IL
Did your baby suffer birth injuries caused by medical malpractice? Without an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney on your side, you could be looking at footing the bill for hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars in medical expenses, ongoing care, and modifications to your home. If your child was harmed because of substandard prenatal care, or medical mistakes during labor and delivery, our medical malpractice lawyers can help you recover fair compensation.
Mistakes and negligence during pregnancy or the labor and delivery process may cause a wide range of birth injuries. Our medical malpractice lawyers have experience pursuing the rights of children and their families in cases involving:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Facial nerve palsy
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Shoulder dystocia and collar bone fractures
Holding Medical Professionals Liable for Negligence
If you suffer an adverse health event because of medical mistakes, you may experience significant financial stresses, in addition to the physical and emotional challenges caused by your injury or illness. Don’t let the insurance company minimize your losses. Injured victims who are left with a serious medical condition, like a brain injury or a permanent disability, may need ongoing medical treatment, consultations with medical experts, multiple surgeries, in-home nursing care, and special medical equipment to help them stay alive.
Our medical malpractice lawyers don’t believe you and your family should have to pay for the mistakes a medical professional made. When you hire a medical malpractice attorney at our law firm, we will make sure the parties who constributed to causing your injuries are held accountable for the harm they caused.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional or facility provides substandard care to a patient, and as a result, the patient suffers serious injuries. If you suffered injuries that were caused by your healthcare provider’s failure to deliver the expected standard of care, you likely have a medical malpractice case.
Determining Liability for Healthcare Negligence
Several parties may be liable in medical malpractice claims and lawsuits. Attorneys who handle medical malpractice cases will help you determine liability and take legal action against:
- Technicians and aides
- Healthcare facilities
- Nursing homes or long-term care residences
Varying factors may contribute to the medical negligence – from staffing shortages and inadequate safety protocols to fatigue or lack of appropriate training. Your medical malpractice lawyers in Chicago, IL, will look at the cause of the negligence to determine if the healthcare provider, facility, or both have liability for your damages.
Damages Available to Medical Malpractice Victims
If you suffer harm because of medical negligence, you may seek compensation for your associated losses. Patients who suffer medical malpractice may be eligible to receive compensation for their economic losses. These may include damages for loss of income, loss of future earnings, medical bills, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
In addition to economic losses, you may also recover damages for non-economic losses through a medical malpractice claim in Chicago, IL. Non-economic damages include those losses without tangible values, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and disfigurement.
The 4 D’s of Negligence in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
If you suffered harm because of doctor errors or other issues with your medical care and want to recover damages, you will need to prove the four D’s of negligence in order to show that malpractice occurred. Our medical malpractice legal team will help you understand these elements as they apply to your case, and more importantly, how to prove them.
Proving Your Medical Negligence Claim
To recover damages in a medical mistake case, your medical malpractice lawyer will have to prove the following four D’s of negligence:
- Deviation from the standard
- Direct cause
The first D of medical negligence you will prove in medical malpractice cases is the duty of care. To recover damages for harm suffered at the hands of a medical professional or facility, your medical malpractice lawyers must first establish that the provider owed you a duty of care. This is an obligation taken on by those in the medical field when they accept a patient. Therefore, anyone involved with your treatment or care, by participating, has a responsibility to you.
Proving a Duty of Care
To prove that a medical provider accepted responsibility for your treatment, and thus, owed you a duty of care, you will need to establish the provider-patient relationship. To this end, you might present medical records, facility shift records, and other documentation to indicate the defendant’s participation in your treatment.
The Standard of Care
With regard to medical care, the accepted standard is held as the care another reasonable and judicious provider would render in the same or similar circumstances. For example, this may include not ordering a particular test that would be indicated based on a patient’s symptoms and have provided an earlier diagnosis if performed.
Deviation from the Standard of Care
The next element of negligence that your malpractice case will need to prove is that the healthcare providers or facility deviated from the acceptable standard in rendering your care. To this end, you will need to have evidence of the care you received, as well as of the standards to demonstrate where and how the treatment you received diverged from them.
The affidavit for medical malpractice, and working with healthcare experts, often prove vital evidence to support a medical malpractice case.
The Illinois Affidavit for Medical Malpractice
Illinois law requires you to submit an affidavit of merit with your medical malpractice action. This sworn statement, prepared by your medical malpractice lawyer in Chicago, IL, will swear that a qualified medical expert was consulted prior to the filing of the lawsuit.
With the affidavit for medical malpractice, you will also include a written report from the professional who was consulted. It should include the provider’s opinion that the case against each listed defendant has credible merit and reasonable cause.
To provide a sworn statement for a medical malpractice claim, physicians must meet certain criteria. This includes having practiced or taught within the last six years in the area of medicine directly involved in the case, and having knowledge in the issues relevant to the issue of the case.
Proving that a deviation in the standard of care occurred and that you suffered harm are not enough. Rather, the final D of negligence your case must establish is direct cause. The supporting evidence and arguments in your case will need to prove a direct causal link between the deviation and your injury. Further, your case must show that you incurred damages because of the negligence and your resulting injuries.
To argue against your claim, the defense might suggest you did not follow medical advice. Therefore, part of the supporting documentation and other evidence you put forth in your case might include progress notes that discuss your treatment progress and compliance, as well as statements from family, friends, or coworkers that note your participation in the treatment plan as advised by your treating physician.
Finally, the last element you must prove is damages. You and your attorney will show that you suffered actual economic and non-economic losses as a result of the medical negligence you experienced.
Calculating economic damages will involve recording and totaling your expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages. To determine lost future earnings or earning potential, your lawyer will take into account factors such as your age, education level, occupation, and work and earnings history.
Without specific values, calculating non-economic damages is a bit more complicated. Often, personal injury law representatives use the multiplier method to assign a dollar amount to these non-tangible losses. The multiplier method totals the value of your economic losses. Then, based on the severity of the injury, assigns a factor between one and five. That factor is applied to your total economic losses value to calculate a figure for your non-economic damages.
For example, you pay $30,000 in medical expenses and lose $6,000 in wages while recovering. Due to your injury, you will have a permanent limp, and therefore, your injury is assigned a factor of four. Multiplying your total economic losses of $36,000 by the factor of four, you may ask for $144,000 in non-economic damages.
Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence FAQs
In the aftermath of a medical mistake that causes harm, patients often don’t know where to turn or how to get the help they need. Below are some questions frequently asked of our medical malpractice team at the Chicago law firm of Steinberg Goodman & Kalish. Our attorneys are prepared to take your case and advocate on your behalf; contact us today and we will be happy to answer your questions and concerns.
Q: What is the time limit for filing a medical malpractice claim
A: Illinois imposes a statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases. Under most circumstances, you have two years from the date you suffered harm or from when you discovered that medical negligence caused your injury to take legal action. If you file outside the allowed timeframe, the court may dismiss your case.
There are exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations. Anyone under the age of 18-years-old at the time of a medical negligence injury has up to eight years after the incident date to file a medical malpractice claim. However, they must file before turning 22-years-old.
Q: I signed an informed consent form; will that bar me from recovering damages?
A: The consent form informs you of the potential risks associated with the procedure or treatment you will receive, and gives your permission with this knowledge. While failing to obtain informed consent may amount to medical negligence on the part of a healthcare professional, signing this form does not necessarily prevent you from seeking to recover compensation for malpractice.
Consent forms only provide certain indemnity to healthcare professionals and facilities. By signing such a form, you acknowledge having received warning of the potential adverse outcomes and waive your right to take legal action if you suffer such effects. It does not, however, prevent you from filing a medical malpractice lawsuit for negligence that occurs during such a procedure and causes you injury or illness.
Q: How much is my medical malpractice claim worth?
A: The value of damages you recover in your medical malpractice claim will depend on several factors. No set range for these types of cases exist, as factors, including the severity and type of injury or illness you suffered, your total economic losses, and the value of your non-economic losses, will all contribute to the damages you are able to recover.
Q: Is there a limit on the damages I can recover?
A: No. Illinois does not cap the damages you can recover through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Therefore, you may seek financial compensation for your full economic and non-economic losses to be made as close to financially whole as possible.
What Should You Do If You Suspect Medical Malpractice?
If you suspect medical negligence caused your adverse health effects, you’re likely unsure of where to turn or how to move forward. Taking the following steps may help you protect your rights and interests:
- Seek assistance from another physician
- Consult with a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer
- Do not discuss your suspicions or make accusations against the involved healthcare providers or facility
- Request copies of your medical records
- Refrain from posting allegations to social media or elsewhere online
- Keep a journal of your experience, including details on what happened, your symptoms, and the effect of the malpractice on your life
Taking the right steps after suffering injury or illness due to a medical mistake will play a vital role in helping to recover the damages you are owed.