Doctors are medical professionals we put our faith in to take care of our health and the health of our loved ones. Whether it is prescribing medication, or undergoing surgery, we all rely on doctors to perform the medical procedures and make medical decisions we cannot. However, while most doctors provide proper, effective treatments, that is not always the case.
There are various estimations for how many Americans die each year due to medical error, and while some studies and research suggest the number is below 100,000 a year, another often cited study from John Hopkins indicates the number of fatalities actually exceeds 250,000 a year.
When it comes to patient safety, the fact remains that doctors and other medical professionals are human, which means mistakes and medical negligence can and do happen.
If you or a loved one is ever the victim of medical malpractice, you will need a personal injury law firm you can rely on to help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve. The Wilson Law Office has extensive experience assisting people in Illinois who have suffered from medical negligence. Let our firm fight on your behalf for the compensation and closure you need, and see just how our qualified personal injury lawyer in Ottawa, IL can help.
The Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Process
A medical malpractice case involves bringing a claim against a medical professional for negligently injuring a patient. These cases require proof that the healthcare professional violated a specified standard of care. The violation must have caused significant harm, which can include economic and non-economic damages.
Not all negative medical outcomes necessitate a lawsuit. A doctor or surgeon can follow best practices and not deliver the desired results. It is only when they act negligently that you can file for malpractice.
Examples of medical malpractice can include:
- Premature Discharge
- Misinterpreting Laboratory Results
- Unnecessary Surgery
- Improper Medication/Dosage
- Poor Follow-Up Care
- Anesthesia Errors
Common Injuries from Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice injuries can range from heart palpitations and blood clots caused by improper medication, to surgical errors that have fatal consequences. Medical misdiagnoses are also incredibly common, with about 12 million adults seeking outpatient medical care being misdiagnosed each year, according to the journal BMJ Quality & Safety. Some cases involve victims spending prolonged periods of time in the hospital to receive more medical treatment.
Some of the most common injuries and medical malpractice claims are related to childbirth. Lawsuits against OBGYNs are frequent due to negligent care before, after, or during childbirth. Mistakes made by OBGYNs can cause potentially deadly complications for both the mother and child, such as spinal cord fractures and postpartum hemorrhages.
Four things must be proven to earn a successful verdict in a medical malpractice suit, including a duty of care, negligence, a link between the doctor’s actions and the poor outcome, and finally proof that the injuries sustained resulted in economic and non-economic harm. Such harm can include physical pain, excessive medical bills, and an inability to work. Injuries can also be intangible, such as emotional trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder. Someone may only sue for medical malpractice if they have experienced harm.
When demonstrating a duty of care, it must be proven that there was an existing doctor-patient relationship. For the second element, a claim of negligence must be supported by the fact that inattentive care led to an injury that would otherwise not have happened if the providing party had been competent and careful. The medical practitioner in question must have shown a lack of skill and consideration that deviated from appropriate standards.
Finally, in order to connect negligence to resulting injuries, unambiguous cause and effect must be proven.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Illinois for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
The statute of limitations in Illinois begins the moment the medical error happens. In Illinois, you generally have two years to file a medical malpractice injury claim in court. The date may vary depending on when you learned about the error, or whether doctors tried to cover up the act.
How Long Do Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Take?
The length of a medical malpractice lawsuit depends on the case. Some suits are straightforward examples of negligence, while others may have multiple defendants or plaintiffs. As a rule of thumb, you can expect the lawsuit to last one to four years.
One way to speed up the process is to negotiate a settlement. An out-of-court settlement may make sense if you have a strong case with indisputable evidence. It can also save time and money on legal fees.
In order to ensure favorable terms for a settlement, or receive a fair and just verdict in court, working with a qualified medical malpractice lawyer gives you your best chance at getting the compensation you deserve.
Contact Wilson Law Office Today
Contact Wilson Law Office to get the representation you need if you have been a victim of medical malpractice. Call us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to sitting down with you and learning more about your case.
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