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Category Archives: Medical Malpractice

IL injury lawyerWhen you are sick or injured, you go to the doctor or a hospital to receive medical care. When that medical care injures us further or makes us even sicker, it can be frustrating and stressful. Unfortunately, medical malpractice is not all that uncommon in the United States. According to data from the National Practitioner Database, there have been more than 58,000 instances of medical malpractice payments or adverse actions taking place since the beginning of 2020. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, there are likely various questions that you have relating to your case. Here are some of the most common questions and their answers.

Is There a Time Limit to File a Claim for Medical Malpractice?

With nearly any case that you file with the court, there is such a thing called the “statute of limitations.” This is simply just a law that states how long a person can wait before they are no longer able to file a lawsuit and have it heard in court. In Illinois, most people must bring a case in court within two years of the medical malpractice incident. However, in some cases, the statute of limitations may be extended to four years.

What Kind of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Malpractice Case?

In many cases, medical malpractice can leave you with severe and/or lasting effects. In some cases, you may have difficulty getting through day-to-day life or you may be in constant pain. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you may be able for damages such as:

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IL injury lawyerWhen you visit a doctor, you expect them to properly evaluate your physical condition, listen to your concerns, and determine the best course of treatment to address any issues that affect you. However, if a doctor does not properly assess your condition and identify diseases or other issues that may impact your health and well-being, you may not be able to receive the proper treatment within the right amount of time. In some cases, doctors may misdiagnose a condition, or they may not make the correct diagnosis in time to provide the necessary treatment. This form of medical malpractice is much more prevalent than many people would expect; around 12 million people are misdiagnosed every year in the United States, and one out of every three cases involving misdiagnosis result in serious injuries or wrongful death.

Reasons for Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis

When a patient is misdiagnosed, they may suffer harm not only because their condition goes untreated, but because they undergo unnecessary treatments that could have a negative effect on their overall health. Delayed diagnosis can also result in serious injuries due to the lack of treatment. For instance, a delayed cancer diagnosis may result in the cancer spreading beyond the point where it can be addressed through treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery.

There are multiple reasons why a patient’s condition may not be diagnosed correctly, including:

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IL malpractice lawyerAnyone who undergoes a surgical procedure is likely to be concerned about their health and safety since complications can occur even when an operation is completed correctly. Unfortunately, complications and long-lasting injuries become much more likely when errors are made by doctors, nurses, or other medical staff members during a procedure. In many cases, surgical errors are considered medical malpractice. Those who have suffered these types of injuries will want to understand how they can receive financial compensation for the damages they have suffered as a result of the negligence of surgeons or other medical personnel.

Five Common Surgical Errors

Surgical errors can occur for a variety of reasons. Doctors or nurses may fail to follow the correct procedures when preparing for surgery or performing a procedure, or they may make mistakes during a procedure that cause harm to a patient. Some of the most common surgical errors include:

  • Operating on the wrong body part - If doctors or staff members do not take the time to verify the details of a procedure before beginning surgery, they may perform an unnecessary operation on the wrong part of the patient’s body. This will not only cause harm to the patient that may require additional procedures to correct, but it will leave the patient’s initial conditions unaddressed. In some cases, a procedure may be performed on the wrong side of the body, such as a knee operation performed on the left leg when it should have been performed on the right. In other cases, surgery may be performed at the wrong site, such as a spinal procedure done at the wrong level of the spine.
  • Operating on the wrong patient - Even though it may seem unlikely, a surgery that was intended for one patient may be performed on another patient. These situations are often the result of clerical errors at a hospital or medical facility, such as when patients have similar names or when patient records are accidentally switched.
  • Leaving foreign objects inside a patient - Doctors and nurses should be sure to account for all tools used during a procedure, and failure to do so may result in objects such as sponges or clamps being left inside a patient’s body. This can lead to serious infections or damage to internal organs.
  • Injuring organs or other body parts - Mistakes made during a procedure may cause long-lasting harm to a patient. For example, accidental perforation of the bowels could lead to infections, or accidentally severing a nerve can lead to paralysis in certain parts of the body.
  • Anesthesia errors - A procedure may involve local anesthesia to prevent pain and sensation in the parts of the body where surgery is being performed or general anesthesia that puts a patient to sleep during surgery. Injuries can occur during surgery if anesthesia medication is administered incorrectly, if a patient’s vital signs are not monitored to address any signs of distress, or if a patient experiences an allergic reaction. Overdoses of anesthesia can restrict oxygen flow to a patient’s brain, resulting in permanent brain damage, disability, or wrongful death.

Contact Our Aurora Surgical Malpractice Lawyers

If you or a member of your family have suffered injuries because of mistakes made during surgery, Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur, PC can help you understand your options for recovering financial compensation. We will investigate your case and gather evidence to show that your injury was caused by medical negligence, and we will fight to make sure you are fully compensated for your damages. Contact our Kane County medical malpractice attorneys at 630-907-0909 to set up a complimentary consultation.

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IL injury lawyerIn 1999, the medical community was rocked by a report prepared by the Institute of Medicine which classified the problem of medical errors as an epidemic. That report concluded that approximately 95,000 people died each year from preventable medical mistakes. The annual cost to medical facilities was determined to be between $17 billion and $29 billion.

Although the Institute of Medicine’s report prompted much debate over the years regarding what could be done to protect patients, a more recent report prepared by researchers from John Hopkins University found that the medical community might not have had too much success in doing so. In fact, preventable medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in this country.

Disturbing Numbers

Unlike the 1999 report, which relied upon data from just one study, the Johns Hopkins report used data collected from four major studies. Two of these studies were from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, during the years 2000 to 2008.

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IL malpractice lawyerWhen regular visits to a doctor’s office are a habit, the first sign of life-threatening illnesses can be detected. Most medical professionals have their patient's best interests in mind, but mistakes do happen. When a mistake has been made, or a patient is second-guessing their treatment, it can be difficult to determine the difference between medical malpractice and the sometimes uncertainty of medicine.

A woman in Oak Park was recently awarded $50 million in a settlement against West Suburban Medical Center. The birth of her baby in 2014 resulted in the child having severe brain damage. Although a representative from the hospital claimed that appropriate action was taken during the natural birth, experts in the medical malpractice trial testified that a cesarean section would have prevented injuries to the child. An ultrasound showing that the child did not move for six hours during labor was ignored by medical staff, and the mother expressed concerns to her doctor that she could not feel the unborn baby move. Today, the child is five-years-old and is unable to sit, stand, or talk.

Brain damage to a baby during birth can be caused by physical injury or a lack of oxygen. If a child cannot safely have a vaginal birth, or if a problem arises such as the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck, a doctor will often choose to perform a cesarean section. Making this decision at the correct time is crucial to the health of mother and child.

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