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Medical Malpractice
Serving Cook and DuPage Counties

When Medical Professionals Make Mistakes

Medical malpractice happens when a medical professionals actions fall below the appropriate standard of care and a patient is injured or dies. Malpractice lawsuits range from a doctor’s failure to properly diagnose a disease to a surgeon making an improper cut during surgery.

Common medical malpractice claims include the following:

  • Misdiagnosis. Failure to diagnose an illness is a common medical mistake. The most common misdiagnosed conditions are heart attacks and cancer. The failure to diagnose life-threatening conditions can have devastating consequences and cause catastrophic injuries.
  • Surgical errors: Surgical team mistakes can include leaving a foreign object inside a patient, performing wrong proceeding, operating on the wrong side, inflicting nerve damage and administering too much anesthesia.
  • Failure to treat: This error occurs when a physician correctly diagnoses a condition, but then fails to treat it in accordance with the acceptable standard of care for that condition resulting in injury or death.
  • Birth injuries: OBGYN’s face a significant portion of medical malpractice claims in regard to childbirth and related medical errors. Conditions such as shoulder dystocia or other nerve damage, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy and cephalohematoma are common birth injuries caused by medical errors.
  • Prescription drug errors: Doctors make errors in prescribing the wrong medication, incorrect dosage and administration of prescription drugs. Other drug errors include prescribing drugs that cause harm in the patient when they interact with one another.

Medical Malpractice Proof of Negligence

For a medical malpractice, those injured must prove the existence of a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor’s failure to meet the appropriate standard of care for similar professionals in the same situation, causation, and actual damages. The exact standard of care that must be followed will depend directly on the doctor’s specialty and the illness or injury at issue.

In medical malpractice cases, both sides present expert testimony to establish the standard of care and to testify whether the medical professional met standard. The victim will have to prove that the doctor’s violation of a duty was the actual and proximate cause of the illness, injury or death. The victim will also need to prove duty, breach of duty, and damages.

Compensation for Malpractice Lawsuit

A plaintiff can sue to recover both economic and non-economic damages, including extra medical bills incurred because of the malpractice, lost income, lost earning capacity, rehabilitation, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.

Illinois Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice

Statute of limitation for Illinois specifically applies to medical malpractice cases and states that lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date on which the prospective plaintiff actually knew, “or through the use of reasonable diligence should have known,” about the injury or illness that was caused by the professional’s malpractice.

The Illinois medical malpractice statute of limitations 735 ILCS section 5/13-212(a), sets a longer deadline for cases where the plaintiff’s injury is not discovered right away. The statute states “in no event” shall a medical malpractice lawsuit be brought more than four years after the date on which the underlying medical error occurred. Illinois also has a specific filing deadline for a lawsuit filed by (or on behalf of) a medical malpractice plaintiff who is under the age of 18 at the time they are harmed. These cases must be filed within eight years of the date on which the underlying malpractice occurred, but in no event can such a case be brought beyond the injured person’s 22nd birthday.

Malpractice Lawsuits Require Legal Representation

Medical malpractice cases are often complex, time-consuming and extremely difficult to prove. Hiring an experienced lawyer familiar with researching and navigating these types of cases is a critical to seeking compensation. Consult with our attorney in Chicago if you believe you’ve been injured due to medical malpractice.

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