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What is Considered Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice may come in many forms, and in Illinois, these claims may include claims of malpractice including improper diagnosis, medication errors, hospital infections, birthing injuries, surgical errors and emergency room errors.

What is Improper Diagnosis in Medical Malpractice?

Many malpractice claims may sometimes involve a claim that medical staff committed a diagnostic error, which may occur if:

  • You were diagnosed with a condition that you did not have;
  • You were not diagnosed with a medical condition even though your symptoms were consistent with that medical condition; or
  • You were not diagnosed with the medical condition until after it already reached an incurable or untreatable stage. This delay in diagnosing the condition was the fault of the medical staff.

What is a Medication Error?

Medication errors may occur when a doctor prescribes a medication that causes an allergic reaction or may negatively interact with other medicines the person is taking. Patients may also receive the wrong type or dosage of drugs, causing harm.

Hospital Infections

Hospital infections are often dangerous, such as MRSA infections or other bacterial infections that may cause life-threatening illness. Negligence by medical staff may spread these infections to patients.

How do Birthing Injuries Occur?

Birthing injuries may often occur due to preventable medical errors during the planning, pregnancy, or labor stages of the pregnancy. Common birthing injuries may include genetic testing errors. At the same time, there may also be malpractice during the pregnancy as the doctor may fail to identify gestational diabetes, an ectopic pregnancy, any birth defects, or other harm. Finally, birthing injuries may also occur during labor or delivery.

What Are Common Surgical Errors?

Common surgical errors include puncturing an organ, failing to properly administer anesthesia, failing to prepare a patient for surgery properly, or monitor them after surgery. These errors also include more egregious errors such as operating on the wrong patient or wrong part of a patient’s body and leaving an item inside the body by accident.

What Types of Emergency Room Errors Are Malpractice?

Emergency room malpractice may include failing to order appropriate tests or getting a full and accurate description of the patient’s symptoms, misreading tests, doctors failing to supervise staff, or other errors.

How to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in Illinois?

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice in Illinois, there will be several steps to follow to pursue compensation, including:

Get Medical Attention

After discovering medical malpractice, the first step is to seek medical care for the injury or illness you have suffered.

Contact an Attorney

Medical malpractice suits are often too complicated. It is crucial to hire an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can navigate the complicated field of medical malpractice claims and help level the playing field with the insurance companies.

Filing an “Affidavit of Merit”

Before you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit, Illinois law requires victims to first file, with the lawsuit, an affidavit which states that the victim or their attorney has reviewed the facts of the case with a “qualified health care professional” who is knowledgeable about the medical issues involved, is qualified and competent, and currently teaches or practices in the area of medicine in the case. This affidavit must further state that the health care professional believed that there was a “reasonable and meritorious cause” for the filing of the medical malpractice claim.

File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Together with the Affidavit of Merit, your lawyer will file your medical malpractice lawsuit. After filing the lawsuit, your attorney may then conduct discovery to exchange information and evidence with the other party before attempting to negotiate a settlement with the other party or their insurer. If no settlement can be reached, your lawyer may then take your case to trial.

What is Illinois’ Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice?

Each state usually establishes a legal time limit for filing most lawsuits, called the statute of limitations. Any lawsuit that may be filed after the applicable statute of limitations expires will generally not be allowed. In Illinois, a victim of medical malpractice has two years from the date the malpractice was discovered to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. This date of discovery is the date the victim discovered, or should have discovered, the injuries, or when the victim discovered that the injuries resulted from medical malpractice. Finally, Illinois law also prevents a patient from filing a medical malpractice claim more than four years after the date the treatment was provided, regardless of when the malpractice was discovered.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, you should contact an experienced attorney like Michael J. Brennan to allow him to use his years of experience to your advantage in seeking the compensation you deserve. His skilled team will walk you through every stage of filing a medical malpractice claim in Illinois, and they will handle your case while allowing you to recover.

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