Medical malpractice occurs when a victim suffers harm as a result of negligence on the part of a doctor or other healthcare professional. Illinois, just like all the other states, has its own set of medical malpractice laws. If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, it’s important to know that medical malpractice lawyers in Chicago will protect your rights and how you can hold the at-fault party responsible.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice takes place when a doctor, nurse, hospital or other healthcare professional causes a patient to suffer injuries. The injuries stem directly from an act of negligence, an error or an act of omission in the treatment, diagnosis or care of a medical condition. For example, if a doctor wrongly diagnosed a patient as having a benign brain tumor that was actually malignant or prescribed a certain medication at the wrong dose and it ended up being ineffective or led to the patient overdosing, these situations would constitute medical malpractice.
Elements of Medical Malpractice
In Illinois and elsewhere, in order to have a valid medical malpractice case, certain elements must be present. The following are requirements for a medical malpractice claim:
- Doctor-patient relationship: You must prove there was a relationship between you and the doctor in question. The doctor must have actually treated you. In other words, you can’t have simply spoken to the doctor in passing and gotten medical advice that didn’t help you.
- Negligence: The doctor must have been negligent in diagnosing or treating you. You must also show that the doctor violated the standard of care that is expected of a doctor. It is expected that doctors provide a standard of care.
- Doctor caused the injury: You must also prove that the doctor’s negligence directly caused your injury. In a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff usually has a medical expert testify that the doctor’s negligence led to the injuries.
- The injury led to damages: You must prove that the injury you suffered as a result of the doctor’s negligence resulted in real damages. Some of the damages you may have include: additional medical bills, physical pain, mental anguish, and lost wages and earning capacity.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Like other states in the country, Illinois has a specific statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Chicago medical malpractice lawyers inform you that the statute of limitations is the amount of time a plaintiff has to file their lawsuit with the court. Medical malpractice cases are different from other personal injury cases and generally have a shorter time frame for filing. Illinois residents who have suffered injuries from medical malpractice have two years from the date of the incident or two years from the date the patient should have discovered their injury to file their lawsuit.
The two deadlines depend on the specific situation involving the injured party. For example, if the individual had surgery and a sponge was left inside their body during the procedure, they might not have noticed for a longer period of time. As a result, the statute of limitations would begin on the date when the patient realized that something was wrong and started feeling pain.
Plaintiffs who are minors also have a longer statute of limitations as they have eight years after or their 22nd birthday to file a lawsuit.
It’s important to ensure that you file within a timely manner. If you fail to file your lawsuit with the court within two years, it can result in your case not being heard, which means you cannot recover compensation for your damages.
Types of Medical Malpractice
There are different types of medical malpractice for which you can file a lawsuit. They include the following:
- Failure to diagnose: This occurs when a doctor fails to diagnose a specific medical condition or illness. If a patient would have gotten a better diagnosis or prognosis from a different doctor, they have a valid claim for medical malpractice.
- Improper treatment: If a doctor doesn’t treat a patient in the way any other normal, competent doctor would do, the patient has a valid claim.
- Failure to warn: Doctors have a duty to warn their patients of the risks associated with certain treatments or procedures. This is known as the duty of informed consent, which is in place so the patient can make an educated decision about whether to go through with them. If there is no warning, the patient can sue if they suffer harm.
If you have suffered injuries due to medical malpractice in Illinois, you need Trapp & Geller on your side. The medical malpractice lawyers in Chicago will listen to you and build a strong case for you. Chicago medical malpractice lawyers will hear your side of things and speak with medical experts if necessary. If you are in need of a Chicago personal injury lawyer, contact Trapp & Geller, personal injury attorneys in Chicago, at your earliest convenience.