If you believe that you suffered harm due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. A skilled medical malpractice lawyer with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates can provide you with a free consultation to determine if you’re eligible for compensation.
Compensation can help you pay for treatment as well as reimburse you for missed income while you were out of work. Don’t wait; dial (800) 985-1819 today.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a patient suffers an injury or dies due to negligent actions committed by a medical professional. These actions are considered negligent when they violate the practices and standards that other professionals would adhere to when providing treatment to someone who had similar health issues.
For instance, it’s standard practice for a cardiologist to perform an EKG on a patient who has complained of having an abnormal heartbeat. Any reasonable cardiologist would perform this test in this situation, so it may be considered negligence if the patient complains of an abnormal heartbeat but the trained cardiologist does not perform the procedure and the patient suffers a heart attack.
Steps to take after experiencing malpractice
If you believe you’ve suffered harm due to medical malpractice, follow these steps. Doing so will not only help ensure your health, it may also protect your rights and make your case its strongest.
1. Switch providers by asking for a referral
You have the right to ask your doctor to refer you to another. Your physician may need to do this depending on what kind of insurance you have, or what type of doctor provides your treatment.
2. Obtain a copy of your medical records
You also have a right to your medical records, which could help prove that the medical professional failed to follow the proper standard of care. In most cases, healthcare professionals have 30 days to provide the records after you make the request.
3. Meet with an Aurora medical malpractice attorney
The earlier you speak with an Aurora personal injury lawyer, the earlier they can get to work determining if you have the basis for a lawsuit, investigating your case, and helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.
4. Report the incident to the appropriate licensing boards
You can report the suspected malpractice to the Illinois Department of Public Health so they can investigate your allegation. You can also contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to file a complaint with the physician you believe caused you harm.
5. Manage your condition carefully
While there’s nothing you can do to change what’s happened, there are steps you can take to keep your condition from worsening. Talk to another doctor to get the care you need and follow their treatment recommendations to the letter.
Common types of medical malpractice
A doctor could commit malpractice by failing to provide a correct diagnosis of a patient’s health problem in accordance with the established standard of care, and that misdiagnosis leads to harm. However, not every instance of misdiagnosis is medical malpractice.
An experienced Aurora medical malpractice lawyer will listen to the details and tell you whether or not you have grounds to take legal action.
If a doctor doesn’t provide a timely diagnosis, it could lead to a significant worsening of a patient’s condition. Here are just a few examples of delayed diagnosis.
- The doctor failed to refer the patient to a specialist soon enough or failed to order the correct tests.
- The medical professional failed to take action when noticing symptoms or failed to recognize those symptoms.
- The doctor misinterpreted test results or failed to read them correctly.
Negligent failure to treat
Medical professionals have a duty to treat patients correctly. Medical malpractice can occur when a doctor either fails to properly treat a condition or fails to provide a correct diagnosis.
Surgical malpractice comes in many forms. For example, a surgeon may not perform the correct procedure, could operate on the wrong patient, or on the wrong part of the body. There are also instances where surgeons will negligently leave a foreign object in the body of the patient, such as a surgical tool.
Birth injury is one of the more tragic instances of medical malpractice. One example is a doctor or other medical professional failing to meet established standards of care during pregnancy, labor, delivery of the child, or during the period soon after birth. Medical malpractice includes any harm suffered by the baby or the mother.
Malpractice can occur in many different ways regarding follow-up care, including:
- Failing to give a patient correct aftercare instructions.
- Not following diagnostic tests or follow-up appointments after a surgical procedure or some other form of treatment.
- Either failing to provide a patient with a referral when needed or refusing to do so.
- Failing to monitor a patient’s progress after a surgery or treatment, or failing to properly monitor their condition.
- Falling to respond to adverse reactions or complications in a timely manner.
Malpractice cases have special deadlines. Make sure you file your claim in time
In Illinois, you must take legal action within two years of the date you either suffered harm or discovered you’d been harmed. This deadline is known as a “statute of limitations.” While there are exceptions, if you don’t file your lawsuit within two years, then you won’t have any other way to pursue compensation.
Potential damages to claim
Injuries caused by malpractice lead to financial losses, known in legal terms as damages. The following are some examples.
Economic damages are losses you can prove through documentation. For instance, you can produce bills to prove your medical expenses, and pay stubs to show your lost wages because you can’t work.
You may also be able to seek future damages, such as wages and work benefits you’ll lose in the future, as well as any further treatment you may need.
While economic damages are tangible, non-economic damages are subjective. You can’t simply provide paperwork proving your pain and suffering and emotional distress.
If you have an experienced medical malpractice lawyer on your side, however, they’ll know how to help you obtain full compensation for these damages.
We’ll work to obtain maximum compensation
The law firm of Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates is staffed with legal experts who have a deep understanding of medical malpractice law. We also have a long track record of success winning these kinds of cases.
Multiple parties may be liable for your injury
One way we can help is by investigating to determine exactly whose to blame for the harm you suffered. Some of the potentially liable parties include:
A doctor may commit medical malpractice through a surgical error, failing to diagnose, failing to properly monitor your condition, and in several other ways.
Nurses could face liability for giving you the wrong medicine, or the wrong dose of medication. They can also commit medical malpractice by failing to monitor a patient’s condition or accurately documenting their care.
Anesthesiologists are responsible for spotting and managing complications that can take place after a surgical procedure.
A doctor’s assistant can contribute to harm by failing to relay critical information, either to the physician or other members of a patient’s care team.
The pharmacist who filled a prescription could also be liable for malpractice if they failed to report issues such as potential allergies or drug interactions. Pharmacists could also be negligent if they don’t give patients the right counseling regarding how to use a medicine.
Medical device manufacturer or distributor
Distributors and manufacturers of medical devices could be liable if they distribute or produce devices that cause injuries or deaths. Companies may also face liability for failing to properly monitor the performance of devices once they’re released.
A lab technician who forgets to sterilize equipment properly could potentially be sued if their error leads to an injury or death.
Hospitals are responsible for the independent medical contractors they allow to practice within their facility. If it’s found to be negligent in the supervision or hiring of medical professionals, a victim of malpractice could take action against the hospital.
Urgent care clinics and other places where medical treatment occurs could be liable for failure to diagnose, failure to supervise staff properly, or failure to refer a patient to a specialist or another facility when the need arises.
How our attorneys prove malpractice
When you turn to Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, we’ll investigate to see which parties are liable for the harm you suffered. We’ll build a case using doctor’s notes, witness statements, medical records, and any other evidence we can gather.
Once the investigation is complete, we’ll work to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company that covers the liable party or parties. If the insurer refuses to settle, we’ll take them to court.
Cost of hiring a medical malpractice lawyer in Aurora
You won’t have any out-of-pocket expenses when working with Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates. We’ll only be paid if we’re able to reach a successful outcome in your case.
Our Aurora medical malpractice lawyers are here to help
If you’ve been injured due to medical malpractice, get in touch with a Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates Aurora medical malpractice lawyer by contacting us online or calling (800) 985-1819 for a free consultation.