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rockford medical malpractice lawyerThe spinal cord transmits signals from the brain to the body and from the body to the brain. Everything from movement to our ability to sense pain is controlled by the spinal cord. Consequently, any damage to the spinal cord can have catastrophic consequences and errors during surgery on the spinal cord can leave a person permanently disabled

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of medical negligence, you may have the right to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Examples of Spinal Cord Injuries Caused by Surgical Errors

Surgical mistakes that lead to spinal cord injury can take many forms. Common causes of these injuries include:


rockford medical malpractice lawyerThe smallest things can lead to patient harm. A small mistake on a prescription pad or a decimal point in the wrong place could cause a medication error. A single distracted thought as a nurse is recording information into a patient chart could lead to vital information being left off of a physician’s radar. A single tiny splotch of abnormal tissue misread on an image could lead to a misdiagnosis. It, therefore, is not so difficult to imagine that a physician’s body language could contribute to a medical mistake – or could prevent one from happening – either.

Helping Versus Harming

When a patient has suffered serious harm due to a healthcare provider’s failure to provide them with the standard of care expected by the medical profession, the patient may have a valid medical malpractice claim. Yet, partially because providers are not known for being forthcoming after they have wronged patients and partially because medical conditions tend to have complex origins, medical malpractice is often very difficult to prove.

A physician’s body language can help to facilitate patient safety or it can potentially compromise it. When a doctor is fidgeting, staring at anything but the patient when they are speaking, and otherwise indicating that they are not fully present when a patient is being treated, that physical inattention to the moment can serve as a red flag that they are less likely to provide their patient with proper care. On the other hand, a physician whose body language indicates that they are fully present in the moment can inspire fruitful communication that could help to prevent missteps.


winnebago county medical malpractice lawyerOne of the reasons that medical malpractice cases are so challenging to pursue is that the standard of negligence that plaintiffs must prove is far more context-specific than it is for most other personal injury scenarios. If someone is harmed on another’s property, for example, a plaintiff must prove that the owner of the property either knew or should have known about a hazardous condition and did not take steps to mitigate the risk of harm it could cause. In a medication error case. However, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant violated the medical standard of care.

Parsing what the medical standard of care should look like under every injured patient’s unique circumstances can be truly challenging. This is why it is helpful to understand when providers are being provided with clear-cut guidance that spells out what a professional’s standard of care needs to be. That understanding can help to inform an injured patient’s legal strategy as they attempt to prove that their harm was both preventable and caused by professional malpractice.

AAMC Guidance

In the event that a physician becomes aware that a medication error has occurred, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) advises physicians to disclose the occurrence of the error, a complete explanation of the circumstances in question, and an evaluation of potential and realized negative consequences stemming from that harm. The AAMC also advises timely formal reporting of medication errors, which helps to ensure transparency beyond a patient’s individual knowledge.


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1029252745-min.jpgWhile physicians and nurses are healers, they do not possess a superhuman ability to mitigate, let alone cure, all medical conditions. Nor are they empowered to prevent every type of harm that a patient could conceivably suffer. As a result of this reality, identifying what kinds of patient harm are – and are not – evidence of medical malpractice can be extremely difficult. After all, not every interaction with a patient ends in a favorable outcome and that is certainly not always the fault of healthcare providers.

With that said, more than enough unfavorable patient outcomes that do occur are caused by substandard care on the part of healthcare providers. As a result, it is important for those who are suffering in ways that may have been prevented to thoroughly investigate their circumstances. In the event that the harm in question was caused by an actionable mistake or another negligent approach to patient care, the affected living patient or a deceased patient’s surviving loved ones may have grounds upon which to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Signs that Your Harm May Be Actionable

Unless you or a loved one witness a healthcare provider make a mistake or a provider admits to making a mistake, there are few surefire ways to identify when a healthcare situation resulting in harm may be actionable. With that said, some warning signs of medical negligence should prompt you to speak with an attorney about whether you or a loved one may have suffered due to medical malpractice. These are a few of the most common:


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_275636621.jpgIt is not a secret that medical errors are now considered to be the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. Both fatal and non-fatal medical errors that occur due to substandard professional approaches are usually classified as medical malpractice incidents. Although not all medical errors are legally actionable, a patent who has suffered harm as a result of healthcare approaches that do not meet professional standards likely has grounds upon which to hold an offending healthcare provider or facility liable for malpractice.

Every patient’s story is unique and every patient who has suffered malpractice-related harm deserves justice. Yet, it is especially important to hold negligent providers accountable when someone’s harm is truly life-altering or life-ending.

When a patient has suffered non-fatal harm but their situation is serious enough that they will be struggling as a result of their circumstances for the rest of their life, the testimony of a life care planner may make a significant difference when it comes to convincing a jury of a patient’s need for significant financial restitution.

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