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Rockford personal injury attorneysNobody ever goes into their doctor’s office expecting them to make a mistake or harm you. However, that is exactly what happens to hundreds of thousands of people each year. There is no single reliable source that is used to gather medical malpractice statistics. However, one study from Johns Hopkins found that an estimated 250,000 people die every year because of medical mistakes. Other studies cite that number being as high as nearly double that. If you have been injured because of the negligence of your doctor, you might be eligible to file a medical malpractice case to help recoup some of your losses. In many cases, your attorney will utilize expert witnesses in various ways to gather information for the case and to help prove your point in court.

Requirements for Expert Witnesses

If you want to call an expert witness to testify during parts of your case, you will have to make sure that they are credible. You cannot just call up any person to testify for you -- they must meet certain requirements. According to the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, in any case that brings into question the standard of care of a medical professional, there are a specific set of criteria that must be met before a witness qualifies as an expert witness and can testify as such in court.

When determining whether or not a person can testify in court as an expert witness, the court must consider:

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Rockford birth injury attorneysThe birth of a new baby should be one of the most joyous days of a parent’s life. Unfortunately, some births are wrought with anxiety. If your baby suffered a birth injury during pregnancy, labor, or delivery, it is possible that this birth injury will cause lifelong medical concerns. Cerebral palsy is a condition that has been linked to substandard medical care during a child’s birth. If your child has cerebral palsy, it is possible that an avoidable birth injury may be to blame.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy can lead to profound physical and cognitive limitations. Muscle spasticity and rigidity, involuntary movements, difficulty walking, problems eating, and hearing and vision impairments are all known symptoms of this condition. There is still much about cerebral palsy that doctors do not understand. The condition is caused by abnormal development of the brain. Some children are born with the condition while others acquire the condition after suffering damage to the brain.

What Types of Medical Mistakes Can Lead to Cerebral Palsy?

Fetal stroke and lack of oxygen to an infant’s brain are two birth injuries that may cause a child to develop cerebral palsy. Fetal stroke occurs when blood vessels in the baby’s brain are blocked or damaged. This results in reduced blood flow to the baby’s brain tissue. Birth trauma and lack of proper medical care during pregnancy and birth may result in an avoidable fetal or perinatal stroke.

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Winnebago County medical malpractice lawyersGoing to the emergency room is rarely a pleasant experience. A person may go to the ER because they are having chest pain and are worried that the pain is the first sign of a heart attack. They may also visit the ER after having a severe allergic reaction. Abdominal pain, broken bones, lacerations, migraine headaches, fevers, and other medical concerns may also lead someone to visit the emergency room. Unfortunately, some ER patients go to the facility seeking answers and relief but end up being victims of harmful medical mistakes.

Emergency Room Errors Can Lead to Preventable Suffering and Death

Emergency room doctors, nurses, and other staff have the important task of evaluating patients’ symptoms and determining the necessary course of action. When an ER worker makes a mistake that leads to a patient’s injury or death, the medical worker or the medical facility may be liable for damages. Often, emergency room malpractice claims arise because of delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. Consider the following example: A patient visits the emergency room because he or she is having severe abdominal pain. Staff assure him that his symptoms are caused by a simple case of indigestion when in actuality, the patient is suffering from appendicitis. The patient goes home and suffers a ruptured appendix. In a situation such as this, the emergency room staff’s failure to accurately diagnose appendicitis may lead to an emergency room malpractice claim.

Other examples of emergency room errors that could lead to medical malpractice claims include:

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Illinois medical malpractice attorneysNo one expects doctors to be perfect, but they are held to a very high standard when it comes to patient care. Doctors or other medical professionals who make a mistake that leads to a patient's injury or death may face a medical malpractice claim. Whether you or a loved one were a victim of a birth injury, surgical mistake, or hospital error, you probably have questions about whether your situation constitutes medical malpractice. You may also be unsure of what it takes to bring a successful malpractice claim. Read on to learn about what actions may be considered medical malpractice and the main elements needed to win a medical malpractice claim.

Understanding When Malpractice Has Occurred

Few would argue against the idea that doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other medical workers have some of the hardest jobs in the world. Understandably, they sometimes make mistakes. Minor mistakes that do not result in significant patient harm are not examples of medical malpractice. However, when a medical professional makes an egregious mistake that the average medical worker would never make, and a patient is injured or killed as a result, that professional may face a civil claim for damages.

To prove medical malpractice, you and your lawyer will need to demonstrate that:

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Winnebago County medical negligence attorney misdiagnosis

Unfortunately, a high number of patients each year suffer from unexplained symptoms and inaccurate diagnoses. Patients often forget that despite the responsibility that medical professionals are given, they do make unintentional mistakes from time to time. While this may be acceptable in other professional fields, a seemingly minor mixup from a nurse, doctor, or other medical professionals can be deadly. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, it is pertinent that you seek legal help immediately. This timeliness will allow you to make an accurate claim and receive deserved compensation to cover any impending medical bills, time lost at work, or other financial obligations.

Which Claim Can I Pursue?

All lawsuits concerning healthcare discrepancies fall under the large legal umbrella of medical malpractice. However, you and your attorney will need to pinpoint which type of issue you are dealing with. Two common cases that legal professionals handle are victims of misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis. Although the terms are similar, the details of your case will dictate which one to pursue.

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Winnebago County medical malpractice lawyersMany people form close, trusting relationships with their primary care doctors. They assume that their doctor is someone that they can depend upon to give them the best medical care possible. Unfortunately, some primary care doctors make mistakes that result in significant harm to their patients. Whether it is failure to accurately diagnose and treat a condition, prescribing the wrong medication, or another medical error, these mistakes can lead to preventable patient injuries and suffering. If you or a loved one have been harmed by the actions of your primary care physician, a medical malpractice attorney can help you determine whether or not you have a valid medical malpractice claim.

Mistakes Made by Primary Care Physicians

In order to become a physician, doctors must attend many year of post-high school education. Most have also undergone extensive on-the-job training. Nevertheless, doctors are not perfect and they sometimes make mistakes. Some of these mistakes are virtually harmless while others result in permanent patient injury or even death. When a physician’s mistake causes the patient to suffer new or worsened medical concerns, this may be considered medical negligence.

Typically, a doctor is considered negligent when he or she fails to meet the “medical standard of care.” This standard of care refers to the type of care that a reasonably competent physician of similar education and experience would have provided under similar circumstances.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_emergency-room-mistakes-malpractice.jpgShockingly, studies show that medical errors are now considered the third leading cause of death in the United States. It is estimated that between 250,000 and 440,000 people in the U.S. lose their lives every year because of medical mistakes. One place where medical errors often occur is the emergency room. If you have ever had to visit an emergency room, you probably already know that they can be chaotic environments. People go to an emergency room for a variety of ailments, some life-threatening and some not. If you or a loved one suffered because of a mistake an ER doctor or technician made, you may have grounds for a successful personal injury claim.

Mistakes Made in the Emergency Room Can Be Deadly

Emergency room errors are appallingly common. In fact, some sources report that about 5-10% of all ER visits involve mistakes. Because there are approximately 100 million ER visits in the United States each year, this means 5-10 million emergency room errors are committed every year. Of course, not every mistake is life-threatening or even harmful, but many of these mistakes have the ability to kill a patient. Emergency room doctors and nurses cannot always immediately know what is wrong with a patient or how to treat him or her. However, when emergency room mistakes are egregious or caused by medical negligence, the mistake may become an issue of medical malpractice.

Most Common Errors Made in the ER

When it comes to emergency medicine, even the smallest mistake can cause significant damage. The most common types of medical mistakes that occur in American emergency rooms include:

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Winnebago County personal injury attorneysThe birth of a baby is one of the most joyous occasions a person can experience. Sadly, not every birth is without complication. Some birth injuries are mild, such as a small bruise or cut, while other birth injuries can have life-altering consequences for both the child and his or her parents. Some birth injuries happen due to no one’s fault or intention. Others are caused by medical negligence. When a doctor or other medical staff makes a careless mistake, they can cause permanent disability or death to a vulnerable infant. A medical malpractice lawsuit can help hold negligent medical staff accountable as well as provide compensation for damages.

Doctors Have a Duty of Care to Patients

Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional fails to uphold his or her “duty of care” to his or her patient. Duty of care refers to the responsibility a doctor has to provide reasonably competent medical care to his or her patients. When a medical professional makes a poor decision which most medical professionals in his or her line of work and experience level would not have made, this may be a breach of duty of care. If a tragic event occurred during a birth, but the doctors and nurses made competent decisions while handling the crisis, this is likely not an example of medical negligence.

Common Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Negligence

The most common birth injuries which can be caused by medical negligence include:

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Rockford personal injury attorneysStudies show that more and more Americans are taking psychiatric medications in order to cope with mental health problems like depression and anxiety. Experts estimate that about one out of every six adults in the United States has used at least one psychiatric drug. For some, psychiatric medication like fluoxetine (Prozac), escitalopram oxalate (Lexapro), alprazolam (Xanax), Lithium, clozapine (Clozaril) diazepam (Valium), and lorazepam (Ativan) help alleviate symptoms and cause few, if any, side effects. However, some people taking psychiatric medication experience intense mental and physical side effects including increased thoughts of suicide and self-harm. Now, the family of the late musician Chris Cornell believe that negligent over-prescription of psychiatric medication may have played a role in the singer’s death.

Singer Was Taking Anxiety Medicine and Opioids at Time of Suicide

Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell passed away in May of 2017 of an apparent suicide. However, Cornell’s wife believes that the 52-year-old was not in his right mind when he chose to take his own life. She claims that a dangerous mix of anti-anxiety medication and prescription opioids caused him to have increased suicidal and psychotic thoughts, a known side effect of some psychiatric medications. She claims that the negligent actions of her late husband’s doctor are to blame for his death.

According to the lawsuit, Cornell’s doctor negligently prescribed Oxycodone, Lorazepam (Ativan), and other mind-altering drugs to Cornell even though the doctor knew of Cornell’s history with drug addiction. The doctor also allegedly permitted non-physician staff to write Cornell’s prescriptions and neglected to follow up with Cornell regarding negative side effects. Cornell’s widow says that the singer had not displayed suicidal behavior prior to taking his life and had not struggled with addiction for many years. The question of blame will come down to whether or not the doctor and his staff were negligent in prescribing the singer the combination of mind-altering medication.

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Rockford medical malpractice attorneysDoctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are some of the most trusted members of our society. Of course, medical professionals are human just like everyone else, and they sometimes make mistakes. Unfortunately, errors made by doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and other medical professionals can often have devastating consequences.

Negligence Must Be Proven in Medical Malpractice Claims

Before delving into the most common mistakes made by medical professionals, it is important to be clear about one point: medical malpractice only occurs when negligence occurs. A patient simply being unhappy with the results of a medical procedure or test cannot be reason enough to claim malpractice. Furthermore, a medical procedure or surgery which results in a negative outcome is not always the result of medical malpractice or doctor error. For example, when an individual receives an organ transplant, the organ is sometimes “rejected” by the patient’s body. This can happen for a myriad of reasons and is usually not related to any negligent acts by the surgeon or other hospital staff. In order for a successful medical malpractice claim to be made, negligence must be proven. A medical professional is negligent when he or she acts in a way which is not reasonably competent or skilled, and this carelessness leads to patient harm.

Errors Which Often Lead to Malpractice Suits

There are many different situations which might necessitate a medical malpractice lawsuit. Patients who have been misdiagnosed or did not receive a diagnosis in a timely matter often have the justification to sue. Understandably, it can sometimes take doctors and other medical experts a long time to reach an accurate diagnosis. However, when a diagnosis is delayed or a patient is misdiagnosed due to negligence, the doctor and staff may be held liable. Childbirth injuries including seizure disorders and cerebral palsy can sometimes be caused by doctor error. Negligent prenatal care can result in damage to both the fetus as well as the mother.

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Rockford medical malpractice attorneysWhen something goes wrong at a doctor, physical therapist, dentist, or other medical office, patients can be left lost and confused. After all, most of us grew up putting total trust in doctors and nurses. Their ability to diagnose and treat medical conditions still seem like a superpower to many children. Sadly, as we age, we realize that nobody is perfect and that medical professionals can and sometimes do make catastrophic mistakes. If you have been mistreated or hurt because of inadequate medical care or a negligent health-care provider, read on to learn about your options for financial compensation.

What Constitutes Medical Negligence?

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that, shockingly, medical negligence is the third most leading cause of death in the United States. Only heart disease and cancer kill more Americans. In fact, in the year 2012 alone, more than $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice disbursements. Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional strays from the accepted “standard of care” while treating a patient. The “standard of care” in this context simply refers to what a reasonably thoughtful medical professional of similar experience and training would have done under similar circumstances. Someone who has a poor outcome from a medical procedure has not necessarily experienced medical negligence. Unfortunately, sometimes individuals simply experience bad luck. However, when a patient is treated in a way that deviates from the acceptable treatment of a condition or injury and suffers damages as a result, he or she may have a valid medical malpractice claim.

Examples of Medical Negligence That Could Lead to a Successful Medical Malpractice Claim

Medical negligence can take many different forms. Examples of medical negligence that could possibly lead to a lawsuit include:

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