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Recent Blog Posts

Which Medical Professionals Can Be Sued for Malpractice in Illinois?

 Posted on June 30, 2023 in Medical Malpractice

IL injury lawyerMedical malpractice is commonly thought of as something doctors are sued for when they make a serious mistake that harms a patient. However, medical doctors are not the only people or parties who can be sued for medical malpractice. In Illinois, almost any licensed healthcare provider can be held liable for causing harm to a patient through medical malpractice litigation. When you seek healthcare, there are likely to be a lot of professionals other than just a physician involved in treating you. A nurse or nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant may be involved in your care.

It is also important to know that health care for the purpose of medical malpractice litigation entails more than strictly medical care for physical health conditions. Mental health providers and dental care providers are also important members of the healthcare profession. If you believe that you have been harmed because any type of licensed healthcare provider made a mistake, it is important to speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice is quite strict.

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When Can a Delayed Diagnosis Cause a Patient to Suffer Harm?

 Posted on June 19, 2023 in Medical Malpractice

Rockford, IL delayed diagnosis attorneyPatients expect that when they receive treatment from a healthcare provider, the proper steps will be followed to diagnose their condition and create an appropriate treatment plan. Unfortunately, patients do not always receive the proper level of care. A doctor may not fully consider a patient's symptoms, their medical history, or other factors, and they may not diagnose a serious medical condition correctly. When a doctor fails to diagnose a condition in a timely manner, the patient could suffer harm. Delayed diagnosis can lead to worsening health consequences, further pain, disabilities, or even wrongful death. In these situations, it is important for patients to understand the steps they can take if they believe they have been a victim of medical malpractice.

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What Are the Types of Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

 Posted on June 13, 2023 in Wrongful Death

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1144538219-2.jpgThe loss of a loved one can be a difficult situation to deal with, whether the person lived a full life and passed away at an advanced age or died unexpectedly. However, when a person is killed because of someone else's negligence or wrongful conduct, family members may struggle to address their loss and move forward with their lives. These situations can be especially difficult if the untimely loss of a loved one led to financial problems due to the loss of income the person would have earned, large medical bills for treatment they received prior to their death, or other factors.

Fortunately, Illinois law allows surviving family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party or parties who were responsible for a person's death. This type of lawsuit can help bring some sense of justice and provide compensation for the losses a family has suffered. In these situations, it is essential to understand the types of damages that family members may be able to recover. By working with an experienced attorney, survivors can take steps to ensure that they receive adequate compensation for their losses. The damages that family members may be able to receive include:

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Surgical Mistakes Resulting in Spinal Cord Injury

 Posted on May 30, 2023 in Medical Malpractice

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:

  • Accidentally nicking the spinal cord during surgery - Surgeons operating on or near the spine must use caution and precision. One small mistake can lead to devastating consequences for the surgical patient.

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Could a Physician’s Body Language Help to Prevent Patient Harm?

 Posted on May 24, 2023 in Medical Malpractice

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.

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Medicare Patients Suffer Harm When Hospitalized at an Astonishing Rate

 Posted on May 17, 2023 in Car Accidents

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1940771200-1-min.jpgIn May of 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General published a report regarding the rate at which Medicare patients experience harm while hospitalized. Although not every type of hospitalized patient harm is legally actionable, a significant fraction of such cases occur due to unacceptable manifestations of medical malpractice.

What Does the Report Say?

Widespread statistics indicate that more than 95 percent of older Americans are covered by Medicare. According to the HHS report, one out of every four of those individuals experienced harm if they were hospitalized in 2018. There is no evidence to suggest that the reality of this situation has improved since that time.

In 2018, 12 percent of hospitalized Medicare patients experienced harmful adverse events that were so significant that they necessitated longer hospitalizations and/or life-saving interventions, while others led to permanent harm or death. Additionally, 13 percent of Medicare patients were subjected to so-called “temporary harm events” which were serious in nature but did not meet the criteria noted above. Catalysts for both serious and temporary harm events included acquired infections, side effects from medication, treatment-related complications, and vaguely classified “patient care issues.”

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How Doctors Are Being Advised to Respond After Making a Medication Error 

 Posted on May 08, 2023 in Medical Malpractice

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.

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How to Identify Harm Caused by Medical Malpractice 

 Posted on April 28, 2023 in Medical Malpractice

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.

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Are Staffing Concerns Fueling Inadequate Patient Safety Conditions? 

 Posted on April 25, 2023 in Car Accidents

rockford medical malpractice lawyerMedical mistakes happen for a host of different reasons. Medical care providers are human, so they get distracted and they may harbor potentially harmful subconscious biases. Institutional policies, poorly-run facilities, and even assumptions can lead to consequential patient safety scenarios. For example, in one recent post, we discussed the ways in which an atypical presentation of symptoms related to five potentially-deadly conditions accounts for 40 percent of cases in which emergency room patients suffer permanent or fatal harm as a result of misdiagnosis.

When patient safety risks are not adequately addressed, rates of medication errors, emergency room errors, diagnostic errors, and a variety of other consequential harm tend to risk, spike, or even skyrocket. One recent survey seems to illustrate what has long been suspected: Inadequate staffing impacts patient safety in both perceivable and measurable ways.

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The Role of Life Care Planners in Medical Malpractice Cases

 Posted on April 18, 2023 in Medical Malpractice

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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