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Winnebago County Amputation Injury AttorneyAmputation injuries can be devastating and life-changing. These catastrophic injuries can occur in various circumstances, including car accidents, workplace accidents, and other types of personal injury cases. Losing a limb can result in significant physical, emotional, and financial challenges for the victim and their family. Fortunately, victims of amputation injuries may be entitled to compensation to help them cope with the aftermath of such a life-altering event.

Medical Expenses

The medical costs associated with amputation injuries can be substantial. These may include emergency medical care, hospitalization, and surgeries, as well as rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other ongoing treatments. Compensation for medical expenses aims to cover the costs of past, current, and future medical care resulting from an amputation injury.

Home Modifications and Assistive Technology

Following an amputation, a victim may require prosthetics or other adaptive equipment that will allow them to regain independence and improve their quality of life. Modifications may need to be made to a person’s home to accommodate their new mobility needs. This could include installing ramps, widening doorways, or making other structural changes to ensure accessibility and ease of movement. Additionally, an amputee may require assistive technology such as specialized computer software or communication devices. A person may receive compensation to cover the costs associated with the necessary equipment and the therapy needed to ensure that they can use devices correctly as they address their daily needs.


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.

Healthcare Providers Who Can Be Subject to a Medical Malpractice Suit

Most people you go to see for medical, mental health, or dental care can be sued for medical malpractice if they make a careless mistake and cause you harm. Types of licensed healthcare professionals you may be able to sue for malpractice include:


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.

Consequences of a Delayed Diagnosis

There are numerous ways that a failure to diagnose a condition correctly can cause patients to suffer injuries or other forms of harm, including:

  • When the diagnosis affects the treatment plan - A delay in diagnosis is likely to result in a delay in treatment for the patient. The longer a patient goes without a proper diagnosis, the more likely it is that their condition will worsen. For example, if a patient is not diagnosed with cancer until after it has reached an advanced stage, their treatment options might be more limited, and their condition could even become terminal.


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:

Economic Damages

Survivors may receive compensation for the financial losses they have suffered due to their loved one's wrongful death. These damages may help offset some of the costs resulting from the loss. They may include the loss of income and financial support that the deceased person would have provided for their family, the loss of benefits or inheritances, and expenses related to a person's burial or funeral. A jury may consider the deceased person's income, age, occupation, and life expectancy when awarding economic damages.


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.


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.”


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:


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.

HR and CNO Professionals Are Confirming This Nexus

A respected advisory firm recently surveyed human resources (HR) professionals and chief nursing officers (CNOs) across the country about the most pressing issues impacting their organizations. When the responses were analyzed, it was revealed that 84 percent of respondents believe that patient safety and quality care is the single most critical issue impacting their organizations. An additional 77 percent cited significant concerns with strengthening employee engagement and retention.


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.


rockford personal injury lawyerThe kinds of risks that patients face ebb and flow as the healthcare industry evolves. While some forms of injurious harm – for example, patient falls – remain relatively constant, others shift as the medical profession and medical facilities adapt their practices to the times. It was not so long ago, for example, that more patient harm was caused by providers’ illegible handwriting than was caused by issues with error-ridden electronic medical records maintained by hospitals.

Understanding the kinds of risks that patients face most frequently at any time is valuable for two primary reasons. First, this knowledge can empower patients to self-advocate if they are on the lookout for certain kinds of risks and errors. Second, this knowledge can be beneficial in the aftermath of sustaining injuries or illnesses due to a provider’s negligence. By understanding that a certain complication may be a sign of a common type of mistake, patients will be more likely to seek legal guidance and explore their legal options accordingly.

The Patient Risks that Are Most Concerning Right Now 

Every year, ECRI releases a “top 10 patient safety” concerns list that the healthcare industry – and patients alike – should be paying particular attention to. Of note on the independent organization’s list for 2023 are the following causes of patient harm:


rockford medical malpracticeUnfortunately, although egregious medical errors and other forms of medical negligence occur every day, relatively few victims of this form of professional negligence take advantage of their rights under the law. The fact that it is not always clear when medical malpractice has occurred is one of the primary reasons driving this reality.

For most people, “medical malpractice” is a vague legal term that is not easily applied to individual circumstances. This is understandable. This area of the law is both complex and highly contextual. As a result, unless a healthcare provider admits to making a mistake or it is clear that a preventable situation has gone terribly wrong, it is rarely easy to identify and respond to incidents of medical malpractice.

When Does Medical Malpractice Occur?

Medical malpractice occurs when a patient suffers harm while under the care of a healthcare professional, subject to specific legal and professional criteria. Generally speaking, if a healthcare provider – either by action or omission – causes a patient harm due to engaging in a professionally substandard level of care, medical malpractice has likely occurred.


rockford personal injury lawyerThere are a host of reasons why millions of Americans log on to social media platforms each and every day. From seeking support to connecting with others who share the same passions, getting the word out about important causes to catching up with loved ones, social media allows people to express themselves openly and instantly in the Digital Age’s version of a town square. Yet, not all activity on social media yields positive results. For example, injury victims need to take great care when engaging on social media platforms due to the unique risks that such activity poses while an injury-related legal case remains unresolved.

“Anything You Say Can and Will…”

Anyone who has ever watched a full season of a legal drama can probably recite the Miranda warnings by heart. The phrase “anything you say can and will be used against you” is the opening line of the Miranda warnings read to criminal defendants as they are being arrested. In a strange way, it can be very helpful for injury victims to keep this phrase in mind as they are engaging on social media while their personal injury lawsuit, insurance claim, and/or workers’ compensation benefits application remains pending.

It is true that the Internet is not always an injury victim’s enemy. For example, notable cases involving victims calling out insurance companies for bad-faith practices and receiving justice in high-profile fashion serve as victorious examples of speaking truth to power. However, social media platforms trip injury victims up far more often than they lend them aid.


rockford medical malpractice lawyerIn 2016, researchers from the prestigious Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine revealed that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Since that time, there has been considerable pressure on the medical profession to identify why so many errors are occurring and what can be done to mitigate this devastating trend.

Research and practical trials designed to answer these questions are ongoing. Additionally, many medical facilities are starting to implement new technologies to minimize the likelihood that errors will occur and to reduce the harm associated with any that do occur. Among the most promising innovations being widely embraced across the country in recent years involves the mining of electronic medical records.

What Mining Aims to Achieve

All too often, failures in communication, multitasking, and attempts to account for a wealth of information in the blink of an eye lead to errors. By mining a patient’s electronic medical records in specific ways, potential errors can be caught before they are fully realized.


rockford medical malpractice lawyerIt is not difficult to imagine why a missed diagnosis or a delayed diagnosis could cost a patient dearly. When injuries are acute and illnesses are aggressive, a diagnostic error can cost a patient valuable time. Under the most extreme circumstances, an error made in an operating room, at the scene of an accident, or in an emergency department could cost a patient their life.

One of the primary reasons that diagnostic errors occur is that not every condition presents in the exact same way in every patient. For example, it has only been over the last 20 years or so that the medical community and the wider public have come to understand that heart attack symptoms tend to manifest very differently in women than they do in men.

Dismissing someone’s atypical manifestations of a serious condition can result in catastrophic consequences. Recently, it was revealed just how often misinterpretation of atypical symptoms in E.R. patients causes irreversible harm.


rockford medical malpractice lawyerOne of the first questions doctors, nurses, dentists, and other healthcare practitioners usually ask a new patient is whether the patient has any known drug allergies. If the patient knows about a drug allergy, he or she discloses it to the healthcare worker, who notes it in the patient’s charts so that future exposure to the drug can be avoided. Unfortunately, healthcare workers are often busy and stressed, and details about allergies can be difficult to pay attention to. Nevertheless, this is not an excuse for accidentally giving a patient a dangerous drug and triggering an allergic reaction. If you or a loved one suffered a serious allergic reaction due to negligent medical care, you may be able to bring a case for medical malpractice

What Happens if Someone Takes a Drug They Are Allergic To? 

Allergic reactions vary depending on the person and the severity of the allergy. Some symptoms are not very serious, while others can quickly become life-threatening. The most common symptoms of an allergic reaction to a drug include, but are not limited to: 

  • Hives


rockford dog bite injury lawyerMost people feel as though their dog is a part of the family and provide their furry four-legged friend with close supervision and careful training. But even the best pet dogs can hurt young children, who are often not much bigger than the dogs, and when a dog becomes frightened, threatened, or aggressive, it can unexpectedly attack

Over four and a half million people are bitten by dogs every year, and about 20 percent of those bitten need to see a doctor to get medical attention for their injuries. Children in particular are often severely injured and, in tragic cases, even killed in dog attacks. If you or your child have suffered an injury from a neighbor, friend, or family member’s dog, you may be facing a long and expensive recovery. Speak with an Illinois personal injury attorney who can help you determine whether a lawsuit could help you obtain compensation to help you pay for the costs of treatment and any other losses due to the attack. 

When Do Most Dog Bites Happen? 

Kids often miss cues coming from a dog’s body language and can fail to see a threat. Other times, dogs can behave unpredictably, attacking when a provocation is not clear.  Children may stick their hands through a neighbor’s fence on the way home from school, accidentally pull a dog’s tail in a family member’s backyard, or rush up to pet an unknown dog walking down the street with its owner. However the attack happens, Illinois’ strict liability dog bite laws mean that a dog owner is responsible for any injuries caused by their dog if it attacks someone who is allowed to be on the premises where the attack occurs and is not provoking the dog or its owner.


rockford product liability lawyerDespite years of efforts to identify and recall vehicles with dangerously malfunctioning airbags, another series of recalls and ‘do not drive’ advisories have recently been issued. As with many previous recalls for airbag safety concerns, current recalls are for cars equipped with Takata brand airbags. These airbags fail up to 50 percent of the time, potentially ejecting metal fragments towards drivers that can kill or maim them forever. If you or a family member were injured by a defective airbag, an Illinois personal injury attorney may be able to help you recover compensation for your suffering. 

Which Vehicles Are Being Recalled? 

The recent recall focuses on older Acura and Honda models. Until the airbags have been fixed, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is warning people not to drive the cars at all. Airbag recall repairs are free for owners, but, due to the older models of these cars and the likelihood that they have been sold to multiple owners, it may be difficult to find and warn the current drivers of the roughly 8,000 Honda and Acura vehicles under recall, including: 

  • 2001-2002 Civic


rockford fire injury attorneyFires may seem like one of those disasters which is unlikely to ever happen to you, but the sad truth is that nearly 4,000 people die in house fires every year and several thousand more are severely injured. Fires in homes, restaurants, stores, apartments, and other buildings can start quietly, spread quickly, and rapidly engulf an entire structure before occupants have time to get out. Young and old people are at the greatest likelihood of being injured or killed in a fire, but fires claim the lives of people of all ages, as well as the brave men and women who try to put them out. 

If you recently lost a loved one or were seriously injured in a fire, you may be wondering what caused the blaze and, if it was another person or company, whether you can take legal action against them to seek compensation for your losses. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a fire this winter, speak to an Illinois personal injury lawyer. We may be able to help. 

What Causes Fires? 

The most important part of a personal injury lawsuit is establishing that, through their negligent actions, someone who owed you a standard of care caused your injury or loss. In the case of a fire, this can require careful outside investigation to determine who is responsible and to what extent their actions caused your injuries. For example, if you fell asleep smoking a cigarette that caught your sofa on fire, you would likely be responsible for your own injuries; but if it was your downstairs neighbor, they or their insurance policy may be liable. If you live in an apartment complex, your landlord may be responsible for any losses. 

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