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rockford malpractice lawyerSurgeries are performed every day, however, no operation is the same. While surgeons may be properly equipped to handle the complexities of surgery, errors can and do still happen. When surgical errors occur, patients can be harmed. Surgical injuries can have a substantial physical, financial, and emotional impact on a victim and their families. Victims of medical malpractice surgical errors should be knowledgeable of how their injury occurred and how they can effectively fight for available damages. 

Categories and Causes of Surgical Errors

Every surgery will have unique characteristics and challenges, however, some mistakes can lead to lasting patient harm. Some of the most significant errors include operating on an incorrect body part, operating on the wrong patient, leaving a piece of equipment inside a patient’s body, and administering the wrong amount of medication.  

Understanding why and how the error was made is usually much more difficult, however, the errors are often associated with these themes:

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rockford medical malpractice lawyerNegligent health care can result in severe patient harm. Medical errors such as misdiagnosis, surgical errors, defective medical equipment, and inaccurate prescriptions can leave patients in critical condition and possibly lead to fatalities. For a medical malpractice victim to successfully recover damages, there are many standards that must be met. A medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires. If you believe you sustained injuries due to a health care provider’s actions or inaction, it is recommended to immediately contact a medical malpractice attorney who can help you to understand the expectations and limitations often seen in these situations. 

The Statute of Limitations Explained

As with almost all legal actions, the law imposes a time constraint on the duration of time someone is allowed to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. Once the statute of limitations expires, the injured person may be barred from filing a lawsuit.

Many factors are taken into consideration when determining when the statute of limitations begins, including when the malpractice occurred, when the victim sustained their injury, when the victim became aware of their injury; and when the victim completed their treatment. The date the victim discovered their injury is essential to their case and should be thoroughly documented. A medical malpractice attorney can provide assistance with this process.

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rockford medical malpractice lawyerEveryday people trust their physicians to provide them with proper medication, high-quality referrals, and accurate diagnoses. Unfortunately, medical professionals, including doctors, make mistakes, which can result in harmful consequences. When negligent behavior leads to a patient’s misdiagnosis that causes the patient harm, the patient may pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

Causes and Consequences of a Misdiagnosis

A misdiagnosis from a medical professional can negatively impact someone’s health and ability to work. Non-existent, delayed, or inconclusive diagnoses often result in incorrect or delayed treatment, if there is any treatment at all. These improper or insufficient treatments have the potential to worsen the actual issues. If this misdiagnosis was caused by physician negligence, the misdiagnosis may lead to a malpractice claim. 

Obviously, human error plays a large role in misdiagnosing patients, however, there are numerous other factors that could lead to an erroneous diagnosis, some of which include:

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 chicago malpractice lawyerStrokes are a biological event most often associated with older individuals who struggle with conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease. When the brain seizes to receive proper blood flow, a stroke can occur. Though less common, children can also suffer from strokes. Both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes are seen in cases with infant children, most often occurring during or shortly after labor. While it is often difficult to identify a fetal stroke’s cause, there may be signs that indicate that the stroke was preventable. It is possible that your infant’s stroke may have been prevented had you and your child received better medical care. 

Causes, Types, and Symptoms of Fetal Strokes

Fetal strokes occur when the infant’s brain is deprived of oxygen. Oxygen deprivation occurs due to clots reducing the flow of oxygenated blood or a hemorrhage disrupting normal blood circulation. Infant strokes tend to occur between the 28th week of pregnancy and one month after the child’s birth. Due to a lack of air in the birth canal, the strokes most often occur during or immediately after the delivery process. 

The most common type of stroke seen among infants is an ischemic stroke. Along with lacking oxygen at birth, other possible causes of an ischemic stroke include a heart defect present at birth, blood disorders, injured arteries, and dehydration. Though it is less common, newborns may also suffer a hemorrhagic stroke. Hemorrhagic strokes are often linked to damaged blood vessels due to head injuries, aneurysms, and blood clotting diseases.

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Rockford Personal Injury LawyerWhen you picture the typical car accident, you may envision a collision between two vehicles. However, there are also many accidents in which a motor vehicle collides with a pedestrian. In Illinois, there were nearly 5,000 pedestrian accidents in 2019, and almost all of them resulted in injury or death.

Unfortunately, pedestrians are relatively defenseless, and their lives can be changed forever when they are struck by a car. However, pedestrians do have the right to use the road and to pursue compensation from negligent drivers who cause their injuries. An attorney can help you demonstrate negligence if you or a loved one has been injured.

Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), serious pedestrian accidents tend to occur more frequently in urban areas and at night. However, these environmental conditions do not absolve a driver of negligence when their actions contribute to a crash.

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Winnebago County Personal Injury LawyerAccidents involving large commercial trucks often result in severe or fatal injuries, usually to people other than the truck driver. In Illinois, nearly 100 people were killed and more than 300 were catastrophically injured by semi-trucks in 2019. In these cases, injury victims and their families need all the help they can get to recover from their substantial losses. Fortunately, it is often possible to pursue compensation from a trucking company in addition to the individual who was operating the truck.

Trucking Companies Are Subject to Federal Regulations

Trucking companies throughout the United States are governed by safety regulations maintained by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Some regulations that often come into play in personal injury cases include:

  • Hours of service - Trucking companies must monitor and limit the hours of service for their drivers on a daily and weekly basis, often managed through regularly updated driving logs. Drivers who exceed their allowed hours of service are at risk of fatigue, which can impair their driving abilities.

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rockford medical malpractice lawyerProviding medical care and treatment to a patient in need is a task that requires not only extensive knowledge and skills, but also attention to detail. Even minor deviations from a patient’s treatment plan can cause serious harm. When those deviations result from negligence on the part of a treatment provider, the patient can claim medical malpractice and pursue damages from the at-fault party. One common form of medical negligence is an error related to the patient’s medication.

Negligent Parties in a Medical Malpractice Claim

Depending on the situation, many different parties may be responsible for ensuring that a patient gets the appropriate medication for their condition. An error by any of these parties could be grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Some potentially negligent parties include:

  • A doctor who prescribes the medication - There are many opportunities for error when writing a prescription. For example, a doctor could prescribe the wrong dosage or the wrong medication altogether, perhaps due to a misdiagnosis or a careless mistake.

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Winnebago County car accident attorney for insurance claimsSerious auto accident cases involve a variety of difficult problems. In addition to the damage done to your car, you may be badly injured. You will almost certainly have to deal with a complex insurance claim.

Nobody wants to handle an insurance claim, but having an experienced attorney on your side can help you navigate your car insurance accident paperwork. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when they are dealing with a car accident insurance claim and how to avoid them:

Not Researching the True Value of Your Car

If your car has been totaled, your insurance company will have to pay you the amount of money your car is worth. However, insurance companies have an interest in paying you as little as possible – meaning they may try to lowball you on the value of your car. You are more likely to get a check for the true value of your car if you do your own research to find out what your car is worth. Then, if your insurance company offers you less than your research indicates you should receive, you can counter their offer with your own.

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Winnebago County car crash injury attorneysIt may seem obvious that you should seek medical attention if you are injured in a car crash, but the reality is that many injury victims choose not to do so in the immediate aftermath. Some are concerned about the costs of their treatment, while others may be unaware of the extent or severity of their injuries. Unfortunately, forgoing medical treatment can have serious repercussions for both the injury victim’s health and their chances of recovering full compensation in a personal injury claim.

Medical Reasons for Seeking Treatment

Regardless of how minor your injuries may seem, it is a good idea to get examined by a doctor who can help you better understand your condition. Some car accident injuries can be difficult to detect, and many have the potential to become more serious over time. For example:

  • What seems like a routine headache could be a sign of a traumatic brain injury like a concussion, which could have lasting physical and mental effects.
  • Pain in the chest or abdomen could be a sign of organ damage or other internal injuries, which if left untreated can lead to infection, excessive blood loss, or impairment of bodily functions.
  • Pain in the neck, back, or limbs could be a sign of soft tissue injuries, herniated disks, or fractured bones. Without the proper treatment and rehabilitation, these injuries could cause ongoing pain and mobility issues.

For any of these types of injuries, early intervention can be crucial to your ability to make a full or substantial recovery.

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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 truck crash lawyersThere are many reasons why a semi-truck driver could lose control of their vehicle and cause an accident. Many of these reasons are related to the driver’s negligence, including in cases involving speeding, distracted driving, driver fatigue, and drunk or impaired driving. However, sometimes the root cause of a truck accident is something that happens before the truck enters the roadway. One common factor in many semi-truck crashes is improper loading of the truck’s cargo.

Cargo Loading and Truck Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces strict regulations for cargo loading and securement in commercial trucks. If these regulations are violated in any way, the risk of an accident tends to increase. Some cargo-related causes of truck accidents include:

  • Overloading - In general, heavier cargo makes it more difficult for a truck to accelerate, decelerate, or change directions. Many states, including Illinois, have a gross weight limit of 80,000 pounds for commercial trucks, and vehicles that exceed these limits can cause accidents due to the difficulty of reacting in time to avoid a collision.
  • Unbalanced loading - States also typically have per-axle weight limits for trucks, in part to ensure that cargo weight is evenly distributed. An unbalanced truck is more likely to roll over, especially when making a turn at higher speeds.
  • Shifting cargo - Cargo that is not firmly secured with the proper equipment can move while the truck is in motion, quickly turning a balanced truck into an unbalanced truck. Sometimes, cargo even falls off of the truck and onto the road, creating an additional accident hazard for nearby vehicles.

Liability in Truck Cargo Accidents

Truck drivers are typically required to thoroughly inspect their cargo to make sure it is safely loaded and secured. If there is evidence that the driver failed to perform the required inspections, they may be considered negligent and liable for damages to accident victims. However, it is common for other parties to share liability in an accident involving improperly loaded cargo. These can include the employees responsible for loading the truck, or the company that employs the driver or loading crew.

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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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Rockford injury lawyersThe majority of car accidents are caused by human error. Taking a turn too fast, running a red light, driving while intoxicated, or texting and driving may all lead to injury-causing crashes. However, not every collision is the result of poor driving. In some cases, a crash is caused or aggravated by defective vehicle components. If you or a loved one were harmed in an auto accident, it is important to understand how vehicle defects may have played a role.

When is a Vehicle or Vehicle Part Considered Defective?

Just like all other consumer products, motor vehicles cannot present unreasonable risks to buyers. If a vehicle or vehicle component is defective and that defect causes an individual to be injured or killed, the party responsible for the defect may be liable for damages.

Vehicle defects typically fall into one of two categories: design defects or manufacturing defects. A design defect occurs when a product was unreasonably unsafe from its inception. Every product in that particular line of products may need to be recalled and fixed or replaced.  A manufacturing defect occurs when a mistake during the manufacturing process causes a vehicle component to function incorrectly or contain unreasonable safety hazards.

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Rockford misdiagnosis attorneysMedical professionals attend years of rigorous schooling before they are licensed to practice medicine. They learn about thousands of medical conditions and the signs and symptoms of those conditions so that they can properly diagnose patients. However, doctors cannot always provide an immediate diagnosis. If a doctor fails to provide a diagnosis or misdiagnoses a patient, is he or she guilty of medical negligence? Does the patient have a right to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit? As with most personal injury matters, the answer depends on a variety of factors.

Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis of an Illness, Disease, or Other Medical Condition  

When we visit a doctor or medical specialist, we expect to receive answers. We need to know what condition is ailing us so that we can get the proper treatment. In many cases, the sooner a patient can start receiving treatment, the greater his or her chance of recovery. This is especially true of illnesses like cancer and heart disease. If a doctor does not diagnose a patient or diagnoses the patient with the wrong condition, that patient will not receive the potentially life-save medical care he or she needs.

Elements of Medical Malpractice

A doctor or other medical worker is not automatically guilty of medical malpractice if he or she fails to diagnose a patient’s condition properly. Malpractice occurs when the following components are present:

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Rockford personal injury lawyersBurns are some of the most agonizing injuries a person can suffer. If you or a loved one were the victim of a serious burn, you know just how awful these injuries can be. Many burn victims require significant medical treatment including surgery such as skin grafts. They may also require hospitalization and weeks or months of recovery. The financial and non-financial expenses associated with a serious burn injury can be staggering. Fortunately, a personal injury claim may be one way to recoup compensation for these and other losses.

Holding the Liable Party Accountable for a Burn Injury

A successful personal injury claim is possible when a party’s carelessness or wrongdoing causes someone else to be injured and sustain damages. Some examples of situations involving burn injuries that may justify a personal injury lawsuit include:

  • The owner of a nightclub fails to provide adequate exit signage causing patrons to suffer avoidable burns during a fire
  • A negligent driver causes a tanker truck accident in which someone is badly burned
  • Manufacturing defects cause a container containing corrosive chemicals to leak onto a worker
  • A property owner fails to install adequate smoke detectors, causing a tenant burns in an apartment fire

A personal injury lawsuit can help you hold a negligent individual or company liable for the party’s role in causing your burn injuries.

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Rockford truck accident lawyerDrowsy driving is a common issue across America. In a society where people want what they want when they want it, trucks - the way most consumer goods are transported across the country - run nonstop, causing many people not to get the sleep they need. Unfortunately, this has shown to be dangerous. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were an estimated 499,000 motor vehicle crashes involving large trucks in 2018, which is the latest information available. Of those, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that there were around 785 fatalities from drowsy truck drivers in 2018. Drowsy driving can be difficult to prove, but an Illinois truck accident injury lawyer can help.

Truck Drivers Must Abide By Rules

Even though you are just sitting in a seat, it can be exhausting to keep your attention on the road for hours at a time. If you drive for too long, it can dull your senses and almost lull you to sleep at times. This is why the FMCSA put rules into place that strictly govern the hours that a truck driver is allowed to drive. If a truck driver is only carrying cargo, they must adhere to rules including:

  • Only driving up to 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty;

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Rockford C-section errors lawyerCesarean sections or “c-sections” are used as an alternative to vaginal birth. Some individuals choose to have a c-section for personal or medical reasons while others are forced to under c-section delivery due to medical complications. Doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals must use extreme caution during a c-section. Any mistake or oversight has the potential to harm the mother or the newborn baby. Sadly, some c-section errors are fatal. If you or a loved one were the victim of a surgical mistake during a c-section, you may be able to hold the surgeon or other at-fault parties accountable through a medical malpractice claim.

Examples of Medical Negligence During a C-Section

Medical negligence occurs when a surgeon or other medical professional fails to act as a reasonably prudent medical professional in the same situation would act. If a medical professional’s negligence causes a patient to be injured or killed, that doctor may be liable for damages.

Some examples of C-section surgical errors that may constitute medical negligence include:

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Winnebago County store injury attorneyThe last thing you probably expect when you visit a grocery store, big-box store, mall, or other retailer is to be injured. Whether you were hurt because of a slip and fall accident, parking lot accident, or another type of incident, you may be left with painful injuries and expensive injury-related costs. You may wonder if you can sue the store for failing to prevent your injuries. The answer depends on the circumstances of your injury and other factors.

Bringing a Premises Liability Claim for an Injury Sustained at a Retail Store

Premises liability is the area of law that deals with the expectations of property owners. In Illinois, store owners are responsible for keeping their properties reasonably hazard-free. A store owner or property owner is not responsible for every injury that occurs on the premises, but they are responsible for injuries caused by negligence. If a store allows a dangerous condition to exist on the property, the store may be liable for injuries caused by that condition.

A store may be liable for injuries caused by:

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Winnebago personal injury lawyersIllinois law allows individuals who are hurt by another party’s negligent or illegal conduct to file a personal injury claim and seek monetary damages. The injured person may be able to collect compensation for the financial and non-financial harm caused by his or her injuries including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is not a requirement for seeking compensation through a personal injury claim. However, successfully recovering damages through an injury claim is a very complicated and legally demanding process. An experienced personal injury attorney is an invaluable resource.  

Investigating Your Accident and Gathering Evidence

There are four basic elements in an injury claim. Proving each of these elements using persuasive arguments and evidence is key to getting the compensation you deserve. The elements include:

  • Duty
  • Breach of duty
  • Injuries
  • Damages

A skilled personal injury attorney who has secured favorable settlements and awards for previous clients will know what is needed to successfully demonstrate each of these elements. Personal injury lawyers are adept at finding evidence and using this evidence to strengthen the case against the defendant. An experienced personal injury attorney will also have access to various experts including accident reconstruction specialists and vocational rehabilitation professionals who can provide compelling testimony to further improve your case. The more evidence you have to support your claim, the more likely you are to successfully recover compensation.  

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Rockford dangerous airbag injury attorneysAirbags represent an extremely important advancement in the field of automotive safety. During an accident, the airbag deploys in less than a second to cushion the passengers and prevent them from hitting their head on the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield. While these devices are estimated to prevent vehicle occupant death by approximately 30 percent, airbags can also cause serious injuries during a crash. If you or a loved one suffered an airbag-related injury in a car accident, you may be entitled to monetary damages.

Injuries Caused by Airbag Deployment

Airbags often prevent much more serious and even life-threatening injuries from occurring during a crash, however, these devices do not prevent injuries entirely. An airbag works by using an ignitor to fill the bag with gas such as argon or nitrogen during a crash. The chemicals contained in an airbag can cause lung problems or burns. The bag may also cause injuries including to the eyes, face, torso, and arms including abrasions, lacerations, and fractures. If you suffered injuries in a car accident because of a functioning airbag, the party responsible for the accident is likely liable for your injuries. The liable party may be another driver, the employer of the driver, a commercial business like a trucking company, or even a government entity.

Injuries Caused by Defective Airbags

Airbags do not always work as intended. The most infamous example of airbag malfunctions is a defect that caused some Takata airbags to explode or underinflate during a collision. Over 400 injuries and 26 deaths have been linked to Takata airbags installed in dozens of different makes and models of passenger vehicles. Airbag defects that can cause injuries include:

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