Chicago, Illinois, Medical Malpractice Lawyers
A bad medical outcome is an unfortunate result of receiving medical care. Every patient that receives medical care does so with the intention to get better and heal. When that doesn’t happen patients can rightfully be very frustrated. While a bad medical outcome does not always mean that medical malpractice has occurred it may be worth it to ask the question: “Am I a victim of medical malpractice?” Here at Cirignani Heller & Harman our experienced medical malpractice lawyers can help you answer that question. If you are a victim of medical malpractice we can help you pursue justice and begin to get your life back to normal.
What is Medical Malpractice?
When a patient asks if their outcome can be considered medical malpractice it can set off a long complicated process. There are a few requirements that must be met for a bad outcome from a medical treatment or procedure for it to be considered malpractice. A mistake or error by a doctor or hospital is not enough on its own.
Basic Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim
- An established Doctor-Patient relationship. – A patient needs to establish a physician-patient relationship with the doctor(s) being sued — this means that the doctor needs to accept responsibility for the patient and agree to treat the patient’s condition
- The treatment, procedure, or any element of it fell below the standard of care that should have been expected. – If a patient is merely unhappy with a treatment or results of it that does not mean the doctor is liable for medical malpractice. This is true even if a complication occurred. For medical malpractice to have occurred, the doctor must have been negligent. Negligence means that the doctor performed in a way that is below the standard that any other competent doctor would have performed in a similar situation. This is where medical malpractice cases get complicated. In order to show how a doctor’s care fell short of the standard of care a second doctor or qualified expert must be hired to explain what should have happened.
- The patient has some sort of quantifiable harm as a result of the care received. – If nothing went wrong as a result of the care, a patient can’t sue their doctor. This is true even if what the doctor did is clearly outside of what should have been expected. The harm must be something that is quantifiable because it has to be clear to a jury what is being asked for and why. A victim of medical malpractice will be expected to show one or more of the following:
- Additional medical costs and bills
- Loss of a job or the loss of earning capability
- Physical pain as a result of the injury
- Mental and emotional stress caused by the injury.
- A disability or disabilities
- The harm was caused by the failure to meet the standard of care. – This gets at the root of whether a bad outcome is in fact due to medical malpractice. Medical malpractice cases, for the most part, involve patients that are sick or have some sort of injury. To have a viable case the bad outcome has to be a result of what the doctor did, and not the result of the sickness or injury already sustained. It can be very hard to show this sometimes. This is another reason why medical expertise is required in every medical malpractice case. The expert’s job is to show that it is the error that led to the victim’s worsened condition and make the causal link.
Our Practice Areas:
Mistakes and complications can happen in medical treatment. But when doctors, nurses and other health care professionals fail to adhere to an established standard of care, serious injury, illness or death can be the result. We can represent you or your loved one and seek full and fair compensation for your losses.
Birth injuries we have handled include brain damage, cerebral palsy, fractured bones, Erb’s palsy, skin problems and breathing problems.
When hospitals make mistakes, serious injuries can result. Mistakes include prescription errors, medication errors, failure to diagnose and surgical mistakes.
Medical malpractice involving medication errors can include negligent dosing (overdose/under-dose), wrong drug, dangerous drug interactions, allergic reactions and side effects.
When a physician misdiagnoses an illness, the results can be devastating, especially when a serious illness was missed such as cancer, brain tumors, heart conditions and diabetes.
A stroke can be devastating and includes complications such as paralysis, impaired speech, loss of the use of extremities, cognitive impairment, depression and increased risk for successive strokes.
The negligence of a doctor, nurse or hospital can cause spinal cord injuries. Such negligence can include incorrectly positioning a patient during surgery, failure to monitor spinal cord function during spinal surgery or aortic aneurysm surgery, improper chiropractic spine manipulation, failure to immobilize spine following trauma and failure to recognize spine fracture or dislocation after trauma.
We have handled many brain injury cases due to medical negligence, including surgical errors, anesthesia mistakes, missed brain hemorrhage or inadequate stroke management.
There are many ways medical malpractice can lead to paralysis injuries, including a disease or injury that is ignored or misdiagnosed until it leads to brain or spinal cord damage; surgery on the brain or spine that is done negligently; or post-operative complications that are not recognized and treated promptly.
Anesthesia mistakes can include failure to seek informed consent for anesthesia, failure to make sure the patient is breathing (or otherwise getting enough oxygen) during anesthesia, wrong concentration of a drug and using the wrong amount of a drug is negligent.
Nursing home abuse can include neglect, failure to supervise residents or staff, bedsores, broken bones, malnutrition, dehydration, sexual abuse and physical assault by staff.
If you have lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, we can file a wrongful death action on your loved one’s behalf.