If you or a loved one has been harmed by medical negligence, it is important to know your legal rights. At Cirignani Heller & Harman, LLP, our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers have extensive experience handling medical malpractice claims for Illinois clients throughout Chicago and the surrounding region. We hope you find the information presented on this Web site helpful as you explore your legal options.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Mistakes and complications are common in medical treatment. But when doctors, nurses and other health care professionals fail to adhere to an established standard of care and that leads to injury, illness or death, it is a case of medical malpractice. Malpractice can take place at almost any stage of medical treatment — from the examination room, to the delivery room to the operating table. Individual healthcare professionals can be found negligent, as well as hospitals themselves.
Here are the basic elements that indicate medical malpractice has occurred:
- The standard of care was broken– Was the standard of care breached? A better way to say that is: Were the rules for how a doctor should treat you as a patient broken? This can be a difficult part of the case. It takes medical expertise to determine what standard of care applied to your care, and how the health care provider fell short of that standard. This is also one of the big reasons medical malpractice lawsuits are expensive. The law requires that expert medical witnesses testify in these cases and hiring those experts costs a lot of money.
- Was the injury caused by error– This means a doctor-patient relationship can be established. It also requires that care provided by the doctor and/or hospital fell below the standard of care that should have been expected. Finally and most importantly the failure to meet the standard of care must have resulted in or caused your injury.
- Are there significant damages – There must be some form of significant and quantifiable damage to the victim. It varies from state to state as to how an attorney can assess the damages. A good rule of thumb however is that the damages need to be $250,000 or more. This is calculated by considering things like potential lost wages, new medical costs incurred by the injury, or costs to adapt to the injury if it is irreversible. If the damages are small the cost of pursuing the claim will be more than the cost of the eventual recovery.
How Can Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim Help Me?
Victims of medical malpractice have important rights. If you have been hurt due to negligent medical care, you may pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses. If you have lost a loved one due to a fatal medical error, you and your family have the right to file a wrongful death claim to obtain financial compensation for your losses. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Chicago can help you understand your rights and fight for them within the legal system.
Medical Malpractice 101
Why Should I Choose Your Firm?
Medical malpractice cases are very complex and require the attention of experienced, knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyers. Our firm is focused exclusively on medical malpractice law. Two of our attorneys are physicians, and another of our lawyers is a board-certified respiratory therapist. This experience gives us a valuable perspective when handling complex cases such as failure to diagnose cancer and medication errors. Our medical malpractice lawyers keep small case loads, allowing us to devote appropriate time and attention to your legal needs. We are experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorneys, allowing us to pursue monetary compensation for the hardships our clients have suffered.