At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., our personal injury lawyers represent individuals who were hurt by negligent medical providers in Springfield, Illinois. Through our years of experience, we are comfortable with medical terminology and jargon, and we have made deep connections with medical experts throughout the state.
We have the knowledge, insight, and skills you need to determine if you have a valid medical malpractice claim and to pursue compensation through the Illinois court system. To speak with a Springfield medical malpractice attorney about your circumstances and whether you have a case, reach out to us through our online contact form or call (217) 528-9955 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
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What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional’s breach of duty causes you an injury. All health care and medical professionals are required to uphold a certain duty of care, also called a standard of care, when they work with you.
In Illinois, all professionals’ standards of care are the same. A medical professional “must possess and use the knowledge, skill, and care ordinarily used by a reasonably careful medical professional,” according to Illinois Court Jury Instructions Section 105.
The jury instruction goes on to define medical malpractice as “the failure to do something that a reasonably careful medical professional practicing in the same or similar localities would, or the doing of something that a reasonably careful medical professional would not do” under similar circumstances.
Medical professionals in Illinois owe every one of their patients this duty. When a medical professional fails to abide by this duty and their standard of care falls below what is required, they can cause you harm. It may be a new, unique injury or it may be that your current injury or condition gets worse.
The Difference Between Negligence and Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a form of negligence. When a medical or health care professional in Illinois fails to maintain the required standard of care, this breach is a type of professional negligence. Because of this, you will often see medical malpractice referred to as medical negligence.
What Is Not Medical Malpractice
Not every adverse reaction or side effect of a medical decision is medical malpractice. Doctors are not always right even when they make diagnoses and treatment decisions based on the facts they have. Based on your symptoms, you may have any number of conditions. An incorrect diagnosis or treatment, even when it’s ineffective or causes a negative side effect, is not negligent if it was made within the standard of care.
Also, even if a doctor breaches their duty of care, you will not have a medical malpractice claim unless that breach causes you harm. To file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must be able to prove both a breach and an injury.
To learn more about medical malpractice law in Illinois, contact our Springfield medical malpractice lawyers as soon as you can.
Who Can Be Responsible for Medical Negligence?
All types of health care and medical professionals owe you a duty of care. If they fail to uphold this professional standard of care, they can cause you harm, and you may have the right to bring a medical malpractice claim against them. An example of health care professionals who can face medical negligence cases includes:
- Physician Assistants
- Oral Surgeons
- X-Ray technicians
- Radiology technicians
If you believe one of these medical professionals or another type of professional was negligence and caused you an injury, contact our Springfield medical malpractice attorneys as soon as possible.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we handle all types of medical malpractice cases. We have found that many reasons medical negligence claims arise is due to:
- Emergency Room Mistakes: When you are taken to an ER for emergency medical care, you expect to receive excellent care as quickly as possible. This is a fast-paced environment and physicians, nurses, and assistants need to be able to identify and treat injuries and conditions promptly. Unfortunately, this environment creates a lot of room for mistakes. Inexperienced professionals who are not properly supervised might fail to conduct a certain exam or diagnostic test. A miscommunication or record error could lead to you being forgotten for hours or given a medication you are allergic to. Whatever happened in the ER, if you were injured or your loved one passed away, call Springfield medical negligence lawyers to discuss your options.
- Misdiagnoses/Failure to Diagnose: Physicians should have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform an exam, order diagnostic tests, and provide you with an accurate diagnosis based on the relevant data. If a doctor provides you with a diagnosis that you later learn did not make sense given the information at hand, call us immediately. Similarly, a doctor may have all the information they need to determine what is wrong with you and fail to do so. When your condition worsens because of a doctor’s failure to diagnose, you should speak to an attorney.
- Medication Errors: There are several types of medication and pharmaceutical errors that can cause you harm. Our medical lawyers have handled cases in which a physician prescribes an inappropriate medication or an inappropriate dose, a nurse or physician administers the wrong medication or the correct medication in the wrong form or amount, a nurse or physician administers a drug in the incorrect way, and when a pharmacist provides the incorrect medication or the wrong dose or form of a medication.
- Surgical Errors: Surgical errors often seem like hospital horror stories and myths. Unfortunately, they happen much more often than they should. Surgeons have performed the incorrect procedure or performed the right procedure on the wrong body part. Surgeons also might make serious or deadly mistakes during a procedure. If something went wrong during your surgery, call a Springfield medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
- Pregnancy Complications: During your or your partner’s pregnancy, physicians and nurses should monitor your progress and keep a close eye for signs of fetal or maternal distress. If your physician failed to diagnose a pregnancy complication, which led to a miscarriage, fetal injury, or harm to you or the mother, call us right away.
- Birth Complications & Injuries: While medical care surrounding birth has vastly improved over the years, birth is still a difficult and dangerous process. And unfortunately, in the U.S., the maternal mortality rate is much higher than it should be for a developed nation. If you suffered an avoidable injury during birth, or your spouse passed away because of birth complications, call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. immediately.
Suing for Medical Malpractice in Springfield
After speaking with a Springfield malpractice attorney, you may find that you have a valid medical malpractice claim. If you wish to file a lawsuit and pursue medical negligence compensation, then you need to work with your attorney to gather evidence and complete an Affidavit of Merit.
Illinois law requires that in order for medical negligence cases to move forward, the plaintiff, which is you, must attach an affidavit by a health care professional who can attest to:
- Having knowledge regarding the medical issues in the case;
- Currently practicing or teaching in the area of medicine relevant to your case; and
- Having experience and competence in the matters in your claim.
This affidavit is a written report from the medical expert, and it must include a statement that the medical professional believes there is a reasonable and meritorious cause for the lawsuit.
If you fail to file this affidavit with the complaint or within 90 days of filing the lawsuit, then the defendant can file a motion to dismiss and it will likely be granted by the court.
Medical Malpractice Compensation
When you suffer an injury or loss due to a medical professional’s negligence, you should speak to a Springfield malpractice attorney about your right to pursue compensation. In most cases, your attorney will advise you to file a lawsuit as soon as they have obtained the necessary basic evidence and the medical expert’s affidavit. However, the goal may not be to go to trial. Instead, the goal is often to obtain you full and fair compensation through a medical malpractice settlement.
Whether your attorney’s strategy focuses on a settlement or winning at trial, they will pursue compensation for your:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Reduced Earning Potential
- Loss of Normal Life
If you are filing a wrongful death medical malpractice case, you should speak to a Springfield medical malpractice attorney about how your damages differ from an injury claim. You and your family may pursue compensation for your loved one’s medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and your grief and emotional distress.
Illinois’ Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
Another law you must follow in regard to filing a medical negligence lawsuit is the statute of limitations. In most situations, you must file your lawsuit within 2 years of the date you were injured or the date you knew or should have known through reasonable diligent that you were injured because of the health care professional’s negligence.
Overall, no matter how long it takes you to discover the negligence, you must file a medical malpractice case within 4 years of the date the medical mistake occurred. This is known as a statute of repose.
For injuries to a minor, the deadlines are different. For those who are injured by a medical mistake when they are younger than 18 years, they must bring a claim within 8 years from the date of the mistake and no later than their 22nd birthday.
Contact Our Springfield Medical Malpractice Law Firm
When you believe you have been hurt by a negligent or reckless doctor or another medical professional, the best thing to do is schedule an appointment to talk with our Springfield medical injury attorneys. The only way to determine if you have a valid and strong legal claim against a medical provider, hospital, or other facility is to have an experienced lawyer review your circumstances.
At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we will listen to your story, obtain and scrutinize the evidence, and explain your rights and legal options. If you have a medical malpractice case, we will fight hard for you to receive full and fair compensation for your physical, psychological, and financial injuries.
To schedule your free confidential consultation, call (217) 528-9955 or use our online contact form.
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If you’ve been hurt, it can be hard to know where to start. We begin every case with a free, no-risk evaluation. We’ll discuss your situation, answer your questions, and determine what comes next. Act now and get the recovery you deserve.
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