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Misdiagnosis Is One of the Most Common Forms of Medical Malpractice

Web Admin - Monday, July 16, 2018
Rolling Meadows misdiagnosis injury lawerPeople in the United States have access to the best doctors and medical facilities in the world, and we expect to receive quality medical care when we need it. Unfortunately, mistakes occur all too often, and negligence on the part of doctors, nurses, or other medical staff can result in serious, life-changing injuries. Medical malpractice can take many forms, but misdiagnosis is one of the most common medical mistakes, and also one of the most serious.

The Prevalence of Misdiagnosis

Errors in diagnosis can occur when doctors fail to diagnose a certain condition, make an incorrect diagnosis, or do not correctly diagnose a condition in time to properly treat it. These are the most common type of medical errors which occur in the United States, and they are also likely to result in a patient’s death or disability. In fact, studies have shown that between 80,000 and 160,000 people become permanently disabled every year because of misdiagnosis.

Misdiagnosis can occur for a variety of reasons, including:

- Failure to evaluate a patient - An incorrect diagnosis may result from a doctor failing to complete an appropriate evaluation of the factors affecting a patient’s health, including their family medical history.

- Lab errors - Misdiagnosis may occur due to errors made during testing, such as equipment that was not functioning properly, samples that were contaminated, reports that were mixed up, or a technician that failed to follow the proper testing procedures.

- Misread lab reports - A doctor may make an improper diagnosis if they ordered the wrong tests or misinterpreted the results.

- Overwork - Doctors with heavy workloads are more likely to misdiagnose patients, especially if they do not consult with specialists or other medical professionals when they are uncertain about a diagnosis.


Avoiding Misdiagnosis

Patients should be able to expect that their doctors will complete the proper tests and take all relevant information into account while making a diagnosis, but they can also take steps to educate themselves and avoid the risk of misdiagnosis. It is always a good idea to ask a doctor questions and make sure to understand their diagnosis and the benefits and drawbacks of the suggested treatments or medications. Patients may also choose to seek out a second opinion to make sure their conditions are diagnosed correctly.

While patients can do their best to protect their own health, they should be able to receive medical care without worrying about the possibility of their doctor making mistakes. If you or a family member have suffered an injury that occurred because of misdiagnosis or some other form of medical malpractice, Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help you understand your options for pursuing compensation for your damages. Contact a Crystal Lake personal injury attorney at 847-934-6000 to schedule a personalized consultation.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.



Sources:
http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20180313/NEWS/180319965
http://healthland.time.com/2013/04/24/diagnostic-errors-are-more-common-and-harmful-for-patients/

What is Loss of Consortium in a Medical Malpractice Case?

Web Admin - Friday, November 24, 2017
Illinois medical malpractice lawyersMedical malpractice cases often contain several different types of compensation. Reimbursement for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages are some of the most commonly seen, but there are other, lesser-known types as well. Loss of consortium, a form of compensation that may be sought by a spouse or family member of a medical malpractice victim, is just one example. Learn more about the loss of consortium, including what it is and how you can determine if it may be an element in your family’s medical malpractice case. 

Defining Loss of Consortium 

At its core, loss of consortium pertains to the emotional, financial, and physical losses that spouses and/or family members experience after a medical malpractice injury. It encompasses both death and injury that may leave the victim without the sexual intimacy, emotional or financial support, or companionship that they had previously experienced, and might have otherwise continued to experience, had it not been for the negligence of the physician. 

Potential Complications in Loss of Consortium Cases 

Successfully navigating any medical malpractice case can be difficult, but those involving a loss of consortium can be especially complex. Much of this is due to the ambiguity of such claims (i.e. how do you place a dollar amount on the loss of intimacy or companionship?), but the burden of proof that victims must bear is a major contributing factor as well. Thankfully, victims and their families can ease the claim process and potentially increase their chances of a positive outcome in their case by seeking guidance and assistance from an experienced attorney. 

Are You Owed Compensation for Loss of Consortium? 

Determining if you may be eligible for compensation for a loss of consortium may seem like an easy task, but the families of victims often overlook the ways that an injury or death is and will impact their lives. For example, one may ask for compensation for their financial losses but fail to consider how the loss of companionship is impacting them in their day-to-day life. An attorney can help with this by asking a few simple but important questions. Should you be owed compensation for loss of consortium, they can represent you and your best interests. 

Contact Our Buffalo Grove Medical Malpractice Lawyers 

If you believe that you or your family has experienced a loss of consortium after a medical injury, contact Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC for assistance. Dedicated and experienced, our Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers can examine your case, inform you of your options, and assist you throughout the entire claims process. No matter what the situation, we will aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Schedule your personalized consultation with us to get started. Call 847-934-6000.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Source:

http://www.news18.com/news/india/sc-brings-down-damages-in-road-accident-deaths-says-new-sums-more-reasonable-1565607.html




Study Finds Decline in Successful Medical Malpractice Cases, but Payout Amounts Are Up

Web Admin - Friday, September 08, 2017
Illinois medical malpractice lawyersPursuing a medical malpractice claim is rarely easy. In fact, most are highly complex cases that take months, sometimes years to complete. Even then, there is no guarantee that a payout will occur. In fact, one study recently found that successful medical malpractice cases – or those that result in an award to the victim or their surviving family – are on the decline. However, payout amounts seem to be increasing. Learn more about this trend, including what it could mean for your medical malpractice case.

Rate of Successful Claims Down by Half 

Politicians have been screaming for tort reform – changes to the way that lawsuits are handled – for years. The drop in successful payouts on medical malpractice claims over the last two decades suggests that they have been at least partially successful in their endeavors. In fact, researchers from Harvard Medical School indicate that there are 56 percent fewer malpractice claims today than there were back in the 1992-1998 time-period. 

What does that mean for victims today, and in the future? First, it means that winning a case is becoming more difficult, even for victims that have experienced great harm. Secondly, it means that tort reform advocates are not happy with the already decreased wins for victims. In a time where medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death, it becomes clear that such advocates are not working in the best interest of victims; instead, it appears they would much rather ensure that victims and their families remain hopeless and helpless. 

Payout Amounts Are Increasing 

Although the decrease in successful cases is a discouragement for victims, payout amounts are increasing. With caps being placed on malpractice cases across the country, and more tort reform advocates pushing for additional caps, the increase comes as a welcome surprise for many. It may even encourage severely injured victims to keep moving forward, even if winning seems impossible. Hopefully, those same victims will also take the extra added step of ensuring that they are fully protected during the legal process. 

Contact Our Barrington Medical Malpractice Lawyers 

At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicalla, LLC, we aggressively protect the rights of medical malpractice victims. Understanding to the current plight of your family and dedicated to ensuring you get the most compensation possible, our Barrington medical malpractice lawyers will fight for you. Get the representation and support that you deserve. Call 847-934-6000 and schedule a personalized consultation with us today. 

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/medical-malpractice-lawsuits-fewer-claims-succeed-payouts-rise/

Study Finds Anesthesiologists Are Underreporting Medical Errors

Web Admin - Wednesday, April 05, 2017
Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyersWhen a patient goes in for surgery, they may be filled with anxiety. Often, this fear is caused by the knowledge that they have no control over what is about to happen next. Instead, their fate is in the hands of the surgeon, nurses, and anesthesiologist. What happens when their worst nightmare comes true? Generally, the outcome depends on several factors, including whether or not fault can be determined. Sadly, a new report has indicated that anesthesiologists are underreporting their mistakes, which could leave some victims uncovered for compensable medical malpractice claims. Learn more about this potential risk, and how you may be able to mitigate against it.

Underreporting Among Anesthesiologists

Anesthesiologists are the doctors responsible for keeping patients asleep, without overdosing, while they undergo surgery. Unfortunately, medical errors are all too common for these healthcare professionals. In fact, a recent study found 238 instances of self-reported medical mistakes in 434,554 examined cases (only about 5.5 percent of 1,000 cases), yet other studies have determined that incidents are more in the range of one in 100 cases. In other words, the mistakes are not just frequent, but also grossly underreported.

Compounding Risks for Patients

Grossly underreported errors are not the only issue regarding potential medical malpractice injuries. The fact that patients rarely get a say in who their anesthesiologist will be, and may not even know them by name further compounds the risk. They are unable to screen out possible offenders to improve their safety. Further, if the error is not reported, it could be nearly impossible to pin down to a medication error or even a particular anesthesiologist.

Mitigating Against the Risks

If you have surgery planned and have not yet gone, you may be able to discuss your anesthesia options with your surgeon beforehand. Let them know what your concerns are, and request that you have time to meet with and research the anesthesiologist before your procedure. On the other hand, if surgery has already occurred and you or a loved one has suffered injury or fatality, the only risks you can mitigate against are those that may lead to a lack of compensation. In such situations, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help.

Contact Our Rolling Meadows Medical Malpractice Lawyers

At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we fight for the rights and best interests of medical malpractice victims. Seasoned and aggressive, we pursue the most favorable outcome possible in every case. Learn more about how our Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers can help with your case. Call 847-934-6000 to schedule your initial consultation with us today.


Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Source:

http://www.anesthesiologynews.com/Clinical-Anesthesiology/Article/04-17/Anesthesiologists-Found-Underreporting-Medication-Errors/40902

Study Finds Most Doctors Are Confused by Living Wills

Web Admin - Friday, February 24, 2017

Barrington medical malpractice lawyersLiving wills are, quite literally, a matter of life and death. They are also fairly common documents, which means doctors and surgeons should know how to interpret them. Yet a recent study has determined that, much of the time, they interpret these documents incorrectly. Besides having the wishes expressed in their living will violated, what might this mean for patients and their families? The following explains. 

A Closer Look at the Study

Published in the Journal of Patient Safety, the recent study asked 741 physicians from 13 different hospitals to detail how they would treat nine different patients with varying degrees of cardiopulmonary distress, based on what they understood from the patients’ living wills. They only reached a consensus (defined as agreement of 95 percent or higher) in two out of the nine scenarios. If they viewed a one-minute video that expressed each patient’s wishes, along with reading the living will, they reached a 94 percent agreement on a third patient. 

What was most disturbing about this is that, out of those remaining cases, many doctors got the answer wrong. Some would have given too much treatment to a patient who did not want specific life-saving procedures and practices. Others would have given too little treatment, potentially placing the patient at risk for death when they wanted life-saving practices and procedures. The implications of either are concerning, to say the least. 

What Happens When Doctors Misinterpret Living Wills

Patients who have a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) in place typically have one for a particular reason. Perhaps they simply do not want to risk the chances of being left in a vegetative state, or making their families decide when to pull the plug. Others may have chronic and debilitating conditions that are eroding their health. 

In contrast, patients who want certain life-saving procedures and practices have reasons for wanting to live. Maybe they have children, or are simply okay with certain practices but not others. They can express these specific wishes through their living will. Yet, if they are not interpreted correctly, patients and their families may experience a wrongful death, or a situation where they are revived and forced to live in a way they might not wanted (i.e. being in a comatose state or on life support). Both situations could pave the way for a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

Contact Our Barrington Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you or someone you love has experienced wrongful death or improper treatment, despite having a living will in place, the experienced Barrington medical malpractice attorneys at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can help. Dedicated and experienced, we will fight for the most compensation possible in your case. Learn more by calling 847-934-6000 today.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Source:http://www.philly.com/philly/health/Doctors-are-confused-by-living-wills-study-finds-POLST-UPMC-Temple.html

After Headlines Name Medical Error as the Third Leading Cause of Death, Hospitals Vow to Change – Honest Commitment or Just Empty Promises?

Web Admin - Thursday, August 25, 2016

    Hospitals used to be the place that patients went to be treated. Now it is the place that more than 250,000 people per year never leave. These patients – the ones that never return home – are not victims of circumstance, taken from their families by an injury or illness too severe to treat. Instead, they are the victims of preventable medical error. They die by the very hands that are meant to save them.

    Prevalence of these errors has increased to the point that they are now the third leading cause of death in America. Headlines and news outlets have announced this from the rooftops and all over the internet. In response, hospitals have vowed to change, but are they making a real, honest commitment, or are they simply feeding concerned citizens a bunch of empty promises?

    The History of Preventable Medical Errors

    Back in 1999, the Institute of Medicine published the report, To Err is Human. This ground-breaking and then-controversial study determined that as many as 44,000 patients died each year from medical mistakes. Many hospitals and physicians refuted its accuracy, but they also promised to do better. They reportedly implemented new systems, technology, and control mechanisms to improve patient outcomes. Yet, new evidence suggests that all of their work and efforts (if there were, in fact, any made) have failed miserably. More patients are dying today from their mistakes than they were just a little more than a decade ago, and now we have been given more promises that things will change.

    Talks of Moving to Transparency to Improve Outcomes

    Even most children know that one should own up to their mistakes and apologize when they have done wrong. Unfortunately, hospitals have shied away from this form of human decency. Out of fear of a medical malpractice lawsuit, they have taught physicians to avoid accepting any blame. Some have even attempted to cover up any mistakes that have been made, leaving the families of patients confused, heartbroken, and feeling as though something was “off” about the entire situation. These victims are right, of course, but no one would give them the honest answers that they deserved.

    Studies have indicated that patients are more likely to bring a lawsuit if they feel as though the hospital or the physician are being dishonest or deceptive. Furthermore, many physicians have claimed that they feel uncomfortable and anxious when they are prompted to hide a mistake. This, in turn, has caused hospitals to reconsider how they handle medical errors. Some have even moved to a more transparent stance, being honest and open when a mistake is made. Will more hospitals take that leap? Only time will tell for certain.

    Victim of a Medical Error? Our Crystal Lake Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help

    Patients who are injured or killed because of a medical error have the right to seek compensation for their losses. Unfortunately, the legal process for doing so is highly complex and is full of potential pitfalls. For this reason, victims and their families should always seek assistance from an experienced medical malpractice attorney when filing a malpractice claim.

    At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we have the skills and experience needed to effectively represent you and your loved ones in a medical malpractice claim. Dedicated to your best interests, and in helping you achieve justice, we will aggressively fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Schedule an initial consultation with our Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys today to learn more. Call us at 847-934-6000.

    Ken Apicella

    About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Sources:http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/doctors-and-hospitals-prepare-challenging-talks-surrounding-medical-errors
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/study_suggests_medical_errors_now_third_leading_cause_of_death_in_the_us
http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/1999/To-Err-is-Human/To%20Err%20is%20Human%201999%20%20report%20brief.pdf


Three Common Forms of Medical Malpractice

Web Admin - Friday, May 13, 2016

forms of medical malpractice, Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawyer One very unsettling aspect of going in for any sort of medical or dental care is the fear that in addition to being a patient, you might also become the victim of medical malpractice. 

The doctor, dentist, or other medical professional providing your care could be reckless and act negligently, which can end up causing you serious personal injuries. Any individual who has suffered injuries at the hands of a doctor, other medical professional, or hospital should consult with a medical malpractice attorney about his or her claim. 

Common Medical Malpractice Claims 

Medical malpractice can take a number of different forms, and can cause a variety of different harms to patients. The most common causes of medical malpractice claims arise from errors made during a procedure or negligence on the part of a doctor or care provider. Below are three common forms of medical malpractice of which patients should be aware. 

1. Incorrect, missed, or delayed diagnosis. It is critically important that patients’ conditions are identified early on so that the appropriate treatment can begin straight away. When a doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis, misses a diagnosis, or makes a diagnosis months or years later than he or she should have, the patient is the one who suffers. The condition could progress significantly because the doctor failed to make a timely or accurate diagnosis.  When it comes to incorrect, missed, or delayed diagnosis, a doctor’s negligence can be a basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

2.  Anesthesia errors. One of the most important parts of any sort of operation or procedure is to ensure that a patient is properly anesthetized. Errors in the administration of anesthesia can result in a patient being given too much or too little anesthesia. Either scenario can create serious complications for the patient. The patient could be “out” but still able to feel pain. Or, the patient could be so anesthetized that his or her body spasms and has fits during a procedure, which can cause accidental injuries due to sharp surgical instruments. 

3. Surgical and operational errors. Errors that occur during a procedure can seriously impact a patient. The wrong procedure could be performed on the patient, or could be performed on the incorrect body part (e.g., left knee when the procedure should be conducted on the right). A cut could be too deep, a puncture could impact unintended organs or nerves, or instruments could be left inside a patient at the conclusion of the operation. Errors during surgery are usually the result of negligence on the part of the doctor, dentist, or support staff. 

No patient should ever have to suffer harm at the hands of those that he or she trusts to provide with medical care. Additionally, if patients are injured by their care providers, they are entitled to damages through a medical malpractice claim. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, please feel free to contact one of our experienced Illinois medical malpractice attorneys today. Our firm helps patients in Schaumburg, Des Plaines, Rolling Meadows, Barrington, Arlington Heights, Crystal Lake, Buffalo Grove, Inverness, and Deer Park. Please call 847-934-6000 to speak to a member of our team.

    Ken Apicella

    About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


Source:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/30/diagnostic-errors.aspx

Medication Errors Are a Form of Medical Malpractice

Web Admin - Monday, March 07, 2016

medication errors, medical malpractice, Illinois Medical Malpractice AttorneyWhen a person is injured as the result of being prescribed an incorrect drug, an incorrect dosage of a drug, or is given incorrect instructions for taking a medication by a doctor, health professional or pharmacist, this may constitute medical malpractice. Moreover, when a person is injured due to a medication error, the victim may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the parties that are responsible for causing the medication error. 

Medication errors occur all too frequently and in a various settings. For instance:

- While at the hospital, a nurse may make a mistake and administer the wrong medication to a patient, or may administer a medication via an improper route (i.e., administering a drug intravenously when the drug should only be taken orally);

- A doctor may make a mistake on an individual’s prescription and prescribe a wrong drug with a name similar to the correct drug, or prescribe an incorrect dosage;

- A pharmacist may misread a prescription or may make a mistake when filling the prescription;

- In a nursing home, staff may mix up the medications prescribed to one nursing home resident with the medication prescribed to another nursing home resident; or

- In a nursing home, staff could mistakenly, or purposely, give a resident medication to control the elderly resident’s behavior. 

Several individuals are in a position to cause harm to a victim by mishandling medication. Pharmaceutical malpractice claims can be filed against doctors, medical staff, hospitals and pharmacies.

What Could Go Wrong?

When a doctor or medical professional makes a mistake concerning someone’s medication, the health consequences to the victim could be severe, or even life threatening. 

- Drug interactions: An individual might be prescribed a medication that can react poorly when mixed with certain other drugs. 

- Contraindications: Some drugs can exacerbate medical conditions or can cause serious health problems, leaving a victim injured, disabled, or even dead. 

- Side effects: A victim who is prescribed the wrong drug could suffer unpleasant or injurious side effects from taking a drug that he or she does not need.

- Too much or too little medication: Being prescribed too much or too little of a drug can have serious consequences on a person’s health. With too little medication, the individual may not receive the benefits of the drug that he or she needs. However, too much medication may result in the individual being harmed. Organs, such as the liver, kidneys, and heart can suffer when an individual is given too much of a powerful drug.

Medication Errors Are Often Preventable

Medication errors are often preventable and are typically the result of negligence. Studies conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have determined that most medication errors are the result of:

- Improper communication;

- Misinterpreted handwriting;

- Confusion about the name of a drug;

- Confusion over drug labeling, packaging or directions; and

- Lack of health care provider knowledge about the drug or its proper administration.

If you have suffered harm after being prescribed or administered the wrong drug, please speak with an experienced Illinois medical malpractice attorney today. Our firm serves the communities of the northwest suburbs, including Crystal Lake, Schaumburg, Palatine, Barrington, Long Grove, Arlington Heights, South Barrington, Riverwoods, and Des Plaines. 

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

Source:

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm143553.htm

Basic Overview of Medical Malpractice Claims

Web Admin - Tuesday, January 05, 2016

medical malpractice claims, Illinois personal injury attorneyWhen we are sick or injured, we turn to doctors and other health care professionals for help. Unfortunately, in some cases, mistakes are made that can lead to more harm. When those mistakes rise to the level of negligence, it may be possible for the victim to file a medical malpractice claim against those responsible. 

Making a Claim 

In general, the following must exist for an individual to make a medical malpractice claim: 

1. A doctor-patient relationship;

2. The doctor, hospital, or medical professional acted negligently in diagnosing or treating the patient, which is proven by showing that a competent doctor under the same circumstances would not have caused the harm the patient suffered;

3. The negligence caused the patient’s injury; and

4. The patient suffered specific damages, which may include physical pain, mental suffering, increased medical bills, or the inability to work. 

Under Illinois law, a victim must file a claim within two years of the date he or she became aware of, or should have become aware of, the medical malpractice (this period is known as the statute of limitations). However, a claim cannot be made more than four years after the date of the malpractice, regardless of when the malpractice was discovered. 

If the victim is under 18 years old, the statute of limitations is eight years or when the victim turns 22, whichever occurs first. The statute of limitations is important because after the period to file expires, claims are usually barred. 

Plaintiffs in medical malpractice claims must also file a certificate of merit along with their complaint. Many states require a certificate of merit (or similar document) in an attempt to reduce the number of medical malpractice claims, which are often expensive and time-consuming to complete. A certificate of merit demonstrates that there is some indication of malpractice, which can help ensure that the claim is not frivolous. 

Illinois law requires the plaintiff to declare that one of the following is true: 

- Consultation with a health professional was made and that individual determined in a written report that there is a reasonable and meritorious claim the plaintiff can make;

- Consultation with a health professional was not possible because the statute of limitations was close to expiring (the plaintiff has 90 days from filing the complaint to satisfy the written report requirement); or

- Request was made for the patient’s health care records and the person responsible for presenting them failed to do so within 60 days of receipt of the request (the plaintiff has 90 days from the date of receipt of the records to satisfy the written report requirement). 

It is important to note that if the requirements of the certificate of merit are not met, the statute of limitations continues to run, even if the complaint was properly filed. Help for Victims

If you have been injured and believe it was the result of negligence on the part of a doctor or other health care provider, it may be possible for you to recover a damage award. For more information, please contact an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney today. Our firm provides our services to the communities of Crystal Lake, Schaumburg, Palatine, Des Plaines, Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove, Barrington, Arlington Heights, Inverness, and Deer Park.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars. 

Source:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/073500050K13-212.htm


Recovering for Medical Malpractice

Web Admin - Friday, May 15, 2015

medical malpractice recovery, Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyerUnfortunately, health care professionals sometimes commit mistakes while treating patients. Individuals who sustain injuries as a result of medical malpractice may be able to recover monetary awards for the damage caused. These awards can help victims obtain additional health care required as a result of the malpractice and provide compensation for the suffering the victim endures.

What is Medical Malpractice?

The usual legal theory under which a medical malpractice claim is made is negligence. In general terms, medical malpractice occurs when a patient suffers an injury as a result of a health care professional’s negligent act or omission. Specifically, under a negligence theory, the claimant must prove that the health care professional had a duty of care, that a violation or breach of the applicable standard of care occurred, and that the result of this breach caused compensable injury.

There are numerous ways in which medical malpractice may occur, including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. 1. Failing to diagnose a patient;
  2. 2. Misdiagnosing a patient;
  3. 3. Performing unnecessary surgery;
  4. 4. Committing surgical errors;
  5. 5. Administering improper medication or dosing; or
  6. 6. Prematurely discharging a patient from a medical facility.

Types of Damages Recoverable

It is possible to recover both economic and non-economic damages for medical malpractice. However, under Illinois law, punitive damages are not available. Economic damages include items like medical bills for treatment, wages lost, or the loss of future earning capacity that was caused as a result of the malpractice.

In addition, a victim of medical malpractice can be awarded non-economic damages. This form of damages is more difficult to prove and to value because they are more subjective than economic damages. Though more difficult to demonstrate, non-economic damages can result in larger awards for claimants. Currently, there is no cap on non-economic damage awards in Illinois.

Non-economic damages include the loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, and pain and suffering. Physical pain and suffering involves the actual pain and discomfort that results from the injury. Alternatively, mental pain and suffering relates to any emotions connected with the physical pain or trauma. This may include mental anguish or emotional distress, as well as many other emotions or feelings.

The statute of limitations is another important aspect of medical malpractice claims. Pursuant to Illinois law, a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date the claimant knew or reasonably should have known of the injury, but in no event can a claimant bring an action more than four years after the date on which the alleged act or omission occurred. For a claimant under the age of 18, the limitation period is eight years from the date of the act or omission, with the exception that a claim cannot be filed after the date on which the minor claimant turns 22 years of age.

Contact Our Skilled Attorneys

If you would like more information about medical malpractice claims, speak with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney. At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we proudly provide legal representation for areas such as Crystal Lake, Des Plaines, and Deer Park, among many others.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.


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