Medical Malpractice FAQs – Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney
Because every case is different, you should always consult an experienced and skilled Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer for legal and practical advice on these issues.
Below is general information based upon our experience and Illinois law. The trial lawyers at Willens Law Offices aggressively fight for the compensation that medical malpractice victims and their families need and deserve.
- What is medical malpractice?
- How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?
- What should I do if I suspect that malpractice has occurred?
- If I have been injured during a medical procedure, do I have a medical malpractice case?
- Is there a statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit?
- How do I get a copy of my medical records?
- What type of money can I expect to receive if I have been a victim of medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice, sometimes referred to as medical negligence, occurs when doctors, nurses, hospitals or other health care providers cause injury or death to a patient by failing to meet the accepted “standard of care.” “Standard of care” refers to how similarly qualified health professionals would have handled the patient’s care under the same or similar circumstances.
General Types of Medical Malpractice Cases include, but are not limited to:
- Birth injuries
- Wrongful death
- Missed/Incorrect diagnosis
- Improper treatment
- Delay in treatment
- Lack of informed consent
- Emergency room errors
- Surgical errors
- Medication errors
- Dental malpractice
- Nursing home malpractice
If you or a loved one has suffered from a medical error, a medical malpractice attorney can help review your medical records, explain the legal process, and advise whether it would be legally prudent and economically wise to pursue your case.
Medical malpractice cases are generally very complicated to prove and expensive to pursue. The medical profession realizes this and therefore health care professionals don’t address questions from a patient or the patient’s family about what went wrong with a procedure, medication or diagnosis. Perhaps they figure that victims of medical malpractice will just “walk away” from the situation. A skilled medical malpractice lawyer is one of the best ways to get the answers you deserve.
The beginning point is to have a free, no obligation, confidential consultation with a skilled medical malpractice lawyer. If your case sounds like it has merit, the severity of the injury is considered. Then, all medical records must be reviewed, witnesses must be interviewed and healthcare professionals consulted. Because medical malpractice claims are usually complex, you should consult an experienced medical malpractice lawyer attorney to determine whether your specific situation merits legal action.
First, consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can help explain if your case may have legal merit. If so, your medical records will need to be reviewed. Therefore, it is important to obtain the complete medical records so that they can be reviewed by a medical expert.
If the treatment is ongoing, as often is the case, consider requesting a transfer to another medical institution or health care professional to obtain quality medical treatment. Avoid negative statements to the health care providers. Lastly, document everything.
Not necessarily – medicine is not an exact science, and medical professionals often make mistakes that are not against the law. Medical professionals must follow the proper “standard of care.” “Standard of care” refers to how similarly qualified health professionals would have handled the patient’s care under the same or similar circumstances. Also, unless a medical professional’s violation of the “standard of care” has caused injury, a medical malpractice suit would have no legal merit.
The statute of limitations for a medical malpractice case can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. Failure to file suit within certain time limits would likely result in loss of your ability to sue forever. Therefore, if you suspect you or a loved one has a viable medical malpractice case, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer without delay in order to protect your rights.
Typically you just need to submit a written request to the medical facility where you received treatment. This request will include information such as your name, your date of birth and any applicable patient numbers. Start by contacting the medical institution and asking if they have a request form and to whose attention you should send the completed request. There is often a handling and per-page copy charge for your records.
Monetary damages in medical malpractice cases vary greatly depending on the individual, the injury and circumstances. Compensation may cover the following:
- Past medical costs
- Future medical costs
- Lost Wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and Suffering
- Disability/Loss of a Normal Life
There are many factors that affect a compensation amount – an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to and help protect your interests in a malpractice claim.