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IL injury lawyerMedical malpractice is, unfortunately, not uncommon in the United States. According to leading medical experts, medical errors have become the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., right behind heart disease and cancer. Medical mistakes cause somewhere around 250,000 deaths each year - yet many of them are preventable. Medical malpractice can cause injuries that lead to lifelong disabilities or even death, though malpractice claims can be tricky to prove. Understanding how you must prove the negligence of a doctor is crucial to a successful medical malpractice lawsuit.

Three Elements of Medical Negligence

There are three things that you must prove when it comes to medical negligence in Illinois. First, you must prove that the standard of care that your physician owed to you was violated. Second, you must prove that an injury resulted from that violation, and third, you must prove that your injury had damaging consequences on your health. All three elements must be proven in order for your case to be considered legitimate.

A Violation of the Standard of Care

The first thing you must prove is that your doctor violated a standard of care. There are certain standards that all medical professionals are held to, such as using acceptable medical treatments for certain conditions. If your doctor failed to provide an adequate level of care, you can establish negligence.

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IL injury lawyerYou may be surprised to learn that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. One Johns Hopkins study estimates that 250,000 and 440,000 people pass away every year due to medical mistakes across the country. When you or a loved one has an unexpected medical emergency, you may drive to the emergency room to get the medical care you need. Although the majority of hospital emergency rooms safely provide the life-saving care that patients need without error, emergency room mistakes do happen.

ER Errors Can Be Devastating to the Victim

When someone experiences a drastic change in their health, they might be inclined to go to the emergency room. Because emergency room doctors and other medical staff are often dealing with high-stakes, time-sensitive medical emergencies, they must use extreme caution and focus when attending to patients. Unfortunately, studies show that as many as 5-10 percent of all emergency room visits involve mistakes. Some of these mistakes will not make a notable difference in the patient’s condition, but others can be the difference between whether the patient lives or dies. Some of the most common emergency room mistakes include:

  • Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis, including inappropriate response to signs and symptoms of strokes and heart attacks
  • Medication errors, including overmedicating, under-medicating, or giving patients the wrong medication or dosage
  • Failure to obtain proper patient medical history
  • Misuse of a medical device
  • Misinterpretation of laboratory test results
  • Unhygienic conditions which lead to an infection
  • Failure to provide appropriate medical treatment
  • Administrative mistakes, including confusing patient files and mislabeled test results

Pursuing Compensation for Medical Mistakes

Victims of medical malpractice may be left with significant economic and non-economic damage, including enormous medical bills, a worsened medical condition, and significant pain and suffering. A mistake made in the emergency room could be the difference between recovering from a major health issue and not improving at all.

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rolling meadows medical negligence attorneyIt is not uncommon to develop a strong, trusting relationship with your primary care physician (PCP). Over time, you come to realize that your PCP is someone you rely on to look out for your best interests when it comes to your health. While most PCPs are highly trained, competent medical professionals, some such doctors occasionally make errors that lead to substantial harm for their patients. Such mistakes include failing to diagnose a condition, prescribing the wrong drug, and much more, and they can lead to patient harm that should have been prevented. If you or a member of your family has been hurt by the actions or inaction of a PCP, a qualified medical negligence attorney can assist you in determining the best course of action.

When Is a Mistake Considered to be Negligence?

To become a doctor, an individual is required to successfully complete many years of education after high school, including a significant period of training on-the-job. That being said, physicians are still human, and they make mistakes from time to time. Some mistakes are essentially harmless, but others can lead to serious patient injuries or even death. When a doctor’s error causes a patient to experience new or worsening medical problems, the situation could be considered to be medical negligence.

In general, a physician is considered to have been negligent if he or she failed to adhere to the prevailing standard of care for his or her particular area of practice. The prevailing standard of care refers to the level of care that a reasonable and competent doctor with similar education and experience would provide under circumstances similar to the situation in question.

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shutterstock_1775672729.jpgSurgery, in general, is risky but having a competent surgeon and anesthesiologist should never be a concern for a patient. Unfortunately, there are examples of patients being injured because of an anesthesiologist’s medical negligence. The patient is the victim in these instances and the anesthesiologist could be held liable for any injuries or illnesses resulting from anesthesia error.

Different Forms of Anesthesia

Each type of anesthesia is designed to help keep you comfortable and pain-free while being operated on. Depending on the severity of your surgery, there are different types and levels of anesthesia that would be administered, including:

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arlington heights medical malpractice attorneysPatients who undergo surgical procedures expect medical professionals to follow the proper procedures and take all necessary steps to protect their health and safety. Surgeons must receive extensive education and training to ensure that they can perform procedures correctly, and all medical personnel who are involved in surgery are required to follow standardized practices to protect against infections or other issues that could harm a patient. Unfortunately, surgical errors sometimes occur, and patients who are injured because of medical malpractice may be able to receive financial compensation that will address the ways they have been affected by the negligence of medical professionals.

Forms of Negligence That Can Lead to Surgical Errors and Patient Injuries

Medical malpractice involves any situations where doctors, surgeons, hospital personnel, or other medical providers deviate from the accepted standard of care and cause patients to suffer harm. Since surgical procedures can be invasive, patients may be seriously injured due to malpractice. Many of the most common surgical errors involve procedures that are performed incorrectly. These issues may include:

  • Wrong side errors - A surgical procedure may be performed on the wrong side of the body. Examples of these errors include orthopedic surgery performed on the wrong knee or the removal of the wrong ovary. These errors may occur if personnel do not properly prepare for surgery and mark the side of the body where a procedure should be performed. 

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