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Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyer for radiologist errorsMagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, computed tomography (CT) tests, and other imaging tests have dramatically improved doctors’ ability to diagnose patients. These tests allow doctors to see inside a patient’s body without the need for invasive surgery. However, when the results from an imagining test are misread, the test can do more harm than good. If you were harmed because a radiologist misinterpreted the result of your imaging test, you may be able to sue for medical malpractice.

Radiologist Mistakes Can Lead to Considerable Patient Harm

Radiologists are highly educated and spend years learning about how to properly interpret the results of an imaging test. However, this does not mean that radiologists are immune to mistakes. Unfortunately, misunderstanding the results of a patient’s imaging test can be disastrous. The patient may not receive a correct diagnosis in time to prevent additional harm or even death. Failure to diagnose cancer is one of the most serious consequences that may result from a radiologist’s mistake. The patient may be left with additional medical bills, lost income from missed work, and other financial losses. He or she may be forced to suffer avoidable, painful symptoms.

When Is a Radiologist or Other Doctor Guilty of Medical Malpractice?

Medical professionals cannot be held to the standard of perfection. To know if a radiologist’s mistake constitutes medical negligence, his or her actions must be compared to the accepted medical standard. In medical malpractice claims, the standard used to establish if a medical professional’s conduct was negligent is the “medical standard of care.” This is usually defined as the quality of care that a reasonably skilled person of similar expertise would have provided in similar circumstances. In most medical malpractice cases, highly experienced medical experts in the same field as the defendant are asked to weigh in regarding the defendant’s actions and whether the defendant met the medical standard of care.

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Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyersCancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Almost everyone has a story of how cancer has touched their lives. Fortunately, medical advances have significantly decreased the rate at which people die of cancer. Cancer can now be detected at an earlier stage and more and more people can get the treatment they need before the disease takes their lives. However, to get the life-saving cancer treatment a patient needs, he or she must first be diagnosed with the disease by a physician. Failing to promptly diagnose cancer can constitute a form of medical malpractice.

Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis of Cancer

Receiving a diagnosis is the first step to stopping the spread of cancer. When a doctor or specialist fails to see the warning signs of cancer and order the appropriate cancer screening tests, a patient may suffer irreparable harm. Sadly, some patients die because a medical professional fails to diagnose cancer.

There are many different ways in which medical negligence can lead to a delayed, misdiagnosis, or missed diagnosis of cancer, including:

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Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyersEmergency room doctors, nurses, and other staff are held to extremely high standards. They are often the first medical professionals that an injured or ill person seeks help from. ER staff have the crucial responsibility of assessing a patient’s condition and determining the next steps. They often deal with immediate, life-threatening medical emergencies. If an ER doctor makes a mistake, it can cost the patient his or her life. If you were injured or a loved one died and you suspect that substandard emergency room treatment was the cause, you may have a valid medical malpractice case.

What Constitutes Substandard Medical Treatment at the ER?

Going to the emergency room does not guarantee a positive outcome. ER doctors and nurses cannot always save a patient or fix their medical issues. However, ER staff are expected to provide medical care that meets the accepted medical standard. In other words, they must provide the level of care that a reasonably competent medical staff of the same profession would have provided in a similar situation. If a doctor fails to provide medical care that meets the accepted medical standard and the patient is harmed or killed as a result, this may be considered medical negligence. If the patient’s injury or death is caused by negligent medical care and the injury or death causes damages, this is medical malpractice.

ER doctors often must make quick decisions with limited information. For example, an ER doctor may not have time to get a full patient history or to order a battery of tests before he or she begins treatment. Because of this, the standard of care that ER doctors must meet may be lower than what would be expected of a primary care physician or another medical professional in a less immediate situation.  

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Palatine birth injury attorneysCerebral palsy is a movement disorder that causes a range of debilitating symptoms. A child with cerebral palsy may suffer from difficulty controlling his or her muscles, vision and hearing problems, difficulty eating and speaking, seizures, and more. About a third of cerebral palsy sufferers also experience intellectual and learning impairments. The causes of cerebral palsy are not fully understood, however, there are cases in which a child’s cerebral palsy is caused by a doctor’s failure to provide competent medical care during pregnancy, labor, or delivery.  

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is most commonly caused by atypical brain development before, during, or shortly after a child’s birth. Many different types of factors can cause a child to develop cerebral palsy, including:

  • Maternal infections
  • Reduced blood to the infant’s brain or fetal stroke
  • Brain bleeds
  • Infant infections
  • Traumatic head injury
  • Lack of oxygen to the brain

Medical Negligence Can Lead to Cerebral Palsy

Medical professionals have a legal obligation to provide medical care that meets the accepted medical standard. If an obstetrician or other medical professional makes a mistake or uses poor judgment and this leads to a patient’s injury or death, the medical professional may be liable for damages.

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Arlington Heights medical malpractice attorneysSurgeons, doctors, and other medical professionals have an incredibly important job. A single mistake can lead to a patient’s severe injury or even the patient’s death. Medical malpractice claims against negligent medical professionals can serve two important purposes: holding the negligent medical professional accountable for the patient’s harm and recovering financial compensation for the patient or the patient’s surviving loved one. To win a medical malpractice claim, medical malpractice lawyers often utilize testimony from expert witnesses.

Demonstrating the Defendant’s Breach of Duty

Medical malpractice may involve failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, medication mistakes, surgical errors, birth injuries, and a range of other issues. However, most medical malpractice claims come down to four main questions:

  • Did a doctor-patient relationship exist?
  • Did the medical professional breach the medical standard of care?
  • Is the patient’s injury or death a result of the breach of care?
  • Did the patient or the patient’s surviving family suffer damages or financial losses due to the injury or death?

The “medical standard of care” is the type of care that a reasonably skilled medical professional in the same field would have provided under similar circumstances. Many medical malpractice claims involve complicated medical issues and medical decision-making that is hard for a lay person to understand. Medical experts are often used to provide insight about whether the defendant’s conduct breached the medical standard of care. For example, an expert in the field of birth injuries may offer his or her opinion about whether an obstetrician should have performed an emergency Cesarean delivery (C-section) or not. The expert may also speak to the cause of the patient’s injury or death and whether the defendant’s actions directly contributed to the injury or death. A medical expert may offer opinions based on his or her own medical experience and knowledge. The expert may also point to industry standards and information in academic publications.

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