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Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyersIdeally, a professional in any industry should do his or her job to the best of his or her ability. When someone is a doctor, surgeon, anesthesiologist, or other medical professional, job performance is a matter of life and death. Even a seemingly simple mistake or oversight can lead to disastrous consequences in the medical field. Some medical mistakes are so grievous that they are called “never events” because they should never happen. If you or a loved one were harmed in a never event, it is important to learn about your legal options. You may be entitled to financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

Examples of Never Events

Medical professionals are human, and like all humans, they can make mistakes. However, when a medical professional makes a serious, avoidable medical mistake, the professional or the facility may be liable for damages. Often, medical malpractice cases involve ambiguous situations in which a medical worker’s actions are questionable but not immediately, obviously negligent. It is only after a detailed investigation that the medical professional’s negligence becomes apparent. A never event is typically much more blatant. Some examples of never events include:

  • Performing surgery on the wrong body part
  • Performing surgery on the wrong patient
  • Leaving a foreign object such as a surgical tool inside the patient’s body
  • Using contaminated drugs or devices
  • Administering the wrong medication or an inaccurate dose of medication
  • Inseminating the wrong egg or using the wrong donor sperm during artificial insemination
  • Allowing a patient’s bed sore to reach a stage 3 or above in severity
  • Physical abuse or sexual assault of a patient

Legal Rights After Being the Victim of a Never Event

Although serious, avoidable medical mistakes should never be made, studies show that these events are more common than one may assume. One study found that over 4,000 never events occur each year in the United States. If you were injured because of a medical mistake or your loved one died because of medical negligence, you may have the right to bring a civil claim against the liable party. You may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, lost income due to missed work, funeral and burial expenses, disability, disfigurement, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damages.

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Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyersThere are a variety of ways that doctors or other medical professionals can make mistakes that affect the health and well-being of their patients. Misdiagnosis is one of the most prevalent forms of medical malpractice, and it can cause patients to suffer serious harm. If a person’s condition is not properly diagnosed, they may not receive the necessary treatment in time to prevent serious risks to their health, or they may receive the wrong type of treatment, which can lead to additional health complications. 

Conditions That Can Lead to Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis can occur for a variety of reasons. Doctors may fail to properly consider a patient’s medical history, they may not spend enough time examining a patient, or they may not give enough weight to the symptoms reported by the patient. In other cases, diagnostic errors, including mistakes at medical labs, failure to order the proper tests, or failure to properly review test results, can lead to an incorrect diagnosis.

Some of the illnesses and ailments that are most commonly misdiagnosed include:

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Arlington Heights pharmacy malpractice attorneysThe majority of U.S. residents take prescription medications from time to time. Unlike over-the-counter medications like aspirin, prescription medication must be prescribed by a physician and are typically dispensed by a pharmacist. The reason many medications are only available through a doctor’s prescription is because the medications have the potential to be abused or cause dangerous side effects. When we take a prescription medication, we trust that the medication will be safe and effective. Unfortunately, harmful medication mistakes happen to countless individuals every year in the United States.

Types of Medication Errors

Medication mistakes often occur due to an oversight or mix-up at a doctor’s office, hospital, or pharmacy at which a prescription is filled. Some of the most common medication mistakes include:

  • Mixing up “sound alike” medications with similar names such as hydroxyzine and hydralazine
  • Administering the wrong type of medication to a patient in a hospital
  • Giving a patient too little or too much medication
  • Skipping doses of medication
  • Prescribing or administering a medication the patient is allergic to
  • Prescribing or administering a medication that negatively interacts with another drug
  • Mixing up patient files
  • Failing to adequately warn patient about drug interactions or side effects
  • Failing to provide adequate instructions regarding how to take the drug
  • Mislabeling medication
  • Incorrectly manufacturing a medication that results in a medication defect

Bringing a Medical Malpractice Claim for Drug Errors

If you or a loved one were the victim of a drug mistake, you may be interested in bringing a legal action against the liable party. The party legally responsible for a drug mistake may be a medical professional such as a physician or a pharmacist, or it may be an organization such as a nursing home, hospital, or drug manufacturer.  To bring a successful medical malpractice claim for a medication error, you and your attorney will need to show that:

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Schaumburg surgical malpractice attorneysMost people are nervous before going into surgery. This is certainly understandable. There are countless things that could go wrong during a surgical procedure, and a successful outcome is never guaranteed. While some negative surgical outcomes are unavoidable, other times, a patient’s injury or death during surgery is the result of medical malpractice. If you or a loved one were the victim of a surgical error, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

Medical Standard of Care

A surgeon, just like other medical professionals, has a duty to provide reasonably skilled medical treatment to the patients in his or her care. A surgeon fails to uphold this crucial duty if he or she provides treatment that violates the medical “standard of care.” The medical standard of care is the type of care that a medical professional of similar training and status would have provided in a comparable situation. In most medical malpractice claims, medical authorities offer expert opinions about whether the physician, surgeon, or other medical professional in question violated the medical standard of care.

Types of Surgical Mistakes That May Lead to Medical Malpractice Claims

Surgeons, like everyone else, may make mistakes from time to time. However, some mistakes are so egregious that they are unforgivable. One of the most disturbing examples of these so-called “never events” occurs when an item used during surgery is left inside of a patient’s body. Other examples of surgical errors that may often lead to medical malpractice claims include:

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Arlington Heights personal injury attorney

One of the most crucial parts of any personal injury lawsuit is proving negligence. In a medical malpractice suit, for example, a patient may only collect damages if the healthcare professional in question was negligent in his or her treatment of the patient. Similarly, a property owner or business owner who invites guests onto his property displays negligence if the building or grounds have obvious dangers that cause a guest or patron to suffer an injury.
When negligence causes an innocent party to experience damages like lost wages at work, expensive medical bills, or ongoing medical expenses, it is only fair that the person who is liable for the damages pays for them. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to collect compensation for damages, but the first step is proving negligence.

Negligence Can Include Actions and Failure to Act

For the purposes of personal injury law, negligence can be defined as the failure to exercise reasonable care and attention toward others in a way that causes them damages. “Reasonable” in this context means that it is what most other people would do in similar circumstances. For example, say a shop owner notices an exposed live wire and does not repair it, but instead continues to allow customers to go near the wire. A patron is then injured after accidentally touching the wire. The shop owner would probably be considered negligent because a reasonable person would not allow unsuspecting customers near such a hazard. In some circumstances, a crime, such as reckless driving, can also constitute negligence because a reasonably careful person would not drive recklessly.

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