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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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Rolling Meadows wrongful death lawyersThe death of a child is one of the most heartbreaking experiences a person can possibly endure. Losing a baby is devastating regardless of the reason, but when an infant’s death is caused by medical negligence, the loss can be even more painful. Medical malpractice actions are civil claims used to hold negligent medical professionals and facilities accountable when substandard care leads to a patient’s injury or death. A medical malpractice claim may also help the family of a deceased patient recover financial compensation for damages.

Determining the Reason for the Infant’s Death

If your baby passed away shortly before, during, or soon after his or her birth, you are probably desperate for answers. You want to know if the tragic death was avoidable. If the death was preventable, you want the responsible parties held responsible for the needless tragedy. It is estimated that over 7,000 infants die each year in the United States. Some of these deaths are unavoidable while others are caused by medical negligence. Infant wrongful death may be caused by a number of medical mistakes including:

  • Failure to properly monitor the infant for signs of distress
  • Improper use of assistive tools such as forceps and vacuum extractors
  • Failure to perform a C-section or delayed C-section
  • Surgical mistakes during a C-section
  • Unaddressed umbilical cord issues
  • Medication errors
  • Inadequate prenatal care and screening
  • Failure to properly account for maternal risk factors such as gestational diabetes or obesity

Violating the Medical Standard of Care

The four main components to any personal injury claim are duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Medical professionals are expected to provide medical care that meets the accepted “medical standard of care.” This is the type of care that a medical professional of the same background and education would have provided in a similar situation. A medical malpractice attorney can investigate the circumstances of your infant’s death and determine if medical negligence caused or contributed to your tragic loss. Medical experts may provide insight about whether the actions that doctors and other medical staff took meet the accepted medical standard of care.

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