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Rolling Meadows personal injury attorneysThe snow finally seems to be relenting in Northern Illinois, which means that more and more people will be out riding their bicycles. Riding a bike is a healthy and cost-effective mode of transportation but it can also leave bicyclists vulnerable to dangerous collisions. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bicycle accident, you could be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim. However, issues like shared fault can complicate the process of getting the compensation you need and deserve.

An Injured Bicyclist May Be Considered Partly at Fault

When a bicyclist is hurt in a car accident, he or she may bring a personal injury claim against the driver’s insurance company. If the insurance company does not offer a reasonable payout, the bicyclist may file a personal injury lawsuit. The burden of proof in a personal injury case is on the plaintiff. This means that it is up to you to prove that the other driver’s negligence or carelessness caused your injuries.

If you were struck by a motor vehicle while riding your bicycle, you might assume that the driver is automatically at fault. After all, vehicle occupants are rarely the ones that are seriously injured after a bicycle collision while bicyclists are often left with severe and even life-threatening injuries. However, it is possible that you will be considered partially at fault for your bicycle accident.

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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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Arlington Heights medical malpractice attorneysWhile most surgical procedures are completed successfully, patient death during surgery is not unheard of. There is always a small chance that a patient will not survive a surgical procedure. Problems with anesthesia, the medication used to “put a patient under,” is one reason that some patients die on the operating table. It is estimated that about 1-4 of every 10,000 surgeries involving anesthesia results in the patient’s death. Sometimes, an anesthesia-related death is unavoidable. Other times, the patient’s death is caused by the negligent actions of an anesthesiologist, nurse anesthetist, or other medical professional.

Types of Anesthesia Errors That Could Lead to a Patient’s Death

If your loved one passed away during a surgical procedure, you are probably desperate for answers. You may be unsure if your loved one’s death was caused by a medical mistake. Anesthesia errors that may result in patient injury or death include:

  • Inaccurate dosage of anesthesia medication
  • Mistakes made during patient intubation
  • Administration of the wrong type of anesthesia medication
  • Administration of a medication that the patient is allergic to
  • Failure to recognize adverse drug interactions
  • Insufficient monitoring of the patient during the surgical procedure
  • Use of defective medication or defective medical equipment
  • Poor equipment maintenance
  • Use of improper anesthesia or surgical techniques

A Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Investigate the Cause of Your Loved One’s Death

Since a patient’s family is not in the operating room during a surgical procedure, it can be nearly impossible to know what happened during your loved one’s surgery. A medical malpractice lawyer with experience handling cases involving anesthesiologist errors may be able to determine if negligent medical care led to your loved one’s death. Medical malpractice lawyers typically work with medical experts and other specialists to understand if an anesthesiologist’s actions failed to meet the accepted medical standard of care.

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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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