Many people dread a trip to the doctor's office, even more so a trip to the hospital. For some, there is something terrifying about yielding control of their bodies over to strangers. Hospitals are buildings that deal with life and death and remind us of our mortality. Are these fears unfounded? Most of the time patients find themselves in capable and caring hands. When they do not, the results can be devastating. One Kevin Baldridge, a 64-year-old patient at St. James Hospital in Northern Chicago, sadly found this out firsthand.
Baldridge visited the hospital complaining of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. The doctors and technicians at the hospital performed many tests and CT scans, but failed to notice a significant amount of internal bleeding. These professionals included two radiologists and even a vascular surgeon. The poor man's conditioned worsened. An MRI was ordered but never performed. The doctors' failure to notice this bleeding and their general negligence led to Baldridge suffering an aneurysm. This led to his paralysis and the amputation of several of his toes. Sadly the patient now suffers from chronic and debilitating pain. The hospital and the doctors settled his claim of medical malpractice for $20.6 million dollars. One would venture to guess that Baldridge would be willing to give up every penny of that settlement to be able to move freely without hindrance or pain.
How Medical Malpractice Works
In Illinois, there are many rules surrounding medical malpractice lawsuits. Plaintiffs should be wary; The New England Journal of Medicine warns that up to 78% of all claims do not result in any settlement awards at all. Despite these seemingly steep odds, the laws in Illinois lean toward the patient claimants. The state weighs a patient’s fault against the fault of the medical professionals in any given situation. They will attach fault percentages to the involved parties. In the case of Baldridge, the hospital probably settled for such a large sum as he was most likely 0% at fault for all the wrongs that befell him. Other claimants are not in that situation. Sometimes patients will not follow the doctor's instructions or do other things to increase the likelihood that they will be injured while being treated. In these cases, the courts will attach percentages to how much each party is at fault, and then calculate awards accordingly.
Please Contact Us
If you believe that you have been hurt by your doctor or any medical establishment, please contact us. Our legal professionals are standing by to help, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Even a mild case of medical malpractice can leave your life in ruins. Do not suffer alone. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Hush Naidoo)