Medical errors can leave you with health complications and conditions that require extensive treatment. If you suffered injuries due to an act of negligence or recklessness on the part of a medical professional or health care institution in Oak Lawn, you have the right to pursue compensation. The Oak Lawn medical malpractice lawyers at Briskman Briskman & Greenberg will protect your rights while fighting for a successful outcome in your case.
Medical Care in Oak Lawn
Oak Lawn is located just southwest of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois. The village has several health care facilities, the most well-known of which is Advocate Christ Medical Center. As of 2021, the hospital is the third largest in the state based on bed size. It has 802 beds and provides emergency care to over 105,000 patients per year.
While Advocate Christ Medical Center is home to one of the busiest level-one trauma centers in Illinois, there are concerns about the quality of care it provides. The medical center received a D grade in the Fall 2022 Hospital Safety Grades report released by The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit health care watchdog.
Advocate Christ Medical Center scored 45 out of 100 for safe medication administration, and 56 out of 100 for safe handwashing. According to the Leapfrog report, the hospital performed below average in terms of its ability to keep patients safe from sepsis infections after surgery, death from serious treatable complications, dangerous bed sores, and potentially harmful events following surgery, medical procedures or childbirth.
Leapfrog assigns grades based on more than 30 measures of patient safety. The ratings focus on a hospital’s ability to protect patients from preventable medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections. The report suggested fixes like using prescription barcoding technology and improving communication between medical staff and patients to help reduce medical errors.
How Common are Medical Errors?
A widely cited study by Johns Hopkins University has identified medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the country behind cancer and cardiovascular disease. Medical mistakes account for over 250,000 patient deaths each year.
Subsequent research by the Yale School of Medicine, however, has disputed previous estimates of preventable hospital deaths, claiming they may be as much as two to four times too high. Many medical errors often go unreported, making it difficult to determine how many there are for certain. No matter what the exact number is, the fact remains that medical mistakes pose a real risk of preventable harm to patients.
Medical Malpractice Claims We Handle
Oak Lawn residents trust their health and well-being to medical professionals, expecting them to make accurate diagnoses and provide quality treatment. When they fail in their duty of care to patients, the consequences can be devastating.
Injured patients have the right to pursue compensation when they suffer preventable harm due to medical mistakes. An Oak Lawn medical malpractice lawyer can help you figure out whether you have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a negligent medical professional or health care provider.
At Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, we have experience representing clients in a wide range of medical malpractice cases. Many different acts of negligence qualify as medical malpractice. Some examples include:
- Surgical errors
- Diagnostic mistakes
- Prescription medication errors
- Birth injuries
- Failure to properly disinfect surfaces and equipment
- Incorrect operation of medical devices
Medical errors can generally be classified as errors of omission or errors of commission. The former occurs when medical professionals fail to take required actions, such as delaying diagnosis, not performing critical surgery in time or neglecting to secure a patient properly in a wheelchair. Errors of commission involve taking incorrect actions such as prescribing medications that may cause a patient to suffer an allergic reaction or reading diagnostic test results improperly.
Medical malpractice can be committed by many different types of negligent medical professionals at all levels, including doctors, surgeons, physician assistants, nurses and pharmacists. Hospitals and other health care providers can also be held liable through a medical malpractice lawsuit for failing to meet the accepted standard of care for patients.
A Closer Look at Commonly Reported Medical Errors
Common types of surgical mistakes consist of operating on the wrong body part or failing to protect patients from preventable infections. While lack of proper training can result in surgical errors, even the most skilled and experienced surgeons can make mistakes when they are performing complex procedures.
Most medical malpractice claims in hospitals are linked to surgical mistakes. At least 4,000 surgical errors occur each year nationwide.
Doctors, nurses and pharmacists are responsible for prescribing and administering medications properly. This includes making sure there are no harmful drug interactions and prescribing the correct drugs and dosages. Prescription drugs can result in life-threatening injuries when they are improperly administered.
An estimated 7,000 to 9,000 patients in the United States die each year due to prescription drug errors. Medication errors are not just limited to adults. Up to 30 percent of medication mistakes reported to the U.S. Poison Control Centers involve pediatric patients.
A birth injury occurs when a mother or baby suffers preventable harm. Birth injuries commonly occur during the labor and delivery process. However, inadequate prenatal care for expectant mothers can also lead to birth injuries. For example, failing to monitor a mother for risks related to gestational diabetes or preeclampsia.
Common types of birth injuries include physical trauma to the child or oxygen deprivation during the delivery process. Medical professionals are responsible for ensuring mothers receive proper care, which includes ordering an emergency C-section when necessary and using assistive birthing tools correctly.
Patients trust their doctors to identify serious medical conditions so that they can be treated effectively before it is too late. However, late diagnoses and misdiagnoses cause harm to patients of all ages. A study published in 2022 found that one in 18 patients who visit U.S. emergency rooms each year are misdiagnosed. Around 2.6 million people end up sustaining preventable harm, while another 370,00 patients suffer permanent disabilities or death because of diagnostic errors.
Common diagnostic mistakes include failing to order appropriate tests, interpreting test results incorrectly, not following up with patients, failing to refer them to specialists and ending the diagnostic process too early. Among patients who have experienced medical errors, 59 percent said they received an incorrect diagnosis, delayed diagnosis or no diagnosis at all.
Damages in an Oak Lawn Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Individuals who have been injured due to medical errors have the right to pursue damages for their losses. The compensation awarded depends on the type and severity of injuries as well as the medical professional or institution’s level of negligence.
Economic damages available in an Oak Lawn medical malpractice claim include:
- Past and future medical costs
- Lost earnings
- Decreased earning capacity
- Home modifications to accommodate disabilities
What sets Illinois apart from some other states is that it does not limit the amount of non-economic damages recoverable in a medical malpractice claim. Here are some common types of non-economic damages:
- Emotional anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
Time Limit for Filing an Oak Lawn Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Illinois has statutes of limitations that specify how much time you have to file a personal injury case. Once you realize you have been injured due to a medical error, you typically have two years to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit. Unlike other personal injury claims, the statute of limitations in medical malpractice lawsuits may not start until long after a patient first received the negligent care.
Additionally, the deadline varies depending on the details of the case, such as if a minor was the victim of a medical error. A knowledgeable Oak Lawn medical malpractice attorney can help ensure you take legal action against the negligent hospital or health care provider before the statute of limitations expires.
How a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help
Some medical mistakes can be readily detected, while others may not become apparent until a patient’s condition worsens drastically. Too often, injured patients who suspect an error has occurred have difficulty getting hospitals or doctors to address their concerns. Medical professionals and institutions do not want to admit to being negligent.
A skilled Oak Lawn medical malpractice attorney can gather evidence, uncover the facts and get to the bottom of what happened, as well as who was responsible for your injuries. At Briskman Briskman & Greenberg, we provide quality legal representation to patients injured by negligent medical care. Our clients receive compassionate service combined with decades of experience.
When you entrust us with your medical malpractice case, we will never pressure you to accept a settlement offer that you are not happy with. Your Oak Lawn medical malpractice lawyer will negotiate with the negligent party on your behalf and ensure you fully understand your legal options. We are ready to take your lawsuit to trial to pursue the compensation you deserve when a settlement is not possible.
Contact an Experienced Oak Lawn Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
THERE IS NO FEE UNLESS WE WIN YOUR CASE.
If you or a loved one was injured at the hands of a negligent medical professional, get in touch with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg right away to schedule a free consultation. Our reputable Oak Lawn medical malpractice lawyers are dedicated to making the maximum financial recovery in your case, no matter how complex. We have decades of experience in protecting the rights of injured patients and are not afraid to stand up to even the most powerful medical institutions.
There is no cost to discuss your case with a lawyer. The Briskman Briskman & Greenberg promise guarantees that you will not be required to pay attorney’s fees unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you in your medical malpractice lawsuit. Do not delay in arranging your free initial consultation.