As part of the greater Chicagoland area, Orland Park offers easy access to several world-renowned hospitals, as well as other medical offices. Both residents and visitors to Orland Park may rely on these medical providers in times of need.
Orland Park residents who visit doctors and hospitals do so because they need help. They trust that the healthcare providers they see will exercise skill and care to treat their condition without making the situation worse. When providers fail to live up to this trust, serious harm can result.
If you’ve been injured and you suspect medical malpractice is to blame, don’t wait: Talk to an experienced Orland Park medical negligence lawyer immediately. The team at Briskman, Briskman & Greenberg is available to answer your questions and provide insight.
Causes of Medical Malpractice Claims
Medical errors may be the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to a 2016 Johns Hopkins University study. The most common medical errors include:
- Failure to diagnose a medical condition correctly. Failure to diagnose a condition correctly accounts for nearly one-third of all medical malpractice claims. Failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, or delayed diagnosis all pose the risk that a patient will continue to suffer harm.
- Injuries during treatment. About one-third of all medical malpractice claims involve injuries suffered during medical treatment. This category includes surgical errors and other forms of treatment injuries.
- Documentation errors that lead to harm. Missing information or incorrect information in a patient’s chart can result in medical providers giving the wrong treatment, exposing patients to known allergens, or other errors that cause serious harm.
- Medication errors. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that medication errors cause 1.3 million injuries in the US each year and claim nearly 400 lives per year.
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider fails to meet the standard of care in treating a patient, resulting in harm to the patient. While not all medical errors may cause harm or rise to the level of medical malpractice, those that do take a toll on injured patients.
Common Injuries Suffered in Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical negligence can result in a wide range of injuries. The specific type and degree of injury are unique to each individual, their medical situation, and the events they faced.
Missed, delayed, and incorrect diagnoses can lead to many serious injuries. For example:
- A condition that isn’t diagnosed on time may continue to get worse. You may miss your opportunity to treat the condition in its early stages. In some instances, a condition may get so bad that treatment is no longer an option.
- An incorrect diagnosis may lead to treatment for a condition you don’t have. You may suffer ill effects from receiving the wrong treatment. Meanwhile, the condition you do have is not getting treated. In some cases, the treatment for a condition you don’t have conflicts with the condition you do have, making your health worse.
For some patients, an incorrect or delayed diagnosis results in serious injury or death.
Injuries during childbirth are a common focus in medical malpractice claims. Negligence during prenatal care, labor, or delivery can result in harm to the child, parent, or both. For example:
- Permanent brain injuries may occur if the baby doesn’t receive adequate oxygen during delivery. Prolonged delivery, problems with the umbilical cord, and other issues can all cut off the infant’s oxygen supply. Proper monitoring is essential to ensure that medical providers can step in at the first sign of distress.
- Nerve damage may occur if a birthing infant isn’t properly positioned for delivery or if tools like forceps are used incorrectly. While some nerve injuries heal on their own, others are permanent.
- Broken bones can be caused by problems during delivery, such as failing to make sure an infant is positioned so their collarbone can pass through the birth canal.
- Premature birth, which can lead to lifelong health problems, is more likely if medical providers don’t adequately monitor the parent during pregnancy or if they do not record the parent’s health history correctly for future reference.
Birth injuries can result in lifelong disabilities that require lifelong care. Working with an experienced attorney can help you ensure you seek compensation that covers your child’s needs both now and in the future.
Surgery and Anesthesia Errors
Errors in surgery can cause severe injury or even death. For example:
- Surgeons may operate on the wrong body part, damage internal body structures while operating, or leave surgical items inside the patient’s body.
- Post-operative care teams may give the wrong medication, introduce infections by failing to follow sterile procedures, or fail to give the patient the information they need to care for themselves after surgery.
Anesthesia errors can result in brain damage, infections, or even death.
In many medical malpractice cases, an injured person and their attorney rely on the help of expert witnesses to explain the precise connection between the harm the injured person suffered and the negligence that caused that harm. Working with an attorney is the best way to ensure you find the right experts to help you hold any negligent provider accountable.
What to Expect During an Illinois Medical Malpractice Case
All medical malpractice cases in Illinois follow a set of rules and procedures laid out by Illinois courts. These rules and procedures include time limits for medical malpractice claims. They also include rules for calculating your losses as a result of your injuries.
Time Limits for Medical Malpractice in Illinois
Illinois sets time limits on filing a medical malpractice claim after an injury occurs. Generally speaking, an injured person has two years from the date they know or reasonably should have known they were injured by a provider’s negligence. If they do not bring their claim to court within these two years, they cannot bring the claim later.
Two exceptions may affect the total time you have to file a medical malpractice claim, however:
- Delayed discovery. The two-year time limit runs from the date the injured person knew, “or through the use of reasonable diligence should have known,” that they were injured. However, this two-year window isn’t available forever. Illinois law states that medical malpractice claims cannot be brought more than four years after the alleged negligence occurs, no matter when the injured person knew or should have known they were harmed.
- Injuries to minors. If an injured person was under age 18 at the time of their injury, they have eight years to file a medical malpractice claim – but they cannot bring the claim after their 22nd birthday passes.
In addition, Illinois has an “affidavit of merit” requirement. When a medical malpractice claim is filed, the claim must include an affidavit that offers the opinion of a healthcare professional. The affidavit must contain certain elements to be considered valid. An experienced Illinois medical malpractice lawyer can help you ensure you meet the affidavit requirement within the time limits set by law.
Damages in Orland Park Medical Malpractice Claims
Damages are paid in medical malpractice claims to compensate the injured person for the losses they suffered as a result of the malpractice. Damages in medical malpractice claims are typically sorted into two categories.
Economic damages focus on financial losses – money you paid or lost that you wouldn’t have had to pay if you hadn’t been injured. Medical costs, lost wages, mileage to and from appointments, and similar costs all fall under economic damages.
Non-economic damages focus on personal losses. The pain and suffering you endured as a result of medical negligence is one type of non-economic loss. Scarring and disfigurement also fall into this category. If your injuries prevent you from doing things you once enjoyed, your loss of enjoyment of life is also a form of non-economic damages.
Illinois does not limit non-economic damages in medical malpractice claims. The state also allows injured persons to recover both past and future damages in these cases. For instance, if your injuries prevent you from ever working again, you can seek compensation both for the wages you’ve already lost and for the wages you reasonably would have earned if you had never been injured.
Talk to an Experienced Orland Park Injury Attorney Today
Life after a medical malpractice injury can be difficult. You may face endless rounds of doctor’s appointments, each time wondering what can go wrong next. You may be out of work or wondering when you can return to a full-time position. You may worry about how you’ll make ends meet or give your loved ones the care and support they deserve.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. The experienced Orland Park medical malpractice attorneys at Briskman, Briskman & Greenberg are dedicated to helping our clients secure the compensation they deserve. Talk to us today. We’ll answer your questions and help you choose the right steps to protect your legal rights. Call us at 1.877.595.4878 for a free, confidential consultation with one of our attorneys.