There are a number of medical centers and hospitals in and around Joliet. If you’re a local, you’re probably most familiar with AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center Joliet. Silver Cross Hospital and Edward Hospital are also nearby. Whether you’re heading to the doctor for an annual checkup or you’re seeking emergency medical care for an accident, you put your trust in those facilities that they will provide you with the appropriate care. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
In the event you’ve been injured by a doctor or hospital, a Joliet medical malpractice lawyer from Schweickert Ganassin Krzak Rundio, LLP is here for you. We represent victims of physician negligence, and we’re prepared to help you through the personal injury claim process to seek compensation for your losses.
Identifying Medical Malpractice in Joliet
It’s often challenging to determine if and when a doctor has made an error. In many cases, patients don’t realize they’ve been harmed until after they’ve left the hospital. At that point, they may be uncertain where to turn. Fortunately, medical malpractice law exists to hold negligent physicians accountable for their actions and help victims recover as much as possible from their injuries and losses.
If you choose to file a med mal claim, it will be based on the incident that resulted in your injury. While a patient can be injured in any medical situation when a doctor isn’t doing what they are supposed to be doing, some of the most common medical malpractice mistakes include the following:
- Birth Injuries. The last thing expecting parents should have to worry about is their doctor making an error that harms the baby or mother. Unfortunately, medical malpractice can happen at any stage of pregnancy, during labor and delivery, or after childbirth. Birth injuries often result in the need for lifelong medical care.
- Surgical Errors. Surgical errors have the potential to significantly impact a patient’s quality of life. Common examples include performing the incorrect procedure, damaging organs, nerves, or tissues during surgery, leaving surgical tools inside a patient’s body, administering anesthesia incorrectly, or providing inadequate care after a surgery is complete. In some instances, it can take years for a patient to realize a surgeon made a mistake.
- Medication Mistakes. While medications have the potential to help patients, they can do considerable harm when prescribed or administered improperly. Prior to prescribing a medication, the doctor needs to ensure the patient is not allergic to it and that there will be no interactions or contraindications with other medicines. If they fail to check, the patient could suffer a serious adverse reaction and injuries.
- Diagnostic Errors. When a doctor fails to recognize the signs or symptoms of a certain condition, they are at risk of misdiagnosing their patient. This is considered malpractice because it prevents the patient from receiving the medical attention they need. There are also instances where doctors make an incorrect diagnosis initially, but the patient receives a different, accurate diagnosis later. As a result, the patient may experience a longer recovery or have to deal with life-altering consequences that could have been prevented with the proper diagnosis.
- Dangerous Devices. When a medical device does not work as promised and injures a patient, they may have a right to pursue a claim against the negligent manufacturer. The company can be held liable in the event they knew or should have known about the dangerous defect.
While the types of medical malpractice above are the most common, that is not where the list ends. If you think you’ve been harmed by a doctor or other medical professional, get in touch with a Joliet attorney. They’ll be able to evaluate your situation and determine if filing a claim is right for you.
Medical Malpractice and the Standard of Care
The majority of medical malpractice cases hinge on whether the doctor or facility was negligent. Negligence, in these cases, is based on the concept of a breach of the medical standard of care. In order to file a successful claim, you have to understand the standard of care and how your doctor’s actions breached it. There also has to be a relationship between the breach of the standard of care and the injuries sustained.
The medical standard of care is typically defined as the level and type of care a reasonable and skilled health care professional would have provided under the circumstances that led to the malpractice. The hypothetical doctor has to have a similar background and exist within the same medical community. Essentially, this means that a similarly skilled doctor would have to have acted in a similar manner as the doctor in question for the standard of care to not have been breached.
To establish the standard of care for any given medical malpractice claim, your lawyer will likely need to consult with a qualified medical expert who agrees to provide testimony on your behalf. They will explain what actions could have been deemed appropriate in your situation and how the doctor’s deviation contributed to your injury. In Illinois, plaintiffs have to attach an affidavit of merit to their claim that contains the information from the medical expert, including the fact that they have reviewed the medical records and that they believe that a meritorious claim for medical malpractice exists.
Building a Claim Against a Negligent Physician or Hospital
Building a strong medical malpractice claim takes time, dedication, and perseverance. When you work with a medical malpractice attorney, they will ensure your claim gives you the best chances of recovering the compensation you’re owed.
In addition to establishing the standard of care was breached, you also have to prove that the breach directly ties into your injuries and losses. Depending on how the breach occurred, this can be challenging. Your lawyer will use your medical records and the expert’s opinion to prove your losses and value of your claim.
It’s important to note that out-of-court settlements are possible for medical malpractice cases. This means that your lawyer and the hospital or doctor’s legal representation are able to reach a settlement agreement. In medical malpractice cases, that is typically the exception and not the rule. In most cases a lawsuit needs to be filed, and litigation must move forward to trial where a jury will ultimately decide the merits of the claim.
Take Legal Action With Schweickert Ganassin Krzak Rundio, LLP
It’s normal to experience an array of emotions after learning you’ve been injured because of a medical professional or facility’s mistakes. Not only will you likely have to deal with additional medical bills, but you could be looking at an extensive recovery and potentially additional procedures. If you believe your doctor breached the standard of care and harmed you, a Joliet medical malpractice lawyer can help.
Our law firm is dedicated to helping medical malpractice victims and their families recover. We believe negligent doctors and hospitals should be held accountable for their actions, so future patients do not wrongfully suffer and so you receive the compensation you need to get your life back in order as much as possible.
If you believe you have a claim, get in touch with us as soon as possible. Medical malpractice law is one of the most complex areas of personal injury law, so filing a claim is likely to take time. Your Joliet lawyer will guide you through the process and ensure you understand your legal rights and options every step of the way. To learn more about the claims process or to get started, contact our office today for a free, no obligation consultation.