Elgin Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in America today. You deserve justice for what happened to you and your family. We can help you get that.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys serve as legal advocates to injured victims harmed through negligence and medical malpractice. If you or a loved one has been injured by negligence or malpractice, it's important to know your rights.
Contact our Elgin personal injury attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Medical professionals and hospital staff members don't always take the preventive measures required to ensure the safety of their patients. When medical errors or reckless behavior results in personal injury, you may be entitled to collect compensation so that you can afford the medical care necessary to recover.
Elgin Population Served by Limited Number of Hospitals
Elgin is the eighth-largest city in Illinois, with over 111,000 people, and its residents are served by only three area hospitals, which must also serve the population of Elgin's neighbors.
The overcrowding of hospitals presents the challenge of prioritizing patients by needs, and the hospital staff often rush to move people in and out without always making sure they are ready to be discharged.
Substandard care can result in medical errors and failure to provide adequate treatment to address the patients' conditions or injuries upon arrival.
What is Medical Malpractice? Holding a Medical Professional Accountable!
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), medical malpractice is a legal term that identifies mistakes and errors made by healthcare professionals. They can occur at any time during patient care, and these mistakes, if not corrected, could result in serious harm or even death to the patient.
These errors are considered medical malpractice and ultimately result in a lawsuit against the healthcare professional and health care facility responsible.
According to the National Academies of Science: Institute of Medicine (IOM), 98,000 people die from medical errors each year. This number accounts for a fifth of all deaths in the United States and around 400,000 injuries caused by a medication error alone.
Around 12,000 of those deaths result from a wrong diagnosis or treatment plan made by a healthcare professional. And although these errors can easily be interpreted as a mistake, they can also be considered medical malpractice under the right conditions.
Probable Indicators of Medical Malpractice
According to the National Institute of Health, probable indicators that medical malpractice or negligence has caused the patient harm typically involves:
- Surgery performed on the wrong body part
- Surgery performed on the wrong patient
- Failure to diagnose a patient correctly
- Administering the incorrect drug
- A diagnosis that is completely wrong regarding a patient's condition
- Failure to provide a patient with medical treatment or procedure, such as:
- Surgical procedure like a Cesarean section or an appendectomy
- Immunization against infectious disease
- Dental procedure
- Treatment for mental illness, such as antipsychotic medication
- Mixing up medical records of two different patients and treating them accordingly
If a patient contracts an infection, experiences a medical error or incident, or is misdiagnosed and then dies due to the error or incident, the patient or patient's surviving family members may have a legal, medical malpractice claim against that medical professional or health care facility.
Medical Malpractice and Hospital Negligence
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), hospital negligence is prevalent in America, where doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers cause preventable patient injury, suffering, and death through negligence.
In a recent report on the top ten health risks Americans face every day, it is indicated that hospital negligence was number six on the list. Additionally, it's been reported that as many as one in ten patients have some form of medical malpractice or negligence occur while receiving care at a hospital.
Types of Hospital Negligence That Can Result in Death Or Injury
There are three forms of hospital negligence: errors in treatment, judgment and clinical procedures, and mistakes during surgery. All three types can result in severe patient harm or even death. Some examples of this include:
- Surgical errors: A surgical tool being left inside a patient after surgery resulting in significant infection and severe discomfort to the patient
- Drug-Related Preventable Death: An incorrect dosage of medication being administered resulting in death to the patient
- Failure to diagnose: A patient with a serious illness or ailment
- Failing to obtain informed consent: A doctor not informing a patient about their condition and treatment options, instead choosing to treat the patient opaquely and withholding information from them so that the patient can’t offer an opinion on what kind of care they would like
- Identifying the wrong type of infection: when diagnosing a patient, which results in incorrect treatment and, subsequently, death due to severe infection that was never properly treated
Determining Who is at Fault for a Patient's Injuries
So, who is responsible for your injuries, or a loved one's death? That would depend on the facts and details surrounding the injury and death.
Was it an error in judgment made by a doctor? A nurse? A technician? An administrator? Did the patient suffer immediate injury or harm, or could it have been prevented with an earlier diagnosis or treatment plan?
If it could be proven that a medical provider's error resulted in injury, the patient would likely choose to pursue damages against them. And because surviving family members bring wrongful death claims, they may choose to file a claim against the medical provider(s) responsible for the death of their loved one.
When, however, such evidence cannot be proven, such as when a patient dies from an undiagnosed or misdiagnosed chronic disease (which is not always preventable), it is less likely they would receive compensation for their injuries/death.
Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death Claims
The "standard" element in a case of medical malpractice is negligence, which refers to how the patient was treated by their healthcare provider(s).
When establishing negligence, certain elements must be proven, including:
- First, the defendant (the person being sued) must protect the patient from injury or harm. In some cases, this duty does not always exist with some medical professionals.
For instance, if a surgeon was understaffed or short-staffed on the night of your surgery, they may have no obligation to you beyond ensuring you are properly anesthetized for them to perform the surgery. But if their lack of staffing were the cause of your surgery-related injuries, you would likely have a case against them.
- Second, it must be proven that the defendant breached their duty and failed to adhere to an acceptable standard of care while treating/diagnosing/monitoring you. Finally, if negligence is found, it must also be determined that such negligence was the proximate cause of your injuries.
If it were found that negligence was not the cause of such injuries, then you would likely not have a case; however, this is where avoidable death claims come into play.
Should your loved one die because of their treatments or lack thereof (i.e., missed diagnosis/wrong diagnosis/misdiagnosis), the surviving family members may choose to file a preventable death claim against that entity. Such personal injury claims are brought under two theories: negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Negligent infliction is when it can be proven that negligence on the defendant's part was directly responsible for harm/injury or death. Intentional infliction is when the defendant's actions were deemed deliberate, withholding treatment or providing inadequate/incompetent treatment to cause harm deliberately.
Statute of Limitations
When it comes to filing a wrongful death claim or medical malpractice claim, there is a delicate balance between the frustration of not being able to sue and the statute of limitations (SOL).
The statute of limitations restricts how much time you have to file a claim after your injury or the death of your loved one. In general, wrongful death claims can be brought within two years, while medical malpractice claims can be brought within one year.
If the statute of limitations expires, you are barred from filing a claim even if there was medical negligence involved in the injury or death of your loved one.
Most states have exceptions to these rules. For instance, in some states, an extension may be granted when the victim is a minor at the time of death/injury. Other states provide extensions if the victim was pregnant at injury or death time, or even if they are found to have been fraudulently concealed by the defendant.
There are often questions as to what constitutes "harm" in these types of cases. However, if you are wondering, courts have held that any harm will suffice, from strict liability for defective products to actual/physical injury.
How Much Compensation Can Patients Receive from a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Because medical malpractice cases can be complex and vary between states, there is no "set" dollar amount typically awarded in a case. The amount also depends on the evidence presented and if it can be proven that a healthcare provider was at fault for the patient's injuries or death.
A party can seek economic and non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. However, economic damages are much easier to prove, whereas non-economic damages are more difficult to assess.
Economic damages include past and future medical bills, past and future lost earnings/wages, court costs, etc. At the same time, non-economic losses will typically fall under avoidable death claims and may include the loss of companionship, pain, suffering, etc.
In cases where a patient dies due to medical malpractice, damages sought are often much more significant because of the loss of future earnings/wages and medical bills. However, it is difficult to get an exact amount of damages because it can be challenging to prove that the medical professional was responsible for your losses.
Do I Need an Elgin Medical Malpractice Lawyer for Assistance with a Compensation Claim?
Medical malpractice is a serious matter, and it requires an experienced lawyer who can evaluate your case based on the evidence presented and state laws. Therefore, it is in your best interests to reach out for legal assistance as soon as possible so that you can ensure a successful claim and receive the damages you deserve.
An experienced Elgin medical malpractice lawyer will be able to assist you in filing your medical malpractice claim and ensuring that all your bases are covered. In addition, they will be able to get the evidence and testimonies needed for your case and get you the compensation owed to you.
Finding the Best Medical Malpractice Attorney for My Case
The Elgin medical malpractice injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have assisted thousands of clients. Our legal team has secured compensation for their injuries and often uncovers patterns of past behavior to build a medical malpractice lawsuit against negligent physicians and medical facilities.
We've provided the following information about the hospitals serving the city of Elgin to allow you to understand the issues we look at whenever our personal injury law offices build a case for a medical malpractice issue.
Any victim filing a compensation claim citing medical malpractice needs to consider hiring a personal injury attorney to serve their best interests. An attorney can show how the medical professional failed to provide a standard of care that resulted in the patient's harm or preventable death through legal representation.
Contact the northeastern Illinois medical malpractice injury lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC for a free review of your legal rights, legal issues, and options. Our law firm is ready to serve you and your family.
What You Can Expect During an Elgin Medical Negligence Case
If you have been injured due to a direct act or failure to act on the part of a doctor or other medical professional, you are entitled under Illinois law to file a lawsuit.
You must first be able to prove that the facility or person the medical malpractice lawsuit is brought against did not fulfill the duty of care prescribed for the set of circumstances that existed at the time of your injury.
The doctor must have acted unreasonably, or the facility must have failed to use measures that may have prevented your injuries.
Once medical negligence has been established, your case will be valued based on the following factors:
- The cost of your medical treatment following the injury: Collect compensation to pay for revisionary surgeries, rehabilitative therapy, and ongoing long-term care if necessary for a full recovery
- Additional out-of-pocket expenses incurred as the direct result of your injuries: Incidental costs can be assessed your case's value if you can prove that the expenses are directly linked to your injuries and physical limitations
- Time off work or the loss of potential income: If you cannot perform your duties at work during your recovery, you may be able to recover the value of your lost wages. If your injuries result in the loss of your job or require that you remain home for the remainder of your life, you may be able to recover damages to compensate for the value of your wages for the remaining years of your life.
- Pain and suffering or diminished quality of living: Injuries that are permanently debilitating require a lifetime of aid and expensive care—and when these expenses become a financial burden, it adds an insult to injury that you should not be required to bear. For this reason, you may be entitled to recover compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured presently and will endure in the future due to your injuries.
If you'd like to learn more about the process of Illinois medical malpractice litigation and the time limits imposed by the state on cases involving medical negligence, our Elgin medical malpractice injury attorneys would be happy to answer your questions in detail.
One of the things that we try to prove during these types of cases is that the facility or physician in question has exhibited a pattern of negligent behavior preceding your injuries to show that the issues at hand are not random events.
Areas of Concern for Elgin Area Hospitals
As previously mentioned, the three hospitals serving the greater Elgin area must meet the needs of multiple cities nearby. Therefore, we've compiled the following data to help you understand what factors can contribute to medical negligence and raise awareness of these issues in hopes that it will promote healthy changes to the healthcare system.
Below you will find the information we could glean about each hospital through public records and surveys.
Advocate Sherman Hospital
1425 North Randall Road
Elgin, IL 60123
Advocate Sherman Hospital has received designations by the State of Illinois as a level two trauma center with a pediatric emergency room and level two perinatal center. Its readmission rate for patients suffering from pneumonia is higher than the state and national averages. Readmission rates generally reflect the quality and thoroughness of treatment offered to each patient on their first visit.
Approximately 18.4% of pneumonia patients, 22.1% of congestive heart failure patients, and 16.2% of heart attack patients admitted to this hospital were readmitted within thirty days of discharge.
Roughly two-thirds of readmitted patients did not survive, highlighting the importance of treatment that solves the primary concern for admission the first time. Aside from readmission rates, however, Advocate Sherman Hospital had performed at or better than average for most areas of inquiry.
About 74% of patients receiving treatment here would recommend the facility to their family and friends, and the cleanliness of rooms is considered above average. Sanitation is an essential factor in preventing the spread of infections.
Presence Saint Joseph Hospital
77 North Airlite Street
Elgin, IL 60120
Saint Joseph Hospital is designated a level two trauma unit that provides emergency pediatric care also. However, like Sherman Hospital, its readmission rates are slightly higher than state and national averages due to overcrowding and the tendency to release patients before they are ready to go home.
About 18.2% of patients with pneumonia, 22.8% of congestive heart failure, and 19% of those admitted for heart attack were readmitted within thirty days of discharge. Roughly half of those readmitted did not survive, which is significantly better than Sherman Hospital but still highlights the need to make sure patients can safely return home before filing discharge papers.
Nearly 77% of patients surveyed felt that their rooms, beds, and bathing areas were kept sanitary, and while this leaves room for improvement, it also places Saint Joseph well ahead of the state average.
One area of considerable concern is that only 54% of patients felt that they understood their treatment or were given adequate information about their continued treatment at home before discharge. The failure to educate patients on their conditions and ensure that they know how to facilitate their continued recovery can result in readmission.
St. Alexius Medical Center
1555 Barrington Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60194
St. Alexius serves the northeastern area of Elgin in addition to Streamwood, South Barrington, and Schaumburg. It has received state designations as a level two trauma unit, level three perinatal center, and pediatric emergency unit. While St. Alexius shares the concern with its counterparts over abnormally high readmission rates, its mortality rates are lower than the state and national averages.
Approximately 18.1% of patients admitted with pneumonia, 23.3% of patients admitted with congestive heart failure, and 18% of patients suffering heart attacks were readmitted within thirty days following discharge.
However, the total mortality rates for each condition were 8.8%, 8.7%, and 12.9%, respectively. Even though St. Alexius has mortality rates, which are lower than average, about 40% of patients who are readmitted do not survive from their conditions.
The Benefits of Legal Representation
Most victims of medical malpractice are not aware of their rights or are reluctant to pursue litigation out of fear that the process will end up costing more money than it is worth.
The Elgin personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC work on a contingency agreement for this reason. If we cannot collect compensation for a client, our services are free, and that client is not burdened with legal fees.
We have been able to secure judgments on behalf of thousands of clients. Because of that, our experience and access to resources critical to resolving medical malpractice claims make us confident we can do the same for you.
Contact Top Elgin Medical Malpractice Lawyers for a Free Case Review
Contact us to arrange a free initial consultation to learn more about how we can help you and so that we may evaluate your case and advise you on how best to proceed.
Our Illinois personal injury law office handles medical malpractice lawsuits throughout the state, including DuPage County, Cook County, Lake County, and Will County, on a contingency fee basis. This agreement ensures that you pay nothing until we resolve your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.
Our trial lawyers can provide immediate legal advice on every aspect of a severe injury or wrongful death.
Call us for more information on our client review ratings, peer review ratings, ethical standards, and time-sensitive information. Or, call our Elgin, IL medical malpractice lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation.
Our Chicago area personal injury law firm is part of the Illinois trial lawyers association. Our law offices provide legal representation in various practice areas, including product liability, workers' compensation, nursing home negligence, truck accidents, motor vehicle crashes, pedestrian fatalities, dog bites, and defective drugs.