Illinois Medical Malpractice Litigation Statistics
We place our health and well-being in the hands of medical experts to ensure we receive the best treatment and recover from our disease, condition, or injury. Hopefully, the doctor, nurse, or other medical care provider is a highly trained professional who uses proven standards of care to manage your health. Unfortunately, many unsuspecting patients die each year from a medical mistake that could have been prevented had the health care provider follow established protocols.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents victims of medical malpractice and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has successfully prosecuted cases for our clients who were injured by the careless actions of medical professionals. Our attorneys are available to answer any legal questions on how to receive the monetary compensation you deserve if your injuries were a result of someone else's negligence. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
Illinois Medical Malpractice Litigation Statistics
The following is a list of useful statistics and information concerning Illinois medical malpractice litigation. This information provides valuable insight on who is affected most by a mistake made by a trained professional in different medical settings including hospitals, medical centers, doctors' offices, therapy centers, rehabilitation facilities, and nursing homes. These statistics include:
- Most plaintiffs are female.
- The average age of plaintiffs is roughly 40 years old.
- The second largest block of plaintiffs are newborns.
- The most common defendants include surgeons, primary care doctors, and OBGYNs.
- Plaintiffs prevail in settlement almost three times more than presenting the evidence at a jury trial.
- Surgical and diagnostic errors account for most claims.
- The typical takes case about two years from start to finish.
- Only about one in ten cases go to trial.
Medical malpractice litigation costs the healthcare system roughly $50 billion every year, but this figure represents only a small fraction of total healthcare spending. Over the last decade:
- There have been 492 medical malpractice cases.
- Only 62 of them recovered more than $5 million, or roughly 13%.
- 253 of them recovered nothing at all or roughly 51%.
- 12 of them recovered something under $100,000, or roughly 2%.
- 73 of them recovered something between $100,000 and $1,000,000, or roughly 15%.
- 89 of them recovered something between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000, or roughly 19%.
- The most popular counties for litigation included Cook, Will, McHenry, Lake, DuPage, Kane, and Madison. Top of Form
Most doctors are highly trained medical professionals with an extensive ability to provide compassionate care to the sick, ill, injured, or hurt. However, even the most qualified doctor can cause a medical mistake that results in devastating consequences.
Defining Medical Malpractice
The healthcare provider medical boards establish standards of care to regulate how doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals diagnose, treat, and assist their patients. The court system uses the guidelines set forth by these boards to identify medical malpractice that could involve:
- Any negligent action, mistake, error, or omission that could result in a plaintiff filing a malpractice lawsuit.
- The failure to provide an established standard of care by the hospital, medical center, doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider.
- Any injury or wrongful death caused by medical negligence.
- The doctor, diagnostician, or physician's assistant misdiagnosed, delayed their diagnosis, or failed to diagnose your condition that led to severe health consequences.
- The doctor prematurely discharged the patient from the hospital that resulted in a decline in their health or wrongful death.
- The physician failed to order necessary tests or act on the test results.
- The medical professional never followed up on the patient's condition to ensure the treatment they recommended was proven effective.
- The doctor prescribed the wrong drug, the wrong dose, or provided the wrong instructions on how to take the medication.
- The surgeon left surgical tools or other objects inside the patient's body after closing the surgical site.
- The surgeon performed an incorrect or unnecessary surgical procedure.
- The patient has suffered persistent pain following their surgical procedure.
- The obstetrician, midwife, or emergency room doctor made a mistake during a delivery that resulted in harm to the mother or baby.
- The OB/GYN's negligent actions resulted in a congenital disability.
- The patient developed a potentially fatal infection while in the hospital, rehabilitation center, or nursing home.
- The surgeon performed a procedure at the wrong surgical site, on the wrong organ, or on the wrong patient.
- The patient developed a bedsore (pressure wound, pressure ulcer, pressure sore, decubitus ulcer) acquired while they were at the hospital.
- The surgeon nicked or cut a nerve during the procedure unexpectedly that cause additional harm to the patient.
- The doctor never warned the patient of the potential known risks of the recommended procedure, surgery, or treatment. This failure of duty to inform usually occurs when the medical team failed to acquire an informed consent from the patient of the potential risks of going through with the procedure.
- The medical team failed to properly monitor the patient before, during, or after their surgical procedure.
- The medical team failed to provide the patient with adequate postoperative care that led to serious complications.
If you suspect that your healthcare professional failed to ensure your health due to a failure to follow the established standard of care, but you have no damages, you likely have no claim for compensation. By law, all victims must prove that the actions of the medical professionals were negligent and that negligence resulted in harm or injury.
Unnecessary Surgeries are Common Problems
Many surgeons recommend unnecessary procedures that have the potential of causing a catastrophic outcome. Some of these surgeries include pacemaker implants, bypass surgery, hysterectomy, gastric bypass surgeries, cesarean section, and procedures that treat irritable bowel syndrome or heartburn. Many of these unnecessary surgical procedures occur at outpatient centers.
Before recommending that the patient undergo a surgical procedure, the doctor must base their recommendation on a reasonable concern based on medical knowledge. Many surgical mistakes are the result of serious problems with the medical team including:
- Incompetence – It may be that your serious, devastating outcome following your surgical procedure was the result of an incompetent surgeon who lacks the necessary skills and training required to perform the operation correctly.
- A Haphazard Surgical Process – Operating on your body is not time for the surgeon to experiment with the surgical outcome believing that some steps required by other surgeons are unnecessary. Any shortcut performed by a surgeon could produce an undesired outcome that will be harmful, deadly, or expensive to correct.
- Insufficient Surgical Planning – Before the surgeon, nurses, and assistants enter the operating room, they must be fully aware of what is required of them during the procedure and prepare for any unexpected outcome. Any failure to plan sufficiently could cause catastrophic results leaving the patient more severely injured or dead.
- A Lack of Effective Communication – Any failure of the surgeon to effectively communicate with the patient and other members of the surgical team could be catastrophic. The patient must understand exactly what they should expect when the surgery was over. The surgeon must ensure that they are performing the procedure at the right site and that all necessary surgical equipment is available inside the operating room. Failing to communicate about the proper dose of medication the patient is to receive during the procedure could also produce serious consequences.
- Fatigue – It is not uncommon for a surgeon or other member of the surgical team to experience intense to fatigue after working long shifts. However, performing the operation when tired could produce an undesirable, and even fatal, outcome.
- The Use of Alcohol or Drugs – Some surgeons choose to cope with the ongoing stress, long hours, and life-saving responsibilities by taking drugs or alcohol. Performing a surgical procedure while impaired could be catastrophic for the patient.
- A Negligent Action – Even the surgeon or medical team strives to do everything right during the procedure; mistakes can happen through a negligent action. The team may have not properly sterilized the equipment or instruments used during the procedure, the surgical equipment could be defective, or the doctor made in error before, during or after the surgery.
Bedsore Medical Malpractice Cases
Many of the medical malpractice cases handled by the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have involved patients acquiring a bedsore while at the facility. According to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), bedsores are a “never event” injury because the pressure wound can be prevented if the medical team takes appropriate measures to intervene when the sore is first identified.
Hospitals and medical centers must take extra precautions to minimize the potential of a patient acquiring a bedsore while at the facility. To ensure the patient's well-being, the medical team must develop an effective plan of care while the individual is at the facility based on their unique needs. In some cases, the nursing staff and doctors must:
- Ensure that the patient, environment, and bed linens remain clean and dry to avoid irritation to the individual's skin.
- Regularly reposition the mobility-challenged patient's body at scheduled intervals that are no longer than two hours apart.
- Provide the patient with proper hydration and nutrition.
- Provide the patient special devices when necessary that might include pressure-relieving cushions and mattresses.
- Provide regular massages to the patient skin to encourage a healthy flow of blood to all areas of the body.
- Follow established protocols to treat a pressure wound once it is identified following an assessment of the patient skin by a trained wound care medical professional.
- Treat a developing pressure wound with proper wound dressings and administer antibiotics or perform necessary surgical debridement procedures to encourage the open wound to heal.
If the patient is receiving care from a properly trained, knowledgeable, and experienced health care professional, preventing a developing pressure ulcer is simple. Typically, a bedsore will develop on the skin over bony prominences of the body in areas that include:
- The spine and shoulder blades,
- The buttocks and tailbone (sacrum),
- The back of the legs or arms where the body part rests against the bed, chair, or wheelchair,
- The sides or back of the head including the tips of the ears,
- The lower back, hipbones, and pelvis,
- The ankles, heels, and toes.
Get the Help of Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys
The medical malpractice injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understand your damages were not your fault but caused by the actions of responsible medical professionals. Our team of dedicated attorneys has successfully obtained millions on behalf of the victims and their family members to ensure they were adequately compensated to cover their medical expenses, household bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain, suffering, and emotional damage and we can help your family too.
Our law firm will seek to ensure that you were adequately compensated for your damages that might include:
- Current, past, and future medical bills,
- Out-of-pocket expenses,
- Financial hardships,
- Loss of wages due to your permanent or temporary disabilities associated with your injuries,
- Loss of future earning capacity if you are unable to return to work in your same occupation because you were injured through medical malpractice,
- Constant pain, discomfort, mental anxiety, and emotional trauma associated with your injuries,
- The diminished quality of life caused by your disability,
- Funeral expenses and burial costs associated with wrongful death cases.
Our law firm encourages you to contact our attorneys today to schedule a no-obligation case consultation to discuss the merits of your monetary recovery claim at no charge to you. We accept all personal injury cases, wrongful death lawsuits, and medical mistake injury claims through contingency fee arrangements. This legal contract postpones the payment of legal services until after we have successfully completed your case through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.
Our law firm gets results quickly because we understand you need money now. We proudly offer every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf you owe us nothing. All information you share with our law office will stay confidential.