Illinois Medical Malpractice FAQ's
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents people who have suffered injuries through medical malpractice, health care errors and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has collected a series of medical malpractice accident FAQs related to the medical and legal aspects of injuries occurring in the healthcare industry. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
Medical Malpractice FAQs
Many victims are injured through the negligent act of a healthcare provider such as a hospital, doctor, chiropractor, nurse, therapist, nurses' aide, or other practitioner. Any failure of the medical care provider to act according to acceptable standards of practice can be considered legal medical malpractice. When this occurs, the victim typically has the right to seek financial compensation from every person or entity involved in causing their harm to receive financial recovery to pay for their medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, pain, suffering or death.
Our legal team has compiled a comprehensive list of the most common medical malpractice freely asked questions and posted the information below. Families use this information to understand their legal options for seeking compensation.
How can I determine if medical malpractice caused my injuries?
You may never know for sure. Even so, by law, to receive financial compensation on a case based on medical malpractice you must prove the elements of negligence involving the doctor, nurse or another healthcare provider. As a plaintiff in a case, you must show how the doctor who owed you a duty of care failed to exercise that duty in providing care that breached reasonable standards.
The law will typically identify the primary difference between negligent actions and medical malpractice through the testimony of an expert who establishes liability and proximate cause as defined by medical malpractice tort law. If malpractice is identified, the expert witness will testify that the defending doctor or health care provider committed malpractice (or caused a medical mistake) that led to the plaintiff's injuries.
My surgical procedure had a horrible outcome. Do I have a medical malpractice claim?
It depends. Just because there was an undesirable outcome in your surgical procedure or doctor treatment is not an indicator of medical malpractice. If there were complications with your care, your doctor might have provided care according to reasonable and acceptable standards but there was still a bad result.
The only way to truly identify a bad complication or unexpected results that was caused by medical malpractice is to consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in medical cases. The lawyer working on your behalf will conduct a thorough and comprehensive investigation, review your medical records and take appropriate action if they can identify medical malpractice occurred.
My doctor failed to diagnose my cancer in its initial stages. Can I file a claim?
You likely have a right to seek financial compensation if your doctor delayed their diagnoses or misdiagnosed your condition. Any failure to diagnose cancer in its early stage could be considered a serious medical mistake especially if the disease progressed to an advanced stage. An attorney working on your behalf will help identify errors the doctor made to prove medical malpractice. These errors could include:
- You presented apparent symptoms that would alert your diagnosing physician to check for the presence of cancer.
- Your doctor failed to order appropriate testing and x-rays to help identify the condition associated with your symptoms.
- The doctor failed to interpret your test results that identified your condition accurately.
- The delay in accurately diagnosing and intervening your condition with treatment and medication worsened your prognosis, which caused you unnecessary harm.
What are the commonalities involved in medical malpractice cases?
The medical malpractice attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have successfully resolved hundreds of cases involving medical professional mistakes and errors. Most of the cases our attorneys have handled and resolved were based the following three elements. They include:
- The doctor or other health care provider made a mistake when providing treatment.
- The doctor failed to make a proper diagnosis that led to the patient's preventable harm.
- The healthcare professional provided the patient care without the proper written consent for treatment.
If the doctor cannot produce a patient's written consent to a procedure or treatment, the lack of consent proves that the patient received treatment against their will or without their knowledge. These cases do not involve emergencies where the patient was unable to provide consent due to unconsciousness or a severely limiting illness.
If my medical malpractice claim is valid, who'd be involved in my compensation case?
Your attorney filing a medical malpractice claim would likely add numerous defendants to your lawsuit including the organization, like a hospital or medical center, that employed the healthcare providers that caused your damages. Due to the unique circumstances of your case, your attorney may add defendants in your medical malpractice case to include:
- Lab Technicians
- Professional Physical and Occupational Therapists
- Hospitals, medical centers, doctors' offices and other establishments that provide health care
I wish I asked before if my doctor had previous malpractice cases. Can I find out now?
Yes, you can find out now by beginning your search at the Illinois medical board website at:
Illinois Board of Professional Regulation
Medical Disciplinary Unit
James R Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 814-6910 (complaints)
The state website will provide information to identify if the physician, surgeon or other healthcare provider has lost a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit before. This information will assist you in determining the probability that your injuries are the result of a medical mistake or error at the hands of the caregiver.
Should I report a case of medical malpractice to an institution or organization?
Yes, that is a wise decision. If you suspect that your hospital, medical center, doctor, nurse, chiropractor or other health care provider failed to provide an acceptable level of care in your treatment, surgery or procedure, file a report to the Illinois Board of Professional Regulation.
I believe my doctor committed medical malpractice. What steps should I avoid taking?
If you suspect that your doctor is guilty of medical malpractice, avoid insulting or accusing the physician of the level of care they provided you. Instead, request a copy of your medical records from the appropriate department so your attorney can have an expert review the documentation.
If you are still receiving ongoing care from that doctor, you might want to consider requesting a transfer to another health care provider, medical center or a hospital. If you suspect medical malpractice is occurring right now with the treatment you are receiving, document everything associated with your care that is going on as it unfolds. Most importantly, hire a reputable medical malpractice attorney to protect your rights and health.
What do I do if I suspect my medical records are falsified or incorrect?
It is not uncommon to read medical record entries that fail to tell the entire truth about the level of care being provided or accurately describe the patient's condition. Medical records can be incorrect for several reasons that range from the benign to the nefarious. There may be errors in your medical history because the doctor's voiced dictation software incorrectly recorded a word or medical term that change the doctor's meaning.
Another factor that may explain an incorrect or falsified entry could be that the nurse or doctor typed inaccurate information or failed to catch the mistake before writing the note. An erroneous record is not the surest way to identify falsified documents or a conspiracy to cover something up. While the advancements in computer technology and improvement in electronic medical record keeping have minimized problems, incorrect data still exists.
What is the value of my medical malpractice case?
The uniqueness of the facts and evidence involved in your case make it nearly impossible to determine the value of your claim for compensation accurately. Our legal team uses proven methods of calculating the worth of compensation claims and use the outcome of similar cases in how much the jury award or the attorney settle for out of court.
Your case is very different from others, and the varying circumstances and facts needed to prove your claim will significantly impact its value. Our attorneys will review all pertinent facts and fight aggressively to ensure your rights and compensation are protected. We will use our years of litigating and negotiating skills to resolve your claim successfully.
How can I be assured I will prevail in my medical malpractice claim?
Medical malpractice tort law and civil procedure in the courtroom can be quite complicated. Because of that, it is crucial to hire a skilled law firm that comprehends the complex area of medical malpractice law. Our team of attorneys has prevailed in prosecuting hundreds of medical malpractice cases by proving the caregivers' failure to provide the acceptable standards of care owed to the patient. We demonstrate that the doctor breached their duty and their negligence, in turn, led to the proximate cause of our clients' injuries.
What do you mean by “standards of care”?
Standard of care, by law, is defined by the care and skill that a reasonably well-qualified medical professional would provide under identical or similar circumstances. The medical community establishes applicable standards of care by peers with an equal level of education, skill, and experience.
Did I waive my legal rights after signing a consent form?
No, not at all. You never give up your legal rights by signing a consent form. The form was provided to acknowledge that you understood the known risks associated with undergoing specific treatments, procedures, and surgeries. You did not consent that the healthcare provider would offer you a substandard level of care as established by the medical community. You still have the legal right to seek financial compensation by filing a claim or lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
Can I wait to file a claim?
No, not really. According to Illinois state law, you are required to file the necessary paperwork and document in the appropriate county courthouse before the state statute of limitations expires. However, determining the exact date the statute expires based on your case usually requires the experience of a personal injury attorney who handles medical malpractice cases. The deadline clock starts at a time based on the unique aspects of your claim and the medical mistake involved. If you do fail to file the necessary documentation before the statute expires, you forfeit your right to seek financial compensation in the future.
How much will your attorneys charge to review my case?
Our law firm provides every potential client a no-obligation, initial case consultation at no charge. Call our law offices today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule an appointment. Let our team of attorneys discuss your case, listen to your complaints, and provide numerous legal options on how to ensure your family receives the financial compensation they deserve.
I appreciate your free initial consultation. How can I afford to hire you as my attorney?
The medical malpractice attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers (888-424-5757) accept all compensation cases and lawsuits through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement means you will never make any upfront payment for our legal services. Your legal fees are paid only when your attorneys have successfully resolved your compensation case through a jury trial award or a negotiated out of court settlement. We offer every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to secure financial compensation in your case, you owe us nothing.
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