Peoria Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Peoria Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in America, according to Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services estimates more than 100,000 deaths every year due to preventable medical errors in hospitals alone.
Additionally, these numbers don't even include injuries caused by doctors who aren't hospital employees. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for injured patients harmed through medical negligence.
Our law firm has recovered over $250 million and verdicts and negotiated settlements for clients in Illinois and other states nationwide. Call our Peoria personal injury attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation.
Medical malpractice can be a complex and confusing situation for those injured by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or another medical professional. When you're dealing with a personal injury from a doctor's mistake, it is important to get legal help as soon as possible. Contact us for a free consultation.
Recent Malpractice Cases in the Peoria Area
Medical malpractice cases are far more common than you may believe, and two cases resolving the city exhibit just how quickly things can take a turn for the worst when a doctor breaches their duty of care. In the first case, the widow and children were awarded $1.6 million by a jury because his doctor failed to provide proper care when he visited OSF Saint Francis.
He was diagnosed with autoimmune hemolytic anemia, which occurs when the body attacks its red blood cells. His doctor did not follow the recommended treatment plan to administer a blood transfusion and steroidal medications. After only receiving two units of blood, he suffered cardiac arrest and died.
The jury issued judgments against the doctor and OSF Saint Francis Medical Center but determined that the hospital's resident doctor and other employees were not liable. Instead, it was determined that the hospital was liable as a result of negligence. As a result, the doctor and their employer were required to provide financial compensation to resolve the legal issue.
In January 2015, a central Illinois area doctor reprimanded and fine for removing the wrong organ during a spleen extraction. Rather than removing the patient's spleen, the doctor removed her kidney and reported that he removed a "kidney-shaped spleen".
The operation took place in December of 2005, and the patient settled with the physician in 2013 for $2 million. Until recently, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation became aware of the incident, and the doctor was fined $2,500 for negligence.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Doctors do not always meet their duty of care despite the best intentions, causing harm to patients that can result in severe medical complications or death.
The central Illinois medical malpractice injury attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have sought compensation for patients who suffered harm due to the carelessness of a physician or medical facility.
Were you injured and feel that your doctor or attending medical staff contributed to your injuries? If so, you may be entitled to damages valued at the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Contact our central Illinois personal injury law firm for a free review of your legal rights and options. We are ready to serve you and your family.
Forms of Medical Negligence Meriting Legal Prosecution
When considering what may qualify for a negligence lawsuit, you first must consider whether your doctor breached their duty of care. Then, to prove negligence, you must show that most physicians with similar qualifications would have acted differently when facing the same scenario.
Examples of medical malpractice include:
- Failing to diagnose a condition or providing a false diagnosis could result in grave injury or death. In addition, the failure to diagnose a condition such as cancer can reduce a patient's chances of survival, and providing treatment for the wrong condition can have equally devastating effects.
- Surgical errors, including the perforation of organs, are not uncommon for surgeons to make incisions in the wrong places. Still, most of these errors are noticed and addressed while the patient is in the operation room. However, when the damage is not repaired, it can result in internal bleeding, the development of an infection, and another serious internal injury.
- Prescribing the wrong medication or failing to administer the correct dose could be negligence. The nursing staff is often in a hurry to tend to the needs of every patient under their care, and doctors may not take the time to review a patient's medical history and possible drug interactions before writing a prescription. Improper dosing of medications and the administration of medications that have harmful interactions with each other can have deadly side effects.
Anesthesia errors, before putting a patient under for an operative procedure, the anesthesiologist must consider the patient's current medications, weight, and other factors before issuing the proper anesthetic dose. Administering a low dose can result in the patient waking during the procedure, and an overdose can result in death.
Medical Malpractice and Childbirth Injuries
Many birth injuries (congenital disabilities) result from hospital mismanagement, with health care providers failing to follow established protocols. In some cases, the child or mother is hurt during pregnancy, labor, or delivery when the staff:
- Fails to monitor the baby's condition properly or neglects to provide appropriate care, such as administering a cesarean section when necessary
- Deprive the baby of oxygen during birth as a result of an unnaturally long labor, late diagnosis of fetal distress, or failure to treat it accordingly
In many cases, hospital malpractice results from complications that are not properly diagnosed or treated during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or postnatal care. The effects can range from mild to severe damage to the child's development or physical condition.
Many lawsuits against hospitals, physicians, and other medical professionals allege that their negligence led to a child born with serious disabilities.
Mild disabilities include learning impairment or delay, behavioral problems, intellectual disability, developmental delays, hearing deficits, language disorders, seizures, and sensory disabilities.
Severe disabilities can result in spastic quadriplegia (a form of cerebral palsy), microcephaly (an abnormally small head that impairs cognitive development), blindness or deafness, and other disabilities that require constant supervision, medications, and care.
Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death
Wrongful death is considered an "intentional tort", which means that plaintiffs must prove that the defendant had the intent to cause injury or knew their actions were likely to result in bodily harm. (See, Bartosh v. BASF Corp., 675 N.E.2d 597 (Ill. 1996)).
The decedent's estate or their qualifying surviving family members can file a civil lawsuit citing negligence when seeking justice and financial recovery. According to data, approximately 95% of all preventable death lawsuits are resolved through negotiated settlements where the plaintiffs (surviving family members) receive a financial recovery, including:
- Hospitalization costs and medical expenses
- Lost wages and future lost earnings
- Loss of familial support
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Pain, grief, suffering, and emotional distress
- Funeral and burial expenses
Under the law, qualifying family members that can file a civil lawsuit citing a preventable death include spouses, children, parents, and grandchildren.
To prove that a loved one's death occurred due to negligent behavior, plaintiffs must establish that the defendant owed their loved one a legal duty, breached that duty, and caused damages.
For example, hospitals have a duty to care for patients following professional standards of medical care. When a hospital breaches this mandated standard of care, it is responsible for the damages that result.
Medical Malpractice and the Illinois Statute of Limitations
Like all personal injury cases, injured parties can file claims as long as the statute of limitations has not yet expired in their case. According to Illinois law, the state statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is two years from when the incident occurred.
However, that time limit might be extended in some cases when the injured party did not know, or could not have known, of their damages. For example, a new mother may not know that a doctor's improper care constituted malpractice until she could not nurse her child.
Thus, the clock on the statute of limitations would stop when the woman discovered her injury and would resume once she had more information on how long it would take her body to recover from childbirth. A person whose bills are paid by an insurer, such as Medicaid or Medicare, would not need to worry about the statute of limitations in their case.
However, unlike other cases, these types of claims come with a different "statute of repose" that limits how long the person can wait before filing their claim. According to Illinois law, people must file malpractice lawsuits within two years of the incident or six months after they knew or should have known about their bodily harm.
People who are filing preventable death claims must file them before the statute of repose expires. According to Illinois law, the family members must file their claim within one year of learning that their relative had died due to malpractice.
Who Pays to Settle a Medical Malpractice Claim?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, all physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals must purchase malpractice insurance. Typically, liability claims arise from mistakes, errors, or actions while treating patients.
Over the last two decades, the cost of insurance coverage has risen significantly due to the increasing number of claims filed yearly. In addition, the severity of injuries involved in many medical malpractice cases has become worse over the years.
Many advocates hoping to reform state laws have been deemed unconstitutional at the state or federal levels. In addition, many health care providers and other healthcare professionals have accused attorneys of being excessively eager to file civil lawsuits, collecting monetary recovery on behalf of their clients.
However, negligence and malpractice in medicine is a serious concern in America. Data reveals that over 11,000 people die annually due to medical malpractice. Moreover, every 40 seconds in the United States, a person is injured due to the negligence of a healthcare provider.
Medical Malpractice Settlements and Judgments
Out of the thousands of medical malpractice claims filed each year, only an estimated 15-20% successfully make it to trial, which means that the majority of cases are settled before the conclusion of a trial.
Settlements often include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional stress, property damage, and disability payments. While these payments do not erase the negative impact caused by bodily harm or loss of life due to medical malpractice, they can help soften the blow.
Most settlements and judgments often come with a confidentiality clause that prevents the patient from disclosing the amount of compensation received in exchange for signing off on such an agreement.
While medical malpractice is relatively uncommon in most states, certain factors determine how much a case will be worth. For example, reparation awarded to the patient or family of a deceased patient varies greatly depending on the severity of an injury sustained, whether death occurred due to negligence, and other factors.
When a significant injury is involved in a medical malpractice case, an experienced personal injury attorney will likely receive between 25-35% percent of the total settlement. However, this figure is subject to change depending on the state in which the settlement takes place.
Medical Malpractice Claim Settlements and Costs
A malpractice claim does not always result in a cash settlement, and this type of case may require multiple court dates before a ruling is made. In addition, the average cost for a claim can vary greatly depending on the amount of compensation being sought.
Costs are often broken down into two categories: attorney fees and potential out-of-pocket expenses. Since most malpractice claims are settled before trial, costs can range anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 or more for a given case.
If you have sustained an injury due to negligence or malpractice, reaching out to a qualified attorney is the best way to ensure that you receive fair compensation.
A Peoria medical malpractice lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can review your case and determine how much it may be worth. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to get you the money you deserve to cover all expenses resulting from your injury.
Hiring Peoria Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Do you feel that your doctor breached their duty of care, and you suffered bodily harm as a result of negligence?
If so, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC would be happy to investigate your malpractice claim to determine whether you have a case.
We have successfully recovered compensation on behalf of thousands of clients and can help you too. Our experience and expertise make us the leading medical negligence firm in the Peoria area.
Contact our Peoria County personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation and legal advice. Our Peoria medical malpractice injury attorneys will review your case for free and pledge never to require upfront payment for their services.
Your experienced local medical malpractice lawyer will only collect a fee if you receive compensation based on a contingency fee agreement. If we fail to secure damages on your behalf, our services will be free.
Call us for more information about our Peoria medical malpractice lawyers, legal advice, detailed law firm profiles, office hours, and legal services. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our personal injury law firm remains private through an attorney-client relationship.