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Waukegan Medical Malpractice Attorneys

We trust our healthcare providers to treat our illnesses and injuries with the goal of helping us make full recoveries. In most cases, this is exactly what happens. But doctors and other healthcare providers are human and thus, prone to making mistakes. You know that it is possible for a doctor or other hospital staff member to make a mistake that causes a patient to suffer, sometimes fatally, but you might not know how regularly this occurs. Data collected from hospitals in the United States from 2000 to 2008 found that 251,454 people died as the direct result of medical errors during those years. This equated to approximated 700 deaths per day, or 9.8 percent of all deaths reported each year. According to the data, medical errors were the third leading cause of death for Americans, behind only heart disease and cancer.

Medical errors are preventable. When an individual is injured, suffers a worsened condition, or fails to receive treatment for a condition at an early stage, then faces fewer options and a less optimistic prognosis because of a doctor's negligence, he or she may seek compensation for his or her damages through a medical malpractice claim. If an individual dies as a result of a healthcare provider's negligence, his or her loved ones may seek compensation for their damages associated with the death through a wrongful death claim.

Examples of Preventable Medical Errors

  • Failure to diagnose a patient's condition by a point that it should have been diagnosed. As discussed in the example above, it is possible for a condition to reach a point where it cannot be effectively cured or managed. If a patient experiences this because his or her doctor did not diagnose his or her condition before it reached this stage, the patient may have grounds for a medical negligence claim;
  • Similarly, diagnosing a condition incorrectly could be deemed to be a negligent act;
  • Failing to obtain a patient's informed consent before proceeding with a medical procedure. Determining whether a doctor needs consent to perform a procedure can be tricky, because there are circumstances under which it is in the patient's best interest to be given only vague details about the risks associated with a procedure. However, when a doctor fails to seek informed consent in a situation where any reasonable doctor would be expected to do so, he or she may be deemed to be negligent;
  • Leaving surgical equipment inside a patient after surgery;
  • Failing to sterilize one's hands or surgical equipment before surgery;
  • Prescribing the incorrect medication or an inappropriate dosage to a patient. This can be because of a known allergy, known harmful side effects of the medication, or as the result of a misdiagnosis;
  • Unnecessary treatment that has an adverse effect on the patient; and
  • Failing to discuss potential birth defects with an expectant mother.

Seeking Compensation for Damages in a Medical Malpractice Claim

To attempt to recover compensation for medical negligence, which has caused you to suffer a permanent or disabling injury, you must demonstrate that your healthcare provider breached his or her duty to you, the patient. This means that you must demonstrate that your healthcare provider failed to perform to the standard of care for your condition and with this failure, caused you to suffer an injury that in turn, caused you to suffer any or all of the following damages:

  • Medical bills for corrective treatment;
  • Lost wages and lost potential wages; and
  • Pain and suffering, which is the category that includes all intangible expenses like your need for psychological counseling after suffering harm or your need for a mobility device while recovering.

Medical Malpractice Claims for Wrongful Death

As the spouse, dependent adult child, or any other financial dependent of a deceased medical malpractice victim, you may be able to obtain compensation for your damages through a wrongful death claim. These damages can include:

  • The deceased's medical bills;
  • The loss of the deceased's wages and employment benefits;
  • The loss of your projected inheritance from the deceased;
  • Your own pain and suffering caused by the death; and
  • The deceased's funeral expenses.

Work with an Experienced Waukegan Personal Injury Law Firm

If you have suffered a permanent or disabling injury from a medical error or lost a loved one to a healthcare provider's negligence, you may be entitled to recover monetary compensation through a medical malpractice claim. To learn more about seeking compensation through this type of claim, speak with a member of our team of experienced Lake County medical malpractice lawyers at Salvi & Maher, L.L.C.. Contact our firm today to set up your initial consultation in our office. We can answer your questions and get you started with your medical malpractice claim.

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