Medical malpractice, or medical negligence, is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider deviates from the “standard of care.” This looks at whether a reasonable medical provider would have acted the same way in a similar situation. If it is determined that the medical provider (such as a doctor, nurse or a hospital) did not act within the “standard of care,” you may have a case for medical malpractice. It is important to know that having a negative outcome does not necessarily mean that medical malpractice occurred.
Here are 8 things to know about medical malpractice:
- Medical malpractice covers a wide range of errors, such as misdiagnosis, medication dosage, and more . It does not just include surgery gone wrong.
- In Illinois, you have two years to file a lawsuit no more than four years from when the event occurred. This statue of limitations is longer for minors.
- Medical malpractice cases can take months or even years to be resolved. It can take an attorney months just to get the research together to determine if you even have a case.
- Emergency room workers are held to the same “standard of care” as any other medical provider.
- The most common types of medical malpractice are diagnosis errors and prescription medication errors (type of medication, dosage, interaction with other medications).
- The burden of proof in a medical malpractice case is the patient. It is up to the patient (and their lawyer) to prove medical negligence occurred.
- Keep detailed notes of all your appointments and interactions, especially if you think you may be a victim of medical malpractice.
- In Illinois there is no cap on compensatory damages (money for medical bills).
How can you protect yourself from medical malpractice?
It’s important to remember that doctors and nurses are people that can make mistakes. Always seek out a second opinion. Be proactive in your appointments by asking questions and seeking clarification. Unfortunately in instances like surgery or emergency room care, you may not be able to be proactive.
If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice in Illinois, contact ESR Law Group. ESR Law Group is a medical malpractice attorney in Chicago. Contact our office today for a free case consultation.