Medical malpractice – medical treatment that is substandard to the point of causing harm, death, or injury to a patient – is now the third leading cause of death in the United States. What really constitutes malpractice, though, and do you tell if you have a case? While it is best to discuss your situation with an experienced legal professional, the following information may help you in determining whether or not you have a medical negligence case.
What Constitutes Medical Negligence?
Not every harm or injury sustained while receiving medical treatment can be classified as medical negligence. Hospitals, physicians, and nurses are only considered liable when their actions (or inaction) have caused injury or harm. In other words, the provider needs to have deviated from the standard practice of care (the quality of treatment that a competent doctor would have provided in a similar situation), and it needs to have caused an injury or harm to their patient. For example, if a doctor prescribes the wrong medication to a patient and it results in a severe allergic reaction, the doctor may be considered liable.
Most Commonly Experienced Medical Errors
When looking at the most commonly experienced medical errors, there is a distinct difference between the issues found among private providers, and those that occur within the walls of a hospital. For medical care doctors (particularly primary care doctors), the most commonly experienced medical errors are drug errors and missed diagnoses. The risk within hospitals extends much further, including potentially devastating errors, such as:
- Medication errors (wrong dose, wrong medication, etc.);
- Improper or delayed diagnosis;
- Surgical errors (removal of the wrong body part, leaving items inside the body, operating on the wrong patient);
- Staph infections and/or bedsores; and
- Performing a procedure or intervention not discussed with the patient.
Injured Patients Often Struggle in Obtaining Compensation
Though you may be owed compensation for any injuries that were sustained by you or a loved one, the law places the burden of proof on your shoulders. This usually means more than just proving that the provider was negligent; you must also prove that you suffered significant and devastating effects because of that injury. Further, any evidence provided must be solid since it will be analyzed from every angle and possibly justified by the hospital or physician's attorney. Protect your claim, and your right to compensation, with help from an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
Contact Our Chicago, IL Medical Malpractice Attorneys
At Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., we take the plight of medical malpractice victims seriously. Understanding of just how drastically your life has changed, we will fight to ensure you receive full and fair compensation for your case. Schedule your free initial consultation with our Chicago, Illinois medical malpractice attorneys and inquire about your case. Call [[phone]] today.