Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care professional (i.e., doctor, nurse, surgeon) or a professional entity (i.e., hospital) causes harm to a patient through a negligent act or oversight. To be considered medical malpractice under Illinois law, certain characteristics must exist in the claim, including a standard of care violation that results in a significant injury to or death of a patient.
At the Chicago law firm of Barney & Karamanis, LLP, our attorneys are proud to provide skilled, compassionate counsel to people whose lives have been changed due to medical negligence. In the 30-plus years we have served the Chicagoland area, we have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for medical malpractice victims. This includes many landmark court decision, including recovering $530,000 in what was believed to be the first wrongful birth verdict in Illinois.
Our lawyers have the knowledge, strength and resources to take on large hospitals and medical practices, and the insurers who protect them. We have a demonstrated record of proving that doctors and other health care professionals violated the standard of care and caused serious harm to patients. You can be confident when you choose our results-oriented law firm to handle your medical malpractice claim.
An initial consultation with a trial lawyer at our law firm is free. If we represent you, we will do so on a contingency basis. You will not owe us any legal fees unless we recover compensation for you. We welcome the opportunity to evaluate your medical malpractice claim without further obligation. Call 312-702-0872 to get started.
Is Any Bad Medical Outcome Considered Malpractice?
No. Even when doctors do everything right, they can’t always guarantee a positive outcome. Sometimes things just go wrong with a patient’s health.
Certain criteria must be met to establish that a bad outcome was medical malpractice. First, the doctor owed you a duty of care (meaning that a doctor-patient relationship existed). Second, the doctor violated that duty of care by treating you (or failing to treat you) in a manner that other doctors would not have done under the same circumstances. Third, you were seriously injured or lost a loved one as a direct result of that breach of duty. Finally, you suffered damages (financial and other losses) because of your injuries.
Elements Required To Bring A Medical Malpractice Claim
As mentioned, Illinois medical malpractice law requires that a number of elements be present to bring and win a medical malpractice claim. They include a standard of care violation, a serious injury or death of a patient and significant damages.
Proving each of these elements can be a challenge, as medical professionals will rarely admit to violating the standard of care or committing a wrongdoing, and some will even work to underplay the severity of the harm that was caused as a result of their actions. That is why it is so important to have an attorney on your side who understands these cases inside and out.
What Is Considered A Standard Of Care Violation For A Health Care Worker?
The law recognizes certain medical standards that the medical field and professionals deem as acceptable medical treatment by reasonable health care professionals. Whether provided in like or similar circumstances by attentive health care professionals, such medical standards are known as the standard of care. Essentially, the standard of care is what a reasonable doctor, nurse or other health care provider would do in the same or similar circumstances.
Patients have a right to expect and receive care from health care professionals that is consistent with the standards of care. Negligence is established in medical malpractice cases if it can be determined that the standard of care was not provided to a patient.
Serious Injury Or Loss Of Life Caused By Medical Negligence
A violation of the standard of care is not sufficient for a medical malpractice claim to be valid. A patient must also prove that the serious injury he or she received, or the loss of a loved one, would not have occurred in the absence of negligence. Injuries can range from brain injuries to back injuries to scars to amputations, and even things like reduced lifespan due to cancer or other potentially treatable illness being misdiagnosed and left untreated.
An adverse outcome by itself would not be considered medical malpractice. If an injury occurred without negligence, or negligence did not cause an adverse outcome, a patient cannot have a claim for medical malpractice.
Significant Damages Are Necessary To Bring A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely expensive, and those expenses will be fronted by the law firm handling the claim and ultimately passed on to the client if the case is won. Expenses include hiring medical experts and investigators who charge a substantial amount for their time and knowledge. Thus, a patient must have significant injuries and damages due to medical negligence for a case to be viable.
A patient can demonstrate these damages through their loss of income, disability, suffering and hardship, unusual pain, and/or significant past and future medical bills. Unfortunately, cases in which there was medical malpractice but the damages were relatively small may not make sense to pursue because they would cost more to bring than what the possible recovery would be, leaving the victim in a worse financial position than when they started.
How We Can Help You With Your Medical Negligence Claim
If you or a loved one have been injured because of the negligence of a doctor, nurse, surgeon or hospital, we believe that you may be entitled to compensation. Our attorneys and staff are trained to help determine if the injuries are the result of medical malpractice (e.g., improper patient treatment, delay in diagnosis, failure to diagnose, medical mistake). Services our firm provides are described below.
Reviewing Medical Records
Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys review your medical records in conjunction with expert physicians to determine whether your doctors or other health care providers have breached the standards of care. We will review your charts, doctor visits and your prescriptions, along with any other documentation available that can help us better understand your illness or injury.
Once a thorough review of your medical records has been conducted, our consulting expert physicians are tasked with determining the cause of your injuries, the exact negligence by the health care providers, and which specific health care providers were at fault.
We consult with these medical experts to establish the standard of care for reasonable physicians and health care providers in the same or similar circumstances. We may also later use the testimony of those same experts in court to present your case.
Researching Your Doctor
It is important to prove that the doctor, nurse, surgeon or other health care provider was negligent in his or her treatment of you or your loved one. We conduct research to determine whether your health care providers have any history of negligent acts, and we also determine whether they have been involved in any similar malpractice actions. This research is crucial to determine whether your health care providers have demonstrated a pattern of negligent behavior and also the level of competence of the medical care you received.
How Common Is Medical Malpractice?
It is impossible to know for sure because many medical errors do not get reported. However, one source estimates that between .8% and 1% of all hospital patients will become victims of medical malpractice. As many as 120,000 patients in the U.S. die each year because of medical negligence, making it the third-leading cause of death.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice can be caused by any health care worker, including physicians, nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, osteopaths, chiropractors and even lab technicians. The Medical malpractice can occur in any health care setting, from the doctors office to the hospital to the emergency room (ER) to the intensive care unit (ICU) and beyond.
The most common medical negligence claims include:
- Birth injuries resulting in cerebral palsy, brachial plexus injuries and other conditions, as well as infant death or maternal death
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose serious medical conditions like cancer
- Surgical errors such as wrong-site surgery, laparoscopic surgery errors or leaving implements in the body after surgery
- Medication and prescription errors
- Anesthesia errors
The majority of claims filed in a year fit into one of these categories.
What If I Cannot Afford To Hire A Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Our law firm takes medical malpractice cases in Chicago and throughout Illinois on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay no legal fees until and unless we help you recover money. We also offer free initial consultations, so there is no financial risk in speaking to one of our attorneys about your options.
Bottom line: you can afford an attorney!
In Determined Pursuit Of The Compensation That You Need And Deserve
If retained, we will guide you through every step of the process so that you always know what to expect during your case. We handle the day-to-day aspects of the case so that our clients can focus on getting well as quickly as possible.
No two cases are alike, and no outcome is guaranteed. However, we can confidently assure you of our dedication and skill. Our skilled, determined trial attorneys at Barney & Karamanis, LLP, will leave no stone unturned while pursuing an appropriate sum of money for you and your family through settlement or judgment. A right result can alleviate financial troubles and recompense other losses you and your family have endured because of medical malpractice.
Get Started With A Free Medical Malpractice Claim Evaluation
Were you injured or did you lose a loved one because of a medical error? As distressing as this situation is, you deserve to know and understand your legal options. Ask for a no-obligation review of the facts by an experienced attorney.