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Medical Malpractice: Common Questions And Answers

Being injured or losing a loved one as the result of medical negligence is devastating. Not only are you left with the consequences of someone else’s mistakes, but it feels like a betrayal when the person who harmed you was a medical professional.

You likely have a lot of questions right now, and that’s understandable. Below, we’ve provided answers to some of the most frequent questions we are asked about medical malpractice. After reading it, you can ask us your own questions in a free consultation.

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 injured as a direct result of that breach of duty. Finally, you suffered damages (financial and other losses) because of your injuries.

These elements can be difficult to prove, which is why you need to have the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney like those at our firm.

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?

Malpractice can occur in nearly any medical setting, but the most common types of claims include:

  • Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
  • Surgical errors
  • Treatment errors
  • Obstetrics errors and birth injuries
  • Medication and anesthesia errors

The majority of claims filed in a year fit into one of these categories.

What if I can’t afford to hire a medical malpractice attorney?

Our firm takes medical malpractice cases 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!

Contact Us To Discuss Your Legal Options

Barney & Karamanis, LLP, is based in Chicago, and we serve clients throughout the Chicagoland Area. To schedule your free initial consultation, call us at 312-702-0872 or fill out our online contact form.