Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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When you go to a doctor to be treated for an injury or illness, you expect your condition to improve. However, occasionally the negligence or wrongful actions of a medical professional can cause additional harm, and your overall physical and mental health deteriorates. In some cases, this medical malpractice can even lead to the death of a patient.

While we would like to think that cases of medical malpractice-related fatalities are rare, a 2013 study published in the Journal of Patient Safety found that an estimated 400,000 people die prematurely each year due to preventable harm caused to patients by medical professionals, and that 10-20 times as many people suffer from non-lethal harm each year. This means that it is more critical than ever that patients are aware of the signs of medical malpractice so that they can consult an attorney if they believe that they or a loved one was harmed, or died, as the result of a doctor or hospital’s actions. Here are a few of the signs you can look out for indicating that you or a loved one may be a victim of medical malpractice.

Failure to Diagnose

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All medical procedures, including surgeries, have associated risks. Although surgeons and other health care providers are expected to take all of the necessary measures and precautions to avoid surgical mishaps, serious mistakes still sometimes happen. When those errors and omissions cause injuries and damages, the parties responsible can be held accountable under the law.

Some of the most likely causes of surgical errors include neglect, poor communication between doctors and nurses, misdiagnosis, surgeon incompetence, and botched procedures. When a doctor, operating room nurse, or other health care provider makes a surgical error, it usually falls under the umbrella of medical malpractice.

When a surgeon makes a preventable error during a surgical procedure, the injured patient may be able to file a malpractice claim against the negligent surgeon, as well as the hospital or medical facility where the malpractice occurred. In some cases, the hospital or medical facility may be vicariously liable for the surgical error that occurred. This is especially true if the surgeon committed errors in the past or had numerous prior patient complaints that the facility failed to address.

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People visit their primary care doctors and medical specialists to help them feel better. However, when doctors fail to diagnose a serious medical condition, the results can be devastating, and in some cases, deadly.

Unfortunately, certain illnesses have a better chance of going undetected than others. Usually, this is because the symptoms of these illnesses can be easily confused with symptoms of much less serious conditions. Commonly misdiagnosed – or undiagnosed illnesses include cancer, lupus, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Lyme disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Illnesses like cancer and heart disease have the potential to go undetected or undiagnosed – sometimes until it is too late. This is especially true with breast, lung, ovarian, prostate, testicular, colon, and skin cancers. A delayed onset of cancer diagnosis or treatment, for example, allows cancer cells to multiply rapidly. This can potentially wreak havoc on a person’s body and ultimately result in an untimely death.

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In the United States, giving birth is typically an uncomplicated event. Mother and child will soon head home without any need to visit the doctor again until the child is scheduled for immunization shots. But sometimes medical negligence can lead to injury—for either the baby or mother, or both. In these situations, the law might entitle you to financial compensation. At Abels & Annes, we help families get the compensation they deserve when medical negligence causes harm.

What Is Medical Negligence?

A doctor or other medical professional who treats you owes you a duty to use reasonable care. In particular, the law requires that medical professionals possess and use the skill, knowledge, and care that other careful medical professionals would use. When they fail to do so, they might face legal responsibility if their negligence causes injuries.

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Diagnostic testing is a primary part of the job for many medical professionals. Knowing which tests to conduct and which questions to ask to make a correct diagnosis is critical to ensuring patients receive the treatment they need. When a patient is misdiagnosed or has a delayed diagnosis, injuries can occur from the lack of timely treatment.

For example, if a patient who has had a heart attack is misdiagnosed with acid reflux and sent home, they are at higher risk for another, more serious heart attack and will not receive the treatment they need to address any cardiovascular issues. In addition, cancer is often misdiagnosed, and the delay in treatment can ultimately necessitate more invasive treatment or allow the cancer to develop to the point where it is no longer treatable.

The above are only two of many examples of common misdiagnoses in the United States. If you were misdiagnosed and suffered unnecessary complications or injuries as a result, it is important to consider whether you have legal rights to financial recovery from your doctor.

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While modern medicine has made labor and delivery significantly safer than it was in the past, the negligence of medical professionals can still cause birth injuries that can cause serious medical problems in infants. In some cases, these mistakes can result in disabilities and other issues that may affect a person for the rest of his or her life.

Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence that is actionable under Illinois law.1 Here are some of the examples of the kinds of medical malpractice that can lead to birth injuries. For more information, call our office today to discuss your case.

Failure to Monitor Fetal Vital Signs

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No one enjoys going to the doctor though it is often necessary for a variety of reasons. The last thing you should expect when you see any type of medical professional is to sustain additional injuries or experience preventable complications. Unfortunately, medical malpractice is common and victims can experience significant losses and pain and suffering as a result. The following are only three examples of how medical malpractice can affect you.

Failure to Diagnose

One of the main reasons we go to a doctor’s office or emergency department is for someone to identify whether something is wrong with your health. If you have symptoms of an illness or injury, a medical professional should have the training and judgment to perform the necessary tests and ask the right questions to correctly diagnose your condition and to rule out other possible misdiagnoses. This does not always happen, however, and some commonly misdiagnosed or undiscovered conditions include:1