Medical Malpractice Law

Medical malpractice law

Medical malpractice law protects patients when a healthcare professional makes a mistake. Conboy Law understands medical malpractice laws and can help you with your medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medical malpractice liability is a serious issue, and we can see if you have a valid medical malpractice suit. You deserve adequate medical treatment, and if a medical error was made, we can see if you are eligible for medical malpractice action.

Learn more about medical malpractice claims and medical malpractice suits below. Then, contact us for a free case consultation.

What You Need To Know About Medical Malpractice Law

Medical malpractice law is about holding doctors and other healthcare workers accountable when they cause patient harm. It also sets the rules for when and how you can seek justice if you’ve been hurt. You must prove that the healthcare worker made a mistake and that this mistake caused your injury. Conboy Law is skilled in establishing these points and fighting for your rights.

Types of Medical Malpractice

Types of medical malpractice

Healthcare professionals can make a variety of mistakes that could harm a patient. A few common examples include:

  • Misdiagnosis: This happens when a doctor doesn’t correctly figure out what’s wrong with you. It can result in inappropriate treatment and delay proper care.
  • Surgical Errors: Mistakes in surgery can be severe. They can happen if a surgeon operates on an incorrect part of the body or leaves a tool inside the body.
  • Birth Injuries: Birth injuries refer to harm inflicted upon a baby or mother during childbirth. They can have long-lasting effects.
  • Medication Errors: Getting the wrong medicine or dose can be dangerous. It’s a common mistake that can cause serious problems.
  • Failure to Treat: Sometimes, a doctor might diagnose you correctly but then doesn’t give you the proper treatment.

Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim

To win a medical malpractice case, you’ve got to prove a few essential points. They include:

Duty of Care

Doctors and nurses must take care of their patients. This means they have to act as other competent healthcare workers would in the same situation. If they agree to treat you, they must do their best to help you, not hurt you. Duty of care is this promise they make to every patient.

Breach of Duty

A breach of duty means the healthcare worker didn’t act like a careful professional should. This is not about simple mistakes but instead covers significant errors that a competent healthcare worker wouldn’t make. Did they somehow breach their duty of care?

Causation

Causation is about connecting the dots. It means showing that the healthcare worker’s mistake is the reason you got hurt. It’s not enough to say they made a mistake. We must prove their mistake directly caused your injury.

Damages

Damages are the losses you’ve had because of a medical mistake. This could be money you’ve spent on more medical bills or the pain and suffering you’ve gone through. It’s all about the harm you wouldn’t have if the mistake hadn’t happened.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Medical malpractice law

A. Initiating a Lawsuit

Starting a lawsuit for medical malpractice means filing legal papers in court. You’re telling the court you were hurt by a healthcare worker’s mistake. You need a good lawyer to do this right because it’s the first big step in your fight for justice.

B. Statute of Limitations

You can’t wait forever to start your lawsuit. There exist laws called statutes of limitations that set deadlines. In Illinois, you usually have two years from when you knew or should have known about the harm. If the patient is under 18, other laws may apply. Conboy Law will help you understand these deadlines and make sure you don’t miss them.

C. Legal Procedures and Steps

After you start a lawsuit, several steps take place. There are meetings with the other side, gathering evidence from medical records and maybe even going to trial. Conboy Law will be with you at each step, explaining what’s going on and what we need to do next.

D. Settlements and Trials

The majority of medical malpractice cases conclude with a settlement. If both sides can’t agree, then you go to trial and let a jury decide. Conboy Law is ready to do either, always aiming to get you the best result.

Healthcare Professionals and Institutions

Healthcare professionals and institution

A. Physicians

Doctors, or physicians, are often the ones we think of when it comes to medical malpractice. They diagnose and treat us, so when they make a mistake, it can have significant effects on our health. Conboy Law knows how to hold physicians accountable for their actions.

B. Surgeons

Surgeons are doctors who perform operations. Their work is very delicate, and even a small error can lead to severe problems. We understand how these cases work and what it takes to show a surgeon made a mistake.

C. Nurses

Nurses are vital in healthcare and can make mistakes that harm patients. Whether it’s giving the wrong medication or not following a doctor’s orders, we’ll investigate and show where they went wrong.

D. Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities

Hospitals and other places where you get medical care have a big responsibility. They must make sure their staff is doing a good job and that patients are safe. Conboy Law can help show that the institution should be held responsible when it fails.

E. Other Healthcare Providers

There are many other kinds of healthcare workers, like therapists, dentists, and pharmacists. They all have a duty to take care of you. No matter who made the mistake, we’re here to help you if you’re hurt.

Expert Witnesses

A. Role and Importance of Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses are key in medical malpractice cases. They’re the professionals who can explain what went wrong and why it matters. Their opinions help show that the healthcare workers didn’t do as they should have.

B. Qualifications of Expert Witnesses

These experts must be knowledgeable in their field. They often have years of experience and years of education. We know how to find and work with these credible experts.

C. Testifying in Court

When expert witnesses testify in court, they tell the judge and jury what they think about the case. They help everyone understand the medical details. We work with these experts to make sure their testimony is strong and clear.

Informed Consent

Informed consent

A. Definition and Importance

Informed consent is when a healthcare worker explains a treatment or procedure to you, including the risks, before you agree. It’s important because it’s your right to know what will happen and decide if you want the treatment.

B. Requirements for Valid Informed Consent

To be considered valid, consent has to be given freely, without pressure, and with a good understanding of what’s being explained. The healthcare worker must provide you with all the info you need to make a smart choice. Conboy Law will check if you were really given the chance to understand your treatment options.

C. Exceptions and Limitations

Sometimes, informed consent isn’t needed, like in emergencies when there’s no time to explain because the patient needs help right away. But in most cases, it’s a must. If you didn’t get all the info you should have, we’ll find out and hold the right people responsible.

Standard of Care

A. Definition and Significance

The standard of care is a benchmark for determining the suitable level of medical care and service. It’s what a competent healthcare provider with a similar background would do under similar circumstances. Establishing this standard is crucial because it helps assess whether a medical professional’s actions align with accepted practices. If the care provided falls below this standard, it may be considered negligent, opening the door for potential legal action.

B. Establishing the Standard of Care

To establish the standard of care, legal and medical experts will refer to medical texts, guidelines from professional bodies, and testimony from practitioners in the field. It reflects a consensus of what is deemed reasonable and prudent in the treatment of patients. This standard can vary depending on the complexity of a case and the specific medical field. Courts often rely on expert testimony to articulate what the standard of care should have been in each specific case.

C. Deviations From the Standard

Deviations from the standard of care occur when a healthcare provider’s actions or omissions fall short of what is commonly accepted by the medical community. These deviations can sometimes lead to harm or injury to the patient. Determining whether a deviation has occurred often requires a detailed investigation and the opinion of medical experts. When such deviations are proven, they become the cornerstone of a medical malpractice claim.

Medical Negligence

A. Identifying Negligence in Medical Practice

Medical negligence is identified when a healthcare professional neglects to provide the standard of care that a reasonable person in their position would. It involves a breach of their duty of care towards a patient, which is not intentional but results from oversight or omission. Establishing negligence requires showing that the care provided was less than what was expected and that it led to harm. This harm must be directly linked to the negligence and not a preexisting condition.

B. Common Types of Medical Negligence

Common medical negligence claims include misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, surgical errors, and improper medication or dosages. Negligence can also be found in failing to monitor a patient, misinterpreting lab results, or not following up with a patient. Improper treatment, such as using unsterilized equipment or administering inappropriate therapy, also falls under this umbrella.

Medical Malpractice Insurance

A. Importance of Malpractice Insurance

Medical malpractice insurance is a key form of protection for healthcare providers as it protects them against legal claims alleging negligence. It ensures that there are funds available to pay for any damages awarded to the patient and covers the legal costs associated with a lawsuit. Without this insurance, healthcare professionals risk significant financial loss and potential damage to their professional reputation.

B. Types of Coverage

There are mainly two types of coverage in medical malpractice insurance: claims-made policies and occurrence policies. Claims-made policies offer coverage and protection if the claim is made when the policy is active. It does not matter when the incident actually took place. Occurrence policies cover any incident that occurs during the period of coverage, even if the claim is filed after the policy expires. Tail coverage can also be purchased to extend the time a claim can be made after a policy ends.

C. Costs and Premiums

The costs and premiums of medical malpractice insurance can vary widely based on the provider’s specialty, location, and claims history. High-risk specialties, like surgery or obstetrics, typically face higher premiums due to the greater likelihood of claims. Insurers also consider the medical professional’s years of experience and past claims when setting premiums.

Compensation and Damages for Medical Malpractice Claims

A. Economic Damages

Economic damages in medical malpractice claims refer to the quantifiable monetary costs incurred by the victim. These can include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and any lost wages. Accurately calculating economic damages is essential for ensuring that victims are fully compensated for their financial losses. Detailed documentation of all related expenses is crucial for recovering these damages.

B. Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages compensate for intangible losses that don’t have a specific dollar value. This could cover pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Although harder to quantify, these damages are a crucial component of a malpractice claim as they acknowledge the full impact of the injury on a victim’s life. The cap on these damages varies by state and may be subject to legal debate.

C. Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are awarded if there is severe or egregious wrongdoing. They are meant to punish the defendant and discourage similar conduct in the future. They are not tied to the actual harm suffered but are rather a form of punishment for willful or malicious misconduct. Punitive damages are relatively rare in medical malpractice cases and are awarded at the court’s discretion. They reflect society’s condemnation of particularly harmful behavior.

Our Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help You Recover After Medical Malpractice

If you or a loved one has suffered due to medical malpractice, our Chicago medical malpractice lawyer at Conboy Law can provide the representation you need to navigate this complex legal process. We understand the intricacies of Illinois law and are committed to fighting for you every step of the way.

Contact Conboy Law Today To Request a Free Consultation To Learn More About Medical Malpractice Claims

Contact Conboy Law today to request a free consultation to learn more about medical malpractice claims

Navigating a medical malpractice claim can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation where we’ll discuss the specifics of your situation and provide clear guidance on your next steps. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.

Thanks to this amazing law firm, I was able to successfully bring justice and get the help I needed. They really care a lot about their clients, they’re 100 percent fully involved in your case and will do the most to make sure you get the help you need. Thanks for everything!
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I can't say enough about Joseph Conboy. He was a true asset during our personal injury claim and had such an amazing legal approach, which made me feel like his top priority from day one! I'm so grateful we were able to work together for this win/win outcome.
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