What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a kind of legal claim that usually stems from a doctor, hospital, or other medical professional causing a serious or fatal injury to a patient as the result of an avoidable error. However, dissatisfaction with a medical outcome is not grounds for a medical malpractice action.
The two major keys to a medical malpractice case are that there was some kind of avoidable error and a victim suffered catastrophic loss or permanent damage. Doctors have an obligation to maintain a standard of care, and a patient has a cause of action when the doctor deviates from that standard.
An avoidable error simply means a mistake by some medical staff member that could have been prevented. Some of the most common kinds of avoidable errors include, but are not limited to:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Anesthesia errors
- Prescription drug errors
- Surgical errors
- Emergency room errors
- Bacterial infections
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Failure to adequately treat
- Birth injuries
- Brain damage
- Hospital negligence
Victims can also experience numerous kinds of catastrophic loss or permanent damage, and some injuries are not always immediately obvious.
Medical malpractice cases can become exceptionally complicated when a person learns of an injury or error several weeks, months, or even years after the original procedure. Illinois imposes a strict statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims, so it is advised to not wait in seeking legal representation for assistance handling your claim.
Some of the different kinds of catastrophic loss or permanent damage that our firm has experience handling include:
- Birth injuries
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Acquired brain injuries (ABIs)
- Limb loss
Keep in mind that 735 Illinois Compiled Statute § 5/2-622 establishes that in any medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff is required to file an affidavit declaring either that:
- An affiant (the person who swears to an affidavit) consulted and reviewed the facts of the case with a health professional who is knowledgeable in the relevant issues involved in the particular action; practices, has practiced, currently teaches, or taught within the last six years in the same area of health care or medicine that is at issue in the particular action; and is qualified by experience or demonstrated competence in the subject of the case, that the professional has concluded that there is a reasonable and meritorious cause for filing of such action.
- An affiant was unable to obtain the required consultation, but the certificate and written report required will be filed within 90 days of the filing of the complaint.
- A plaintiff or their attorney has made a request for examination and copying of records pursuant to Part 20 of Article VIII of this Code, but the party required to comply has failed to produce the records within 60 days of the receipt of the request. When an affidavit is executed pursuant to this paragraph, the certificate and written report required must be filed within 90 days following receipt of the requested records.
Defendants in medical malpractice claims often seek to have these actions dismissed on procedural grounds, and it is always in your best interest to make sure you are working with an experienced lawyer. Make sure that you contact Spiros Law, P.C. as quickly as you can.
Our firm has a record of success that includes $3.3 million recovered for a 52-year-old medical negligence victim. You can have our attorneys help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (815) 929-9292 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.