Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice happens when a health care provider or professional fails to take appropriate medical action, neglects to provide appropriate treatment, or delivers unsatisfactory treatment that injures or kills the patient. The mistake could occur in any of the following areas: diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, health management, and medication dosage. If you have suffered injuries at the hands of a negligent health care professional, speak with one of our Chicago personal injury lawyers for a free consultation today at (312) 586-1700.
Meet Our Attorneys
The Chicago Law firm of Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC, was proudly founded by four very successful and established lawyers. That statement is not rhetoric, but a fact earned by years of diligently working in the field of personal injury law representing victims of negligence. Together we bring over decades of experience in handling medical and nursing home negligence cases.
Previous Client Results
- $18 million medical malpractice settlement for a family whose child was injured during labor and delivery.
- $9.1 million Federal Civil Rights settlement for Delnor Hospital Nurse Hostages.
- $5.7 million in DuPage County for a spinal cord injury following spinal surgery.
- $3 million settlement obtained during a jury trial for the estate of a 70-year-old hospital patient who suffocated to death after his tracheostomy tube became dislodged.
- $2.75 million state record jury verdict in a medical malpractice case on behalf of a young girl who suffered a lacerated tendon to her middle finger following a c-section delivery. The offer prior to trial was $300,000.
Many medical malpractice errors are avoidable. Many cases are due to the inattentiveness of medical staff. Patients injured by careless health care professionals can file a lawsuit with the help of our Chicago law firm. Our lawyers are essential advocates for those who have suffered harm due to the negligence of a medical provider. We have a proven track record and understand the devastating consequences of medical errors, such as brain injuries. Our trial lawyers handle a range of cases including misdiagnosis and surgical errors and will work diligently to recover lost income and negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of their clients.
Jump to Section:
- Cases of Medical Malpractice in Chicago, IL
- What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?
- Determining Compensation from a Medical Malpractice Claim
- How Long Will a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Take?
- Time Limit for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Chicago
- Why Choose Us as Your Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney
Cases of Medical Malpractice in Chicago, IL
It is well-established that hundreds of thousands of people are harmed or killed by medical negligence. Looking at Illinois alone, there have been thousands of cases filed over the last decade that have led to millions of dollars worth of settlements and verdicts. Additionally, a recent statistic cited errors made during the care and treatment of patients by doctors, nurses, and hospitals to be the third leading cause of death. Our skilled Chicago medical malpractice attorneys have handled all types of medical cases involving matters such as:
- Labor and Delivery issues
- Birth Injuries
- Brain Damage
- Surgical Errors
- Failure to diagnose cancer
- Missed diagnoses
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Air Embolism
- Failure to properly render treatment
- Bed Sores, Pressure Sores and Decubitus Ulcers
- Medication Errors
- Clogged or dislodged Breathing tubes
- Cerebral palsy
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?
Not every situation rises to the level of a medical malpractice case. Before you file any claim, it’s a good idea to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer regarding your situation. Malpractice claims have the following characteristics:
- A Violation of the Standard of Care – The standard of care refers to the degree of prudence, caution, and attentiveness that a reasonable physician under the circumstances would exercise. The patient and his/her medical malpractice legal team may hold the health care provider or staff liable for not delivering care that is consistent with the standard of care.
- Harm Caused by Negligence – The victim needs to prove that the negligence of the health professional caused injury.
- An Injury that Led to Specific Damages –The aggrieved party must demonstrate that the injury resulted in significant medical issues and can claim as a result past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and disability.
Determining Compensation from a Medical Malpractice Claim
It can be challenging to understand how much compensation an individual will be awarded if their medical malpractice claim in Chicago is successful. No two claims are exactly alike. Every case needs to be examined individually, and an attorney will work with trusted medical and economic experts to adequately calculate total expected losses.
At our law firm, we work diligently to recover both economic and non-economic losses that an individual is likely to sustain as a result of a medical error.
- Economic damages – This includes the tangible losses that an individual is likely to sustain after a medical mistake occurs. We can typically calculate these expenses by gathering the bills and receipts that come in after a medical error occurs in Chicago. Some of the most common economic damages associated with a medical error include:
- All medical expenses associated with correcting the error and any additional injuries or illnesses that occur as a result of the mistake
- Lost wages if a person cannot work as a result of the medical mistake
- Loss of future earnings if a person sustains a disability that keeps them from working permanently
- Various out-of-pocket expenses and individual incurs
- Non-economic damages – These types of damages are more immeasurable than the medical malpractice economic damages listed above. With these types of losses, there are no bills or receipts that can be added up to adequately calculate a medical malpractice victim’s:
- Physical pain and suffering caused by the mistake
- Emotional and psychological trauma caused by the medical error
- Loss of consortium experienced by a spouse or family members
- Loss of quality of life
There is no set amount of compensation paid to Chicago medical malpractice victims. Rather, the total compensation paid will depend on the overall severity of the injury, the egregiousness of the error, how long it takes a person to recover, and more.
How Long Will a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Take?
The resolution of a malpractice lawsuit depends on a wide range of factors, such as:
- Jurisdiction where the Case is Filed
- Complexity and Strength of the Case
- Type of Medical Procedures Involved
- Nature of the Injuries
Your dedicated medical malpractice attorney will determine the right balance between moving the case along at the correct pace but making sure that every avenue or liability and damages is explored before trial. If your case goes to trial, your knowledgeable legal team will vigorously and aggressively represent you in court.
How Does a Medical Malpractice Claim Work?
We suggest that the first step you take regarding your medical malpractice claim is reaching out to an attorney for assistance. Because these claims are so complicated, you need assistance from an attorney with extensive experience handling these particular types of cases. An attorney will conduct A preliminary investigation into your case and determine whether or not to move forward. If the decision is made to move forward with your claim, there will be a more in-depth investigation that includes reviewing medical records from before and after the incident and possibly reaching out to other medical professionals for their opinions. An attorney is crucial when dealing with cases involving delayed diagnosis, medical center negligence, or brain injury. They will guide you through the legal process, ensuring medical standards are upheld and fight for the rights of the injured or their family member.
Certificate of merit
Unlike other types of personal injury claims, medical malpractice victims are required to obtain a certificate of merit if they wish to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. This certificate of merit is an affidavit signed by a medical professional who practices in the same area of medicine related to the malpractice. The certificate of marriage should explain that, in the medical professional’s opinion, the alleged negligent healthcare provider’s actions fell below the accepted standard of medical care.
Negotiations with the insurance company
Before a lawsuit gets filed, your attorney will likely engage in some type of negotiation with the medical professional’s insurance carrier to see if a settlement offer is available. These negotiations are an important part of the process, and your attorney will explain to the insurance carrier why they believe your case is viable and how much compensation they think you should receive. It is not uncommon for an insurance carrier to put forth a low settlement offer or even to deny the claim altogether. If a settlement can be reached, then the case is essentially over.
Filing the medical malpractice lawsuit
If the insurance company is unwilling to put forth a fair settlement offer, your attorney will need to file an official lawsuit in civil court. After a lawsuit is filed, the defendant will get to file a response, and the case will enter the discovery phase. This is when attorneys for both sides will exchange information relevant to the trial, and they will likely take depositions of all parties directly involved and of any witnesses that may be used at trial.
Before a medical malpractice case goes in front of a jury, it will likely go through a mediation step first period mediation can occur at any time during the discovery process, and information uncovered during discovery may get one side or the other to move forward with a resolution. The mediator will act as a referee between the two parties to assist them in reaching a fair resolution.
Going to trial
In the event both parties cannot reach a settlement through mediation, the final step is taking the case to trial. During a medical malpractice trial in Chicago, both sides will get to present their evidence to a jury and question witnesses. A jury will get the chance to examine all of the facts and then make a decision about the case.
Who Can Face Medical Malpractice Claims?
When individuals think of medical malpractice claims, their mind often goes right to a doctor. Yes, the vast majority of claims are indeed filed against a medical doctor, but there are certainly other types of medical professionals that can face malpractice claims as well. This includes, but is not limited to, anesthesiologists and surgeons, both of which are also medical doctors, though they have received specialized training in other fields.
Aside from doctors, some other types of medical professionals that could face medical malpractice lawsuits include:
- Nurse aides
- Pharmacy technicians
- Physician assistants
- Physical therapists
- Whole health practitioners
- and others
In addition to specific medical professionals who could face a malpractice lawsuit, entire health systems or agencies could also face malpractice lawsuits as well. This is particularly true for medical agencies or facilities that knew or should have known about specific dangers related to a medical professional under their auspices.
In order to properly understand who could face a malpractice claim for your particular injury or illness case, we strongly encourage you to reach out to a skilled Chicago medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Our team will address common types of malpractice including issues with informed consent.
Time Limit for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Chicago
Every state sets a certain timeframe for individuals to file a malpractice lawsuit against negligent medical professionals. In Illinois, the medical malpractice statute of limitations is two years from the date the person discovers or should have discovered their injuries or illness that resulted due to medical malpractice. If an individual fails to file a lawsuit within this two-year time frame, they will likely lose the ability to recover the compensation they are entitled to.
However, there are certainly exceptions to the statute of limitations that you need to be aware of. First, if a minor under the age of 18 is harmed due to a medical mistake, they have up to eight years after the incident to file a claim. They do have to file their claim before their 22nd birthday, regardless of their age as a minor when the mistake was discovered.
If a medical professional such as a nurse or doctor or health care agency purposely withholds information in order to conceal improper care or negligence, the statute of limitations is changed from two years to five years from the date the injury or illness is discovered.
Finally, if a patient becomes so incapacitated that they are unable to file a claim, the statute of limitations will not begin until this disability is no longer present and the individual can physically proceed with the lawsuit.
What to Do if You Were Injured by a Medical Professional
If you sustain an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of a medical professional in Chicago, there are various steps that you can take to help ensure you have the best chance of recovering compensation for your losses.
- Go to another medical professional. If you are experiencing any type of injury or illness that you suspect was caused by the actions of a medical professional, you need to get an opinion about your suspicions from an entirely different medical professional. You may need to go to a completely different facility. The priority is ensuring your health and well-being, so medical care comes first.
- Speak to a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer. We strongly encourage individuals to speak to a lawyer with extensive experience handling complex claims. As we have discussed here, these claims are challenging, and your best chance at recovering compensation will happen if you have skilled legal assistance by your side handling every aspect of your claim.
- Keep all medical documents and records. As you continue to receive medical care after the alleged malpractice occurred, you need to obtain and secure all medical records related to the incident. If you are unsure about how to obtain your medical records from any medical facility or medical professional, speak to your attorney to obtain assistance in doing so. Medical records will be an incredibly important part of the medical malpractice lawsuit process.
- Document how the medical mistake has altered your life. We encourage all victims to keep a daily journal about how the malpractice incident has affected their lives. This can include a discussion of any pain and suffering endured, discussions about the inability to carry out day-to-day activities or work activities, etc.
Why Choose Us as Your Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney
We have experience in teaching other lawyers about these types of cases. Our skilled medical lawyers have authored publications on medical negligence and we have tried many cases to verdict before juries.
Working in this area of law requires a keen understanding of medical issues and working with experts in the field of medicine to understand the nuances and analyze the outcomes. Our proficient medical malpractice lawyers have worked with medical experts of all kinds in researching medical and healthcare negligence with exceptional results.
The legal representation at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC specializes in handling complex cases involving wrongful death, birth injury, emergency room errors, and hospital negligence. We understand the profound impact these incidents can have on you and your loved one. With our deep understanding of Illinois law and experience in holding medical providers accountable, we strive to provide compassionate and effective legal representation to seek justice for your case.
Contacting our firm is vital when considering legal action after experiencing harm or negligence during medical treatment. We know the importance of gathering evidence, including medical records and test results, to build a strong case on the behalf of our clients. With expertise in medical malpractice laws and regulations in the United States, we will provide support and guidance to both the injured individual and their loved ones throughout the entire injury case process.