Medical errors and medical negligence are more common than many people realize. About one-half of medical providers have been or will be sued for medical malpractice. Malpractice spans all health care practices, including general practice, specialties, nursing homes, and hospitals.
Victims of medical malpractice may be entitled to compensation for the damages caused by negligent physicians. How do you know if your injuries were caused by medical malpractice? A Chicago medical malpractice attorney can review your case to determine if you have a malpractice claim against your doctor.
What Doctors Receive the Most Medical Malpractice Claims?
A study of malpractice data from 1991 through 2005 revealed that 7.4% of all physicians included in the study had a malpractice claim. Of the claims filed, surgeons held the top three categories of specialists sued for medical malpractice.
The 2019 Medscape Malpractice Report named surgery as the top category for malpractice claims. It found that surgeons, both general surgeons and specialists, were more likely to be sued than other specialists. For 2019, Illinois had the third-highest rate of malpractice lawsuits in the country.
Surgeons often face some of the worst medical malpractice lawsuits because of the nature of their practice. An error during surgery could result in a patient’s immediate death. Surgical errors and mistakes can result in permanent disabilities and impairments.
For example, comedian Dana Carvey sued for medical malpractice when the surgical team bypassed the incorrect artery during double-bypass surgery. Surgeons in 1995 amputated the wrong leg of a patient. A Rhode Island Hospital had three cases in one year of a surgeon performing brain surgery on the wrong side of the brain.
Causes of Medical Malpractice
What causes a surgeon or other physician to make errors or mistakes while treating a patient? There are many reasons why doctors make mistakes. Many of those mistakes are caused by negligence or intentional wrongdoing by the doctor or medical staff.
Common causes of medical malpractice include:
- Failure to review a patient’s file to confirm the surgical procedure and the patient before beginning surgery
- Performing surgery under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to monitor patients after surgery for complications
- Performing the wrong surgery, surgery on the wrong patient, or wrong body-site surgery
- Anesthetic errors and mistakes
- Failing to diagnose a condition or illness, delayed diagnosis, or misdiagnosis
- Prescribing the wrong medication or the incorrect dosage of medication
- Giving a patient the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of medication
- Mistakes and errors made during childbirth
- Treating a patient or performing surgery or procedures while fatigued or drowsy
- Failing to obtain informed consent
Medical malpractice can result in wrongful deaths and permanent disabilities. Patients and their families can suffer the consequences of malpractice for the rest of their lives.
Damages Available for a Medical Malpractice Claim
The damages caused by medical malpractice can be extensive. Individuals may incur substantial costs for medical treatment and personal care. They may also be out of work for a lengthy period as they recover from injuries. In some cases, a person may not be able to return to work because of a permanent impairment or experience a decrease in earning potential over the rest of their life.
Patients may also recover compensation for the non-economic damages caused by medical malpractice. Those damages include:
- Physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disabilities and permanent impairments
- Decreases in the person’s quality of life
When a doctor causes injury or harm, you have the right to fair compensation. Talking with a lawyer is the first step in filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against your doctor.
Contact Our Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney for A Free Consultation
The value of a medical malpractice claim depends on numerous factors. Your time to file a claim is limited by the Illinois statute of limitations. Therefore, contact a Chicago medical malpractice attorney now to discuss your legal rights and options for seeking justice after a doctor committed malpractice. Get in touch with our office today.