The birth of a child is one of the most special and exciting moments in parents' lives. A great amount of trust is given to the obstetrician to ensure safe delivery. When complications arise during child birth, it is the responsibility of the delivery doctor and medical team to quickly assess the situation and provide an accurate and timely response. The welfare of both mother and child is in their hands. Unfortunately, mistakes are made in the delivery room, and the consequences for the baby can be detrimental.
Klumpke's palsy is a birth injury that is caused by damage to the collection of nerve fibers in a newborns spine and neck. A common cause of this devastating injury occurs when the baby's shoulders become lodged inside of the mother and cannot pass through. If the doctor does not use appropriate means to ensure a safe delivery in these cases, Klumpke's palsy can occur. This debilitating injury can cause permanent mental retardation and loss of motor functionality in the infant.
- Medical Malpractice Can Happen in Many Hospitals and Treatment Centers
- The Medical Malpractice Attorneys From Zayed Law Offices Are Here to Help
- Measuring Your Medical Malpractice Damages is Difficult and Complex
- Insurance Companies Work For Profit, Not For You
- Medical Malpractice Attorneys Are Your Experts Against the Insurance Companies
- IS YOUR CHILD'S KLUMPKE'S PALSY THE RESULT OF A BIRTH INJURY HOSPITAL ERROR?
- Zayed Law Offices
Medical Malpractice Can Happen in Many Hospitals and Treatment Centers
The Chicago area is home to many impressive hospitals and healthcare institutions, some independent and others linked to local universities. Options for procedures in Chicago include Rush University Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Advocate Christ Medical Center, University of Chicago Medical Center, Loyola University Medical Center, and NorthShore University HealthSystem-Metro Chicago.
Whichever of these many institutions you have chosen, you deserved treatment that meets a minimum level of quality, as we'll discuss below.
While you might have visited a hospital that has a great deal of respect in the community, mistakes still do happen. Even healthcare institutions with great reputations still have experiences with medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is when a medical procedure injures you in a way that is below the level of quality you can expect from any medical center or doctor, as we'll discuss.
In the following sections, we'll consider why you might deserve damages for your medical malpractice injury, what medical malpractice is in-depth, and how a medical malpractice attorney can help you collect what you deserve.
The Medical Malpractice Attorneys From Zayed Law Offices Are Here to Help
Suffering an injury in a medical procedure is the last thing you expect to happen when you have something done to correct a problem. When medical procedures create more problems than they solve due to an error on behalf of the doctor of a healthcare facility, you may be entitled to damages. There is a difference between medical malpractice and an honest mistake within the bounds of normal healthcare.
When a healthcare professional performs a healthcare procedure for you, you can depend upon a certain level of quality; something called a standard of care which we'll explore below. If the care that you received dips below the minimum level of quality you deserve, injury results, and the injury cost you damages, then you may recover compensation.
Knowing when you have experienced medical malpractice can be difficult to determine if you do not have medical education or experience with medical malpractice cases. The fact of the matter is your doctor is not likely to explain to you that they made a mistake with your procedure, as it harms their reputation and may lead to an increase in the cost of their medical malpractice insurance.
Suppose you have suffered an injury in a medical procedure. In that case, it is often up to you and your attorney to identify if the injury is medical malpractice and if you can recover damages. Reaching out to an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible following your injury to review the unique facts and circumstances related to your case will determine what damages, if any, you deserve.
Measuring Your Medical Malpractice Damages is Difficult and Complex
Accurately calculating and knowing what damages you deserve without expert help is difficult.
Your damages consist of a combination of short- and long-term costs and expenses linked to your injury. Accurately measuring your damages requires that you determine the cost of all the procedures and medical issues related to your injury, as well as their impact on your professional life and ability to work and earn income.
In the short term, your damages include the cost of medical treatments, medications, and other requirements to treat your injury, as well as any lost wages you experienced due to missed work after your injury. Long-term damages associated with your injury include lost earnings potential from the date of your injury through your working life, in present dollar value.
These amounts can be difficult to determine without knowing which calculations to apply and without expert opinions from medical and occupational experts. Your medical malpractice attorney will have a network of local medical and occupational experts to refer you to for additional insight into your injury.
Medical experts measure the health impact of your injury in the long term, including any treatment, medication, or rehabilitation your injury might require. An occupational expert takes the medical information and translates it into how your injury will impact your working life.
Through the combined data provided by the medical and occupational experts that your medical malpractice attorney will refer you to, you can identify an accurate understanding of the costs linked to your injury. From there, we pursue the best possible settlement for your injury to ensure that you recover the financial losses that resulted from your injury.
Insurance Companies Work For Profit, Not For You
It is generally not your doctor or the healthcare facility that will be responsible for compensating you for your damages, but rather their insurance companies. Doctors and healthcare facilities carry medical malpractice insurance specifically to cover them if a costly mistake happens, and the injured patient is entitled to compensation.
When you are dealing with the insurance company, your claim must have sufficient evidence and data to support your damages for you to recover anything. The full-time team of claim analysts and attorneys working at the insurance company do their best to deny whichever claims they can while reducing the amount that they pay out on those which are approved.
Insurance companies are for-profit organizations that make their profit like any other for-profit company by maximizing revenues and minimizing costs. Their revenues are the premiums that they collect from doctors and healthcare organizations.
The costs to the insurance companies responsible for your damages are the amounts that they payout to claimants like you. Insurance companies increase their profit margins by denying whichever claims they can and paying as little as possible on those that meet the threshold for approval.
It is important to remember that your injury and the related damages must accompany your initial claim and application. The application must be both accurate and complete, with any omissions or errors leading to the insurance company rejecting your initial application.
While an appeals process is available to you, applications they have already rejected have an even lesser likelihood of being accepted on appeal. Your medical malpractice attorney can ensure that your application is completely comprehensive and leads you to recover the damages that you are entitled to.
Medical Malpractice Attorneys Are Your Experts Against the Insurance Companies
Insurance companies, as mentioned, have full-time teams of claim analysts and attorneys looking for reasons they can reject your claim, and if they have to approve it, they will only pay what the evidence requires that they cover.
The importance of submitting a comprehensive and complete claim to the insurance company will determine whether you collect the full compensation you are entitled to and how long it will take. Medical malpractice attorneys know what information to include, what evidence to collect, and how to position your case to achieve the best possible outcome, whether through an initial claim or a lawsuit.
The purpose of pursuing damages for your medical malpractice injury is to put you in as close a position as possible as though the injury had not occurred. This means covering all of the medical bills associated with your injury, whether short-term procedures to overcome the injury or long-term rehabilitation.
Further, the purpose of your damages is to replace any lost wages and earnings that result from your injury, which you can calculate by measuring the impact of your medical malpractice injury on your ability to work and support your family.
Collecting the full damages you are entitled to for your medical malpractice injury takes experience and commitment, which your attorney provides for you through every step of the process.
IS YOUR CHILD'S KLUMPKE'S PALSY THE RESULT OF A BIRTH INJURY HOSPITAL ERROR?
If your child suffers from Klumpke's palsy due to the medical malpractice of your delivery doctor, you may be entitled to compensation. The medical malpractice attorneys at Zayed Law Offices helps families whose children have sustained birth injuries due to the negligence of the delivering doctor. Birth injuries, such as Klumpke's palsy, can mean a lifetime of special needs and medical treatment for an infant. Our dedicated Chicago birth injury lawyers fights to secure a fair settlement, which ensures that your child's medical and financial needs will always be taken care of. Medical malpractice cases can be complex and require a knowledgeable lawyer to navigate the litigation effectively. Our Chicago Klumpke's palsy attorney is highly skilled in birth injury cases and makes use of an extended network of resources to provide the necessary evidence in your case. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
In the following FAQs, we'll explore several commonly asked questions related to medical malpractice and explore how the experienced attorneys from Zayed Law Offices can step in on your behalf and recover the best possible settlement for your injuries.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM?
Whether or not a medical professional violated the standard of care in your procedure and the resulting injury provides you with a medical malpractice claim depends on the unique facts and circumstances surrounding your injury. The standard of care that applies to your particular procedure will be the starting point, which is collected by referring to medical expert opinions, in addition to prior lawsuits and cases related to the same procedure.
Prior lawsuits and case precedent help your medical malpractice attorney determine the norms of a particular procedure. This information can also help determine what damages you are entitled to for your injuries.
Your medical malpractice attorney will take the medical records of your procedure and compare them to the standard of care that applies. By analyzing your injury, the procedure conducted on you, and the standard of care that applies, your attorney will determine the level of liability for your injury and all responsible parties.
Your attorney will then take this information to begin measuring what your damages are and what level of compensation you might be entitled to for your injuries. This requires experience with medical malpractice cases, knowledge of how to negotiate with insurance companies, and if a settlement cannot be reached, with the court procedures and case precedents in your area.
When you are trying to recover from your injury, the last thing you will have time to do is learn the law and case precedent and then gain years of experience negotiating with insurance companies to best serve yourself in your case. This is where your medical malpractice attorney evens the playing field for you against the insurance company.
WHO PAYS FOR THE DAMAGES RELATED TO MY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INJURY?
When you have suffered an injury in an instance of medical malpractice, the doctor and medical facility in which the injury occurred will most likely be liable, and in turn, their insurance companies.
Doctors and medical facilities have medical malpractice insurance to compensate patients when mistakes inevitably happen so that they protect their practice against the potentially costly risk of malpractice. When you have suffered an injury in a medical procedure, you'll first need to accurately calculate your damages, as we discussed above, and from there issue a claim to the insurance company.
Whether or not your initial claim is accepted depends upon its accuracy, completeness, and the level and value of the evidence you have provided.
Your medical malpractice attorney has a network of medical and occupational experts to provide evidence and opinions about how your injury will impact your health and ability to work in the long term. Without the advocacy of a medical malpractice attorney, you may encounter difficulty recovering what you are entitled to from the insurance company and even more difficulty overcoming an initial denial upon appeal.
DO I HAVE TO FILE MY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWSUIT IN A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF TIME?
Collecting damages for your medical malpractice injury begins with issuing your claim. There is a legal concept known as a statute of limitations, which is the time frame during which you can bring a claim. If you do not file a claim in this period, your rights to do so expire.
For example, if there is a one-year statute of limitations for a particular claim, then you can file a lawsuit for up to one year after the date of the incident that caused the claim. In terms of injury or death in Illinois, generally, the statute of limitations to bring a claim is two years. Medical malpractice, however, is more complicated, and the statute of limitations can vary from one to seven years, depending on the unique facts and circumstances surrounding your case.
When you have suffered an injury in a medical procedure, it can take some time to realize the full extent of the harm you have experienced. You are doing your best to recover from the injury while getting on with your life, and it can take time to realize what happened and that your injury was not something that should have developed following your procedure. The statute of limitations allows you and your attorney time to collect the evidence you need to make a case and get moving on your claim.
CAN I MAKE A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM IF I SIGNED A WAIVER OR CONSENT FORM?
Doctors and healthcare facilities may require that you sign a consent or waiver form before undergoing a procedure. What a waiver or consent form means is that you agree to undertake the procedure and the risks that are related to the procedure when performed up to the standard of care.
Some risks are normal within the scope of a particular procedure, and patients who undergo the procedure must agree to these risks to have the operation. Medical malpractice is outside the scope of waiver or consent. No one can ask you to waive your right to damages if you suffered an injury due to the negligence or recklessness of a doctor or healthcare facility.
When you have suffered an injury due to a violation of the standard of care, the doctor or healthcare facility has engaged in negligence or recklessness, which they are liable for. In turn, they will look to the insurance companies that cover them for medical malpractice for coverage on your damages. While your doctor or the hospital might try and lead you to believe that you are not entitled to anything for your injuries due to your consent form or waiver, speaking with a medical malpractice attorney to assess your records is the best way to know.
WILL MY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE COMPENSATION BE TAXED?
The amount that you recover for your medical malpractice damages is generally not taxable, which means that more of that amount goes into your pocket to cover the costs associated with your injury.
As we'll discuss below, the amount that your medical malpractice attorney charges for your case depends upon what you and your attorney agree upon. If your attorney has taken your case on a contingency basis, not only will you have no out-of-pocket expenses, but your attorney collects an agreed-upon portion of your winnings, so the more they make, the more you make. This creates positive motivation for your attorney to do as well as possible in your case.
HOW DO I GET COPIES OF MY MEDICAL RECORDS?
Getting copies of your medical records is as simple as requesting them from the records department and potentially having to pay a fee to the records department for your copy. You are legally entitled to a copy of your medical records upon request and do not have to provide a reason for your request.
In fact, most will suggest that you not mention to your healthcare provider, doctor, or the records department that you are requesting your records because you suspect medical malpractice. Simply request your records, and reach out to a personal injury attorney with a medical malpractice focus to determine what damages you are entitled to for your injuries.
HOW MUCH WILL MY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEY COST?
The price of your medical malpractice attorney can be nothing out-of-pocket at all if your attorney takes your case on contingency. When you have experienced an injury during a medical procedure that is against the standard of care, you are entitled to damages, and a medical malpractice attorney may be willing to take your case on contingency, which means they only collect payment if they win on your case, out of a portion of the earnings they produce for you.
Before getting started, you and your attorney agree upon a percentage that your attorney will make out of what they earn for you, which means that your attorney is motivated to earn as much as possible for you, as your earnings are linked. You pay nothing out-of-pocket, and your attorney collects payment if they win on your behalf.
HOW DO I START MY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM?
Reaching out to a local medical malpractice attorney from Zayed Law Offices is a no-risk opportunity to explore options on your case. If your case is a fit with our firm, we will provide you with top-notch legal representation through every step of the process. You are not obligated to pay anything until we agree to represent you and agree upon payment terms, so reach out to discuss how to recover the most compensation for your medical malpractice injury now.
WHAT IS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?
Medical malpractice is when a healthcare provider violates the “standard of care” that the patient is entitled to concerning the procedure they are administering. A standard of care is the basic level of quality and/or care that a reasonable medical professional would employ when performing the particular procedure under question.
This is a difficult concept to define as each procedure will have a different standard of care. To learn what the standard of care for a procedure takes experience, the experience that doctors and healthcare facilities have and can use against you. The good news is that your medical malpractice attorney can put their knowledge and experience to work in favor of your claim and challenge any defenses by negligent doctors.
If you think that you have experienced medical malpractice and been injured due to a procedure, it is important that you not directly accuse your doctor or healthcare facility of medical malpractice. This can alert them to the problem and cause issues in terms of evidence collection later on that can be important for your case.
Simply request a copy of your medical records according to the law, then contact a medical malpractice attorney from Zayed Law Offices as soon as possible to determine options in your case.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO PROVE IN ORDER TO SUCCESSFULLY BRING A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM?
Once the doctor-patient relationship has been established, the healthcare provider must adhere to the applicable standard of care. A patient bringing a medical malpractice claim must show that the healthcare provider breached the applicable standard of care, that the breach caused injury, and that the breach caused the patient's injuries.
Prosecuting a claim for medical malpractice can be time consuming, complicated, and costly. Contacting an attorney who has a proven track record of excellence is an essential part of bringing a successful medical malpractice claim.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY DOCTOR HAS COMMITTED MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?
Very often doctors undertake risky procedures without any guarantee of success, and a bad result alone is not evidence of medical malpractice. One of the most solid grounds for suspicion of medical malpractice is when the results of a procedure are widely unexpected. It is important to look into any suspicions of medical malpractice, and this is best done by contacting an experienced medical malpractice law firm. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will review the records of healthcare professionals and may order additional tests and exams.
WHO WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR MY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE?
In the event of medical malpractice, health care providers can be held responsible as well as the institutions they are affiliated with. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will be able to identify ALL parties who are responsible.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWSUITS?
Two years is the general time limit for filing suit for injury or death in Illinois. However, there are many nuances that apply to medical malpractice statutes of limitation. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits is from one to seven years depending on the facts of the case. It is best to contact a personal injury attorney in order to consult with an attorney who will guide your case through the gauntlet of applicable statutes of limitations.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A SUSPICION THAT ONE OF MY HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS HAS COMMITTED MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?
One of the most important things to do in the event of a suspected medical malpractice is to avoid outright accusations toward your healthcare provider. Make sure that you request your medical records and then consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney to review the records and provide guidance on your potential cause of action.
WHAT IF I SIGNED A CONSENT FORM OR A WAIVER, DOES THAT MEAN I HAVE WAIVED MY RIGHT TO BRING A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM?
Signing a consent form means you have acknowledged that there are known risks associated with your medical treatment. A signed consent form does not mean that you have consented to medical treatment below the applicable standard of care owed by all healthcare providers to their patients.
ARE AMOUNTS RECOVERED FOR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS TAXABLE?
Amounts recovered from medical malpractice lawsuits are generally not taxable.
HOW DO I OBTAIN MY MEDICAL RECORDS?
All patients have a legal right to obtain a copy of their medical records. These requests should be made in writing and must include details like the patient's social security number, address, date of birth, etc. Requesting medical records can be very timely and may require payment of fees to the records department providing the records.