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Doctors and other medical professionals have a legal duty to diagnose, treat, and care for their patients in a way that meets the standards of the medical community. When medical professionals fall short of these standards, they put their patients at risk for emotional trauma, physical injury, and sometimes fatality. Doctors take an oath to “do no harm,” yet, medical malpractice still occurs.
If you have suffered harm at the hands of a physician or other medical professional, Illinois law permits you to take action to recover compensation for damages. The compassionate and knowledgeable legal team at Zayed Law Offices understands the emotional, physical, and financial challenges that victims of medical malpractice face.
If medical malpractice injured you, we can help you hold the medical professional accountable for their actions. Contact our Peoria medical malpractice attorneys today to tell us your story and learn about your legal options during a free consultation.
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Zayed Law Offices Advocates for Peoria Victims of Medical Malpractice
Whether you live in the Peoria area and/or receive medical treatment there, the skilled legal team at Zayed Law Offices can help if you have fallen victim to medical malpractice throughout the state of Illinois. Our firm has experience in negotiating, settling, and litigating medical malpractice claims. Dedication to advocacy and client service has led to the recovery of millions of dollars in damages for our clients.
In a recent case, Attorney Adam J. Zayed resolved a medical malpractice lawsuit for a client, recovering $950,000. The client had a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, more commonly referred to as gall bladder removal. During the procedure, the surgical team makes four small incisions and uses a camera to assist them in removing the gall bladder. Our client had complications related to negligence during the procedure.
This is only one example of an outcome from a medical malpractice claim and does not guarantee a specific financial outcome for your case. The medical malpractice lawyers at Zayed Law Offices can review your medical malpractice claim and diligently pursue the maximum compensation possible for your injuries. Our firm has the experience and resources to hold medical professionals accountable for their negligence.
Statute of Limitations in Peoria Medical Malpractice Cases
If you fell victim to medical malpractice and want to take legal action against your medical provider, you must bring a lawsuit within Illinois’s statute of limitations.
In most cases, you must file a lawsuit against your medical provider within two years of when the injury occurred. However, medical malpractice can cause various injuries that do not immediately show symptoms, so the law allows for some exceptions.
Delayed Discovery Rule
Most states, including Illinois, have a delayed discovery rule for medical malpractice cases. Sometimes patients do not learn of their condition or injury until months or years after their medical provider committed malpractice.
The law allows for the two-year statute of limitations time clock to begin from the date when the patient discovered or should have discovered their injury. However, the law does not allow victims to file a lawsuit beyond four years from the date of the malpractice, regardless of how long it took them to discover their injury.
Minor Medical Malpractice Victims
Infants and young children cannot verbalize the injuries or harm they suffered from medical malpractice. Instead, parents need to discover the injury, often after their child misses one or more critical developmental milestones. Even after a child presents symptoms, it can take doctors time to identify their condition or injury.
Illinois law permits parents to file a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of their child for up to eight years from the date when the underlying injury occurred. Children may also file themselves but cannot bring a medical malpractice lawsuit past their 22nd birthday.
After discovering medical malpractice, taking action as soon as possible is in your best interest. If you file the suit beyond the statute of limitations period, an Illinois court will not hear your case. Additionally, the more time that passes increases the difficulty of building a strong case and can decrease the quantity and quality of available evidence to support a case. It is best to let a Peoria medical malpractice lawyer start working on your case as soon as possible.
Various Failures and Actions Qualify as Medical Malpractice
The medical community broadly defines medical malpractice as scenarios in which a medical provider acts negligently or fails to act under accepted standards in the medical community related to the diagnosis, treatment, and care of patients. Not all acts and omissions qualify as grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, when negligence leads to harm or injury, many patients have viable claims. Your Peoria medical malpractice lawyer can review your case and ensure you have grounds to take legal action.
Common failures and actions that sometimes give rise to medical malpractice lawsuits include:
Diagnostic errors include many actions and failures that sometimes constitute medical malpractice, including misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, and delayed diagnosis. These errors can create harmful and life-threatening situations for patients. People who do not know the full scope of a condition or disease, or do not know about it at all, cannot receive the recommended treatment in time. The longer it takes to get a correct diagnosis, the more risk a patient will not have treatment options. In some cases, delayed diagnosis can make a disease or condition untreatable, resulting in death.
Doctors make diagnostic errors for various reasons, including being rushed, lack of experience, obsession with specific symptoms, or simply having a bad day. Failing to diagnose a condition or disease is often connected with the failure to order the proper diagnostic tests.
Depending on the disease or condition, a patient might need an MRI, CT scan, X-rays, blood tests, urine tests, or other lab tests. Doctors who do not follow standard diagnostic protocols open themselves to liability from a medical malpractice claim.
Fail to Obtain a Full Patient History
Medical providers are responsible for getting a detailed medical history from each patient they diagnose or treat. Someone’s medical history provides clues about their current condition, giving doctors more information to make an accurate diagnosis.
Doctors who treat patients for a specific disease without getting a complete patient history risk causing damage, sometimes irreversible. One common malpractice scenario resulting from an inadequate medical history is allergic reactions to prescribed treatments and medication. Dangerous and deadly allergic reactions can give rise to medical malpractice claims.
Surgical errors are easily among the most egregious and dangerous medical errors that lead to malpractice lawsuits. The responsibility for the outcome of surgery falls on the shoulders of the surgeon, but various people make up a surgical team.
Communication breakdowns sometimes lead to never events, including wrong-patient, wrong-site, and unneeded surgeries. Surgical leftovers are another dangerous surgical error that can lead to death or long-term complications for patients. Fortunately, surgical errors occur far less than other types of medical negligence, but they are severe when they do happen. Patients often need one or more surgeries to undo the damage if they are fortunate enough to survive the mistake.
Pharmaceutical errors used to occur frequently because of doctors’ messy handwriting. However, today’s doctors enter prescriptions into computer software, so data entry errors are of more concern than handwriting. Poor data entry is not the only cause of medication errors.
Some pharmacists mislabel medications or make mistakes. Other times, physicians prescribe the wrong medication or the wrong dose of the proper medication. Additionally, doctors might not notice an allergic reaction or a chemical reaction between two different medications. Pharmaceutical errors can cause permanent organ damage and lifelong complications, so they need to bring a malpractice suit to recover compensation for damages.
Improper Use of Equipment
Doctors, nurses, and other medical providers use various tools and equipment to treat and care for patients. Improper use of medical equipment can lead to injury and death. Birth injuries can occur from using forceps, vacuums, and other birthing equipment improperly.
Routine procedures like removing a breathing tube can cause a stroke, damage vocal cords, or collapse a lung when done improperly. Similarly, inserting and removing an IV can cause a dangerous air embolism. Medical technology provides life-saving equipment, but the consequences can be deadly when misused.
Recovering Damages in a Peoria Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
If you take action against the medical provider who harmed you, you might receive compensation for damages related to the issues you faced from malpractice. Each case is different, so your lawyer can review your claim and advise you on which damages apply.
Common damages victims of malpractice receive from a settlement or jury award include:
- Medical treatment costs for an ambulance, emergency room treatment, a second opinion, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, and surgery
- Expense to transfer to another hospital if applicable
- Lost income from missing work due to harm from medical malpractice
- Estimated future lost wages when malpractice causes permanent damage that prevents patients from returning to work
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium with a spouse if applicable
- Scarring and disfigurement, which usually applies to surgical errors
If you have lost a loved one because they fell victim to medical malpractice, you also have the right to seek damages in a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit. These claims work differently than standard malpractice lawsuits, so you need to consult with an attorney to learn about your legal options. Illinois law dictates who can bring a wrongful death claim. Eligible family members could receive some damages listed above and compensation for funeral and burial expenses.
Procedural Requirements in Peoria Medical Malpractice Claims
Like other states, Illinois has strict procedural requirements for medical malpractice claims. The most notable requirement for Illinois medical malpractice claims is the Affidavit of Merit. You, with the help of your attorney, must attach an Affidavit of Merit to the complaint you file against your medical provider.
The document certifies that you have consulted with a medical professional and includes the following information:
- The medical expert you consulted knows the medical issues at the root of your claim.
- The medical expert you consulted currently practices medicine or teaches medicine in the specialized area related to your case. The expert must have practiced or taught within the previous six years.
- The medical expert you consulted has experience and competence with relation to the subject matter of the medical malpractice lawsuit.
The Affidavit of Merit also includes a written opinion from the medical expert that confirms you have a viable claim. Illinois law requires a reasonable and meritorious cause for your medical malpractice claim.
If you cannot secure a medical expert within the statute of limitations, you can file the affidavit and associated documents within 90 days after you file the medical malpractice lawsuit. Finally, the failure to file an Affidavit of Merit is grounds to dismiss your medical malpractice lawsuit.
Let Our Peoria Medical Malpractice Lawyers Help You
We rely on doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to keep us healthy and alive. When they fail to uphold their duty to their patients, they cause physical, emotional, and financial harm. Victims of medical malpractice should not suffer economic hardship on top of physical and mental trauma. Instead, they must hold negligent medical providers accountable for their failures.
The compassionate medical malpractice attorneys at Zayed Law Offices understand the challenges medical malpractice victims and their families face, and we can help. Let us handle the details of your claim and pursue damages for your losses while you focus on healing to the extent that you can. Contact us today online or at (309) 518-1413 for a free case evaluation to determine the viability of your claim and your next steps.
“Great experience working with Zayed Law, they kept me involved throughout the entire process and did not forget about my case even when the pandemic caused interruptions. I’m so thankful they were able to help me and answer any questions I had. I would highly recommend.”
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Zayed Law Offices
416 Main St #813
Peoria, IL 61602
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At Zayed Law Offices, we are proud advocates on behalf of our clients’ interest. Our clients are usually going through one of the most difficult periods of their lives when they come to us for representation. Nothing pleases our team more than when our clients are satisfied with the outcome of their case.