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Waukegan wrongful death lawyerDoctors and other healthcare staff have both an ethical and legal obligation to provide competent care to patients. Doctors cannot always prevent the deaths of their patients. However, there are some situations in which a medical error or negligent act results in an avoidable patient death. If a patient’s death is caused by medical malpractice, a surviving family member may choose to bring a wrongful death claim against the doctor or the medical facility. A wrongful death claim may help the family recover compensation for their loss while holding the responsible party accountable for the tragic loss.

Defining Medical Negligence

A wrongful death occurs when the wrongful, reckless, or negligent action or inaction of a party results in the death of an individual. The terms medical malpractice and medical negligence are sometimes used synonymously, however, medical negligence is only one component of a medical malpractice claim. Four elements must be present to establish that medical negligence has occurred:

  • Duty: If a patient had established a confidential doctor-patient relationship with the medical professional, the professional has a duty to provide capable medical care.

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Waukegan medical malpractice attorneysThroughout the last several decades, there have been remarkable advancements in the field of cancer treatment. Increasingly, doctors and other medical professionals are able to detect cancer early enough for treatments to be successful. The sooner a person can receive a cancer diagnosis, the sooner they can begin an aggressive treatment plan that slows the spread of the disease and, ideally, eradicates cancerous cells. 

Doctors and other healthcare staff have an ethical and legal obligation to provide reasonably competent medical care. This includes providing patients with timely and accurate diagnoses. In some cases, a doctor’s failure to diagnose cancer can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medical Mistakes That Can Lead to Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis of Cancer

When a doctor, radiologist, oncologist, or other medical professional fails to diagnose cancer in a reasonably timely manner, the patient may miss the opportunity to start cancer treatment before the disease has significantly progressed. Sadly, there are some situations in which failure to diagnose cancer can even lead to a patient’s death. There are many different mistakes that can lead to a doctor failing to diagnose cancer including:

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Lake County medical malpractice attorneysNo one ever wants to visit an emergency room, but sometimes there is no other choice. When an immediate medical problem such as severe chest pain or difficulty breathing arises, the emergency room is the fastest way to receive treatment. However, emergency room staff are not perfect and sometimes they make mistakes. Some of these emergency room errors are relatively harmless while others have the potential to cause devastating or even fatal consequences. If you or a loved one have suffered from an emergency room mistake, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim.

Understanding How ER Errors Occur

It is estimated that roughly 5-10 percent of all emergency room visits involve some type of medical error. This equates to as many as 10 million ER mistakes every year in the United States. While not all such errors will cause lasting damage, some can be extremely serious. 

Some of the most common emergency room errors include:

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Lake County medical malpractice attorneysLosing a loved one is difficult no matter the circumstances. However, if the loved one’s death was preventable, the loss is especially heartbreaking and infuriating. Sadly, it is estimated that medical errors result in the deaths of over 250,000 people per year in the United States. This makes medical mistakes the third-leading cause of death. 

If you have lost a loved one and you suspect medical negligence played a role in his or her death, you may wonder when a doctor or medical facility is liable for a patient’s death. If your loved one’s death was the result of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss.

Proving That a Wrongful Death Was Caused by Medical Malpractice

Sometimes, a patient passes away and there is nothing that doctors and other medical workers could have done to prevent the death. However, this is not always the case. Failure to diagnose a medical condition or misdiagnosis, medication and anesthesia mistakes, surgical errors, or other forms of substandard medical treatment may result in the injury or death of a patient. 

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Waukegan personal injury attorneysAbout 55 percent of Americans take at least one prescription medication on a regular basis. Many more take prescription medication occasionally for temporary illnesses and injuries. We trust that the medications we are prescribed are safe, effective, and dosed accurately. Unfortunately, prescription medication errors occur every day. Some of these errors are minor and do not result in any significant harm to the patient while other medication mistakes result in serious injury or death. If you have been the victim of a major medication error, you may be entitled to compensation.

Medication Errors Can Result in Painful, Lingering Consequences

Last October, an Illinois man rushed to the emergency room after realizing he was the victim of a major medication mistake. The man had been prescribed Tobramycin-Dexamethasone eye drops by his doctor after developing a minor eye infection. However, when the man went to Walgreens to have the prescription filled, the pharmacy worker gave him ear drops. The man trusted that the medication he received was correct and used the drops in his eyes for five days before realizing that he had received the wrong medication. He experienced painful burning and swelling of his eyes that lasted for months.

Medication errors that lead to medical malpractice claims often involve mislabeled medication, inaccurate dosing, prescription or administration of a medication the patient is allergic to, drug interactions, and medication mix ups. Depending on the circumstances, the fault for medication errors may lie with the doctor who prescribed the medication, the nurse or other healthcare worker who administered the medication, or the pharmacist who filled the prescription. Liability may also be shared by the hospital, pharmacy, nursing home, or other medical facility at which the error occurred.

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