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b2ap3_thumbnail_er-malpractice.jpgEmergency rooms are often chaotic, high-stress environments. ER doctors, nurses, and other staff deal with time-sensitive medical crises all day. They handle everything from broken bones caused by car accidents to heart attacks and strokes. If you or a loved one received substandard treatment in an emergency room or were the victim of an ER mistake, you may wonder whether the emergency room staff’s conduct constituted medical malpractice. There are many factors involved in emergency room medical malpractice claims, so it is best to discuss your concerns with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

ER Doctors and Medical Staff Have a Legal Duty to Provide Competent Care

When a person visits the emergency room, a positive outcome is not guaranteed. Sometimes, saving a patient from injury or death is not possible. However, there are some cases in which an ER patient is harmed because a doctor or other staff makes an unacceptable mistake. ER medical malpractice occurs when the following elements are present:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed. To have a valid medical malpractice claim, you must be an actual patient in the ER. For example, you cannot sue an ER nurse for inadequate treatment that he or she provided during a social gathering.
  • You received negligent care. A doctor or other medical professional acts negligently when he or she provides care that fails to meet the accepted “standard of care.” This standard of care refers to the degree of skill and competency that an average medical professional in the same position would have provided in similar circumstances. Testimony from expert witnesses is often used to establish whether or not a medical professional’s care violated the standard of care during a medical malpractice claim.
  • You suffered harm because of the negligent care. Proving that an ER doctor or nurse provided substandard care is not enough to satisfy the criteria for medical malpractice. You must also show that you suffered harm or “damages” because of the negligent care. Damages in an ER medical malpractice claim may include additional medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages from missed work, reduced income-earning capacity, and other losses.

Contact a Waukegan ER Negligence Lawyer

If you suspect that you or a loved one were the victims of emergency room malpractice, contact a Lake County medical malpractice attorney from Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. Our team will investigate your case and help you determine if medical malpractice has occurred. If you were the victim of ER malpractice, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call our office today at 847-662-3303 and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

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IL injury attorneyWhile some surgeries are riskier than others, there are risks associated with every surgical procedure. Even a routine, minimally-invasive surgery may result in a patient’s serious injury or death. In some cases, a patient’s operating room death is unavoidable. He or she may have had an adverse reaction to anesthesia or suffered from an unknown medical problem that leads to a fatal complication during surgery. However, some deaths are directly linked to the negligent or misinformed actions of the surgeon or surgical staff. If your loved one passed away during surgery, you may question the true cause of your loved one’s death.

How Do I Know If the Death Was Caused by Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice claims are personal injury claims that are brought against negligent medical professionals or medical facilities. The standard that is typically used to determine if a medical professional’s conduct was negligent is the “medical standard of care.” The medical standard of care refers to the type of care that a reasonable medical professional with similar qualifications would have performed under similar circumstances. Examples of surgical errors that may cause or contribute to a patient’s wrongful death include:

  • Administering an inappropriate amount of anesthesia medication
  • Cutting or severing an artery or vein
  • Performing a surgical procedure that was unnecessary
  • Using surgical techniques or procedures that are unreasonably risky
  • Using incorrect surgical methods

How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Benefit Surviving Loved Ones

If your loved one has passed away and you suspect that a surgical mistake contributed to his or her death, you may wonder how a lawsuit will benefit you and your family. Money cannot bring back your loved one, but it can provide important financial relief and hold the negligent party responsible for the mistake. Though a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be entitled to compensation for your loved one’s medical bills, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and your own losses resulting from the untimely death. You may receive compensation for the loss of your loved one’s income and employment benefits as well as the loss of his or her companionship, guidance, or affection.

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IL birth injury lawyerA baby’s birth should be one of the happiest days of a parent’s life. Unfortunately, some parents’ happiness is mired by anxiety and fear due to a serious birth injury. Brachial plexus injuries are fairly common in newborns, but the consequences of these injuries can have lifelong ramifications. If a doctor’s failure to meet the medical standard of care results in a baby suffering a brachial plexus injury, the baby’s parents may be entitled to compensation for the damages they have suffered.

How Does a Brachial Plexus Injury Occur?

Brachial plexus nerves connect the spinal cord to the shoulders, arms, and hands. When these nerves are damaged, the body’s ability to control arm and hand movement is decreased. Brachial plexus injuries are often caused when a condition called shoulder dystocia occurs during delivery. Shoulder dystocia refers to a situation in which the baby’s shoulders become stuck in the birth canal. This can put intense pressure on the baby’s neck and shoulder area. Brachial plexus nerves can become stretched or even torn. The use of tools such as vacuum extractors and forceps may increase the risk of a brachial plexus injury.

The medical consequences of a brachial plexus injury vary depending on the severity of damage to the nerves and the location of the injury. Nerves that are slightly stretched may only result in short-term symptoms. If the nerves are severed or torn away from the spinal cord, however, the baby may experience paralysis that lasts for the rest of his or her life. Damage to the brachial plexus nerves may also result in a condition called Erb’s Palsy. A baby suffering from Erb’s Palsy may experience weakness, loss of feeling, and partial or total paralysis of the shoulders or arms. He or she has one arm that is noticeably smaller than the other during childhood. Physical therapy is the most common treatment for brachial plexus injuries. However, some sufferers may require surgery such as a nerve transfer or nerve graft to correct the mitigate the damage.

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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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