Physician Negligence and Malpractice
When you are hurt or injured, you might see a medical professional so that you can be diagnosed and treated. Ultimately, your goal is to heal from your injury or pain so that you can move forward with your life. You trust that your physician will diagnose you accurately, treat you quickly and appropriately, and ensure your safety.
Medical malpractice claims come about when a medical professional has acted negligently, and this negligence causes you further injury or pain. Here is a brief overview of professional negligence as it applies to the medical community:
- Patient/Physician Relationship – In order to prove negligence and pursue a medical malpractice claim, we must show that you had a patient-physician relationship with the doctor or medical professional who acted negligently.
- Duty – A doctor is required to provide you with a certain duty, or standard, of care. We typically define standard of care as what other doctors who are reasonable and cautious would do in a similar circumstance. Physicians and other medical professionals are also required to follow general medical guidelines and procedures.
- Breach – As the duty of care already establishes, a physician who is diagnosing and treating your illness or condition must exercise reasonable care and treat you as other doctors would. If a physician acts in a way that would breach the duty of care, this would be a breach in the duty of care.
- Injury – As a result of the breach in the standard of care, a physician proximately caused your injury.
- Damages – We must also show that because of the injury, which was proximately caused by the breach, you have suffered financial and non-financial damages. These could include lost wages, medical bills, loss of normal life, and other consequences.
You might be wondering what kinds of errors or actions would be considered negligent. Simply put, there are many types of medical negligence and they tend to be specific to your specific situation. A few example categories for medical malpractice and physician negligence include:
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition – If a physician fails to diagnosis your disease or medical condition or misdiagnoses you, he or she may be found to be negligent. However, a medical professional may be found to be negligent for improperly conducting or interpreting a test to diagnose you and for other types of diagnostic-related problems. Delayed diagnosis may also be a factor in medical negligence if it breaches the standard of care.
- Treatment and pharmaceutical errors – Frequently, misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition will coincide with treatment errors. That is, if you are mistakenly diagnosed with cancer and you are prescribed radiation therapy, this may further injure you or affect your health. This treatment error goes hand-in-hand with the misdiagnosis and would be considered physician negligence. In addition, drugs that are prescribed inappropriately – whether prescribed for a misdiagnosed condition or not – may be violations of the duty of care.
- Surgical errors – Most surgical procedures occur without any issue at all, but sometimes there are grave surgical errors that can cause serious injury or even death. These could include performing the wrong medical procedure due to a mix-up in files or amputating the wrong limb.
If you or someone you love has been hurt as a result of medical malpractice, please contact us at (312) 236-2900. We strive to hold medical professionals accountable for their negligence and errors. Having an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney on your side is key to getting the compensation you deserve for physician negligence. With medical licenses and other serious industry consequences for physicians on the line, it’s important to have a lawyer represent your interests.