How To Know if You’ve Been a Victim of Medical Malpractice

The medical industry is filled with professionals who have invested years of education and training into becoming doctors. This is why many patients trust their doctors to provide life-saving treatment in cases of illnesses and medical conditions. 

However, doctors are not perfect and can be prone to mistakes. In some cases, their negligence may cause errors that affect their patient’s overall health and quality of life. For those who suspect being a victim of medical negligence, there are many potential solutions for compensation, especially if you’re working with experienced medical malpractice attorneys. 

At Kroot Law, we provide extensive experience helping medical malpractice victims understand their situation and explore their best options. Here’s a guide to helping you determine if you might be a victim of medical malpractice and should reach out to a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer. 

What Counts as Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury that can happen when any healthcare professional does any of the following:

  • Fails to provide appropriate treatment because of their neglect
  • Fails to take the necessary action to save a patient’s life
  • Gives substandard treatment that harms, injures, or causes the death of a patient

The laws on medical malpractice cover the entire spectrum of medical care, from correctly diagnosing a condition, to administering the proper dosage, and to providing the appropriate treatment. The John Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality reports that around 12 million Americans are affected by diagnosis errors, resulting in up to 80,000 deaths yearly and about four million experiencing harm to their health.

Medical professionals aren’t liable for all types of harm and side effects a patient experiences. If you’re not satisfied with the outcome of your treatment, that doesn’t necessarily count as grounds for medical malpractice. Medical providers are only liable if one can prove that they were harmed by a deviation from the standard of care applicable to the medical professional. To file a case, the following must be present:

  • A medical professional with a professional duty to a patient
  • A breach of their duty
  • Injury caused by the breach of duty
  • Physical, emotional, and/or financial damages that the patient experienced as a result of that breach

Some examples of medical malpractice include:

  • Medical misdiagnosis
  • Surgical procedures that are done incorrectly 
  • Surgical procedures that were unnecessary or improperly performed
  • Prematurely discharging a patient from the healthcare facility
  • Prescribing the wrong dosage or wrong medication
  • Not giving patients the information that allows them to given informed consent for the treatment

What Are the Signs That You Need a Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

Medical professionals aren’t liable for all types of harm caused by treatment or a procedure. For example, doctors may not be responsible for patients who insist on leaving a hospital against their recommendation or don’t follow their doctor’s aftercare instructions. 

However, these are some instances where you might be a victim of medical malpractice. If any of these apply to you, contact medical malpractice attorneys to discuss your next steps for just compensation. 

1. You Didn’t Give Informed Consent

Unless you were in an emergency and could not consent, medical professionals can’t provide treatment without your say. They require your informed consent, which means agreeing to a treatment plan while knowing all the facts, procedures, treatment process, risks, alternatives, and potential future complications. 

If a medical professional didn’t have your consent or failed to provide all the relevant facts before you consented, you might have a case for medical malpractice. Even if you agreed to a procedure, if they failed to explain the risks or didn’t let you know about a reasonable alternative approach that could have affected your decision, they can be liable for malpractice. 

2. The Severity of Your Condition and Your Treatment Plan Don’t Match

There are many risks associated with surgery and other invasive procedures. As a result, these kinds of treatment are reserved for more severe cases where less invasive options aren’t effective.

If your doctor provides excessive treatments for your condition and results in harm, you may be a victim of medical malpractice. A Chicago medical malpractice lawyer can help you file a case for the physical, emotional, and/or financial damages caused by the treatment. 

3. Medical Misdiagnosis

Your doctor understands the risks associated with misdiagnosing your condition. This is why they should often perform appropriate tests before diagnosing you and prescribing the appropriate treatment. 

Failure to perform the necessary tests to diagnose your condition, which includes ruling out other conditions, can result in wrong treatment and be grounds for medical malpractice. If a hospital or laboratory uses faulty diagnostic equipment or fails to otherwise perform testing correctly, the hospital itself may also be liable for medical misdiagnosis. 

4. Delayed Diagnosis from Your Doctor

Early diagnosis gives doctors a lot of time to treat most illnesses and provide the best opportunity for patient outcomes. For example, they may fail to timely diagnose the condition before it becomes more serious or even fatal. This can occur in various types of cases including those involving cancer. In this case, medical malpractice attorneys can argue that the doctor’s delayed diagnosis prevented the patient from receiving treatment that could have prevented the patient’s cancer from spreading and becoming terminal. 

5. Your Treatment Isn’t Working

If your treatment doesn’t seem to improve your condition, it may be a sign that you’ve been misdiagnosed or aren’t getting the proper treatment or medication. These can be grounds for medical malpractice as your doctor may have misdiagnosed or not provided proper care to give you an effective treatment plan. 

In many cases, doctors may give you a treatment plan that is either not aggressive enough for severe illnesses or is too aggressive to the point that you undergo invasive procedures with severe side effects. Having a Chicago wrong diagnosis attorney can guide you to take the necessary steps. 

6. The Medical Facility Is Understaffed

Staffing issues are common across the country. However, medical facilities shouldn’t let this be the reason they failed to provide proper medical services to their patients. If your hospital is grossly understaffed, patients are likely not getting their medication or treatment at the right time. There’s also a risk the medical staff is being stretched too thin such that they aren’t focused on your condition or treatment. 

An understaffed team can also put you at risk because you might not get the immediate attention you need. For instance, if one of your medical devices goes off and no one responds in a timely manner, you may be unable to receive much-needed assistance. 

I’m a Victim of Medical Malpractice — What Are My Options?

If you suspect you are a victim of medical malpractice, your first step is to contact a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer who can guide you through filing a lawsuit against a medical professional and/or facility. They can advise you if your situation is grounds for medical malpractice and what kind of compensation you can potentially receive. 

An experienced medical malpractice lawyer is essential if you want to find justice and seek adequate compensation for your injuries. A study published in the Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research looked at 12 years’ worth of malpractice cases and found that medical malpractice cases are an uphill battle for patients even with solid evidence of medical negligence:

  • Physicians win 90% of jury trial cases with weak evidence of medical negligence
  • Patients with substantial evidence have a 50% chance of winning their case
  • Up to 90% of defensible medical malpractice cases are dropped or dismissed with no payment
  • For cases resolved outside of court, settlements can depend on the evidence’s strength.

This study shows that, even with evidence, your malpractice suit isn’t guaranteed. By having experienced medical malpractice attorneys by your side, you have a skilled team that works hard for your interests in or outside court. With the proper representation, you can build a solid case against a medical professional or facility that can give you a strong advantage whether you decide to settle or go to trial.  

Contact Kroot Law for Seasoned Medical Malpractice Attorneys 

With Kroot Law, you have a strong chance for the best possible results from your medical malpractice case. Find exceptional legal counsel and contact medical malpractice lawyer Jason M. Kroot for a free consultation and case evaluation.