Illinois Medical Malpractice
Serving Malpractice Victims and their Families
Medical malpractice can be devastating, physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Of course, any serious injury or sudden loss of a loved one is traumatic. But when the injury or loss comes at the hands of a trusted medical professional or facility, rebuilding can be especially difficult.
People who have suffered serious injuries due to medical negligence often require extensive follow up care–a process that can be extremely stressful for victims and family members who have lost faith in their healthcare providers and don’t know who to trust.
Illinois law makes healthcare providers liable for damages caused by their negligence. But, medical malpractice law and procedures are more complicated than a personal injury claim like a car accident case.
At Frederick & Hagle, we’ve been helping people in Central Illinois who have been injured or lost loved ones to someone else’s negligence for more than four decades. We understand the stress you’re under and the need for fair compensation to help you rebuild and move forward. We offer free consultations, and always work on a contingency basis. That means you pay no fees unless and until we recover compensation for you.
How Common is Medical Malpractice?
We’d all like to believe that medical errors are rare, and that physicians and other healthcare professionals who make serious mistakes are weeded out before they can do further harm. Unfortunately, statistics say otherwise.
A 2018 study from Johns Hopkins Medicine concluded that about 250,000 people in the United States die each year due to medical mistakes. That makes medical errors the # 3 cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer.
Medical errors can take many different forms. Some of the most common are:
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Administration of the wrong drug or dosage
- Surgical errors, including leaving objects inside the body
- Negligent monitoring after surgery
- Birth injuries
- Bedsores (pressure ulcers), which can be fatal if not treated properly
- Hospital-based infections
- Fall-related injuries
Medical Malpractice v. Wrongful Death
A claim against a doctor, medical facility, or other healthcare professional for medical malpractice proceeds differently depending on whether the victim survives. Someone who is injured or has an injury or illness aggravated by medical malpractice may file a lawsuit similar to a personal injury suit. The suit is filed by the injured person in his or her own name, although in some cases another party may have associated claims.
Of course, every case is different. Some of the most common types of damages awarded in a medical malpractice case include reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages and earning capacity, cost of goods and services necessitated by the malpractice (such as medical equipment, therapy, or nursing services) and compensation for pain and suffering.
If the victim dies as a result of the medical malpractice, then the claim is for wrongful death. An Illinois wrongful death claim is filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate, but the claim is for the benefit of the deceased’s surviving spouse or certain other close family members.
Damages the personal representative can collect on behalf of the family generally include things like loss of financial support from the deceased, other economic losses, loss of companionship and other practical and emotional support, grief and mental anguish.
Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Claim
While medical malpractice claims and wrongful death claims based on medical malpractice arise under different statutes and involve somewhat different procedures, they have a few important things in common.
First, there are strict deadlines for filing a claim. Those deadlines are different for medical malpractice claims and wrongful death claims, and the medical malpractice statute of limitations is complex. It’s easy to make a mistake about how long you have to file your claim, so it’s a good idea to talk to an experienced local attorney as early as possible.
Second, claims based on medical malpractice involve a special requirement that doesn’t apply to most personal injury or wrongful death cases. The attorney must file a certificate of merit. The certificate of merit is an affidavit in which the attorney declares under oath that a qualified medical professional has reviewed the case and believes the plaintiff has a viable claim. This requirement is intended to cut down on frivolous medical malpractice cases, but also creates a hurdle for plaintiffs who have suffered harm due to malpractice. Working with an attorney who is experienced with this type of case can ease the process. At Frederick & Hagle, we have a network of experts and referral sources that allows us to identify and connect with a qualified expert.
This added step also means it takes more time to prepare and file a case, so you can’t afford to delay.
Educating Yourself is the First Step
If you’ve lost a loved one to medical malpractice, the first step is to learn more about your rights and options. We understand the stress and confusion that comes from an unexpected death in the family, especially if a trusted professional is to blame for your loss. We want you to have the information you need to make good decisions for your family and your future. And, we want that process to be as easy as possible.
That’s why we offer free, no-obligation consultations and never charge a fee unless we recover compensation for you. You can schedule yours right now by calling 217-367-6092 or filling out the contact form on this site.