Top 5 Things You Might Not Know About Medical Malpractice Cases

Top 5 Things You Might Not Know About Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical Malpractice Cases Happen Every Day

Doctors, surgeons, and nurses aren’t perfect, although they often pretend to be. According to some reports, preventable medical errors account for between 200,00 and 400,000 deaths each year, making medical malpractice the 3rd leading cause of death in America.

It’s true that doctors are usually highly educated and trained, and it’s true that few doctors ever intend to cause harm to anyone, but the fact remains that doctors are people too. Medical personnel are often over-worked, under-staffed, and must switch from one patient to another on a moment’s notice. They may be sleep deprived or they may be distracted by any of life’s little problems just like the rest of us.

The difference is that when doctor’s make mistakes, lives may be lost. If a carpenter makes a mistake, he just grabs a new piece of wood and starts over.  For doctors and surgeons, the stakes are far greater.

Doctors protect their own

When a person believes that they or someone close to them has been harmed by a doctor, it’s common to seek a second opinion. That’s an excellent idea. You should never expect the original doctor to admit any fault.

Perhaps if you found another specialist who was the member of a completely different medical practice, that person might give you an objective and honest appraisal of your medical situation. Sometimes that happens, but all too often, doctors tend to protect their own and are very hesitant to express their true feelings about whether the first doctor committed an error. That’s why it’s so important to trust your feelings.

If you think that a doctor failed to properly diagnose, misdiagnosed, or committed a surgical mistake, call an experienced lawyer to hear their opinion. It’s free, it may give you some piece of mind, and it’s your right to know the truth.

Most Cases Go Unfiled

People trust doctors and, for the most part, they should. But that doesn’t mean that you should throw your own logic or common sense out the window. So, just because you are being told that your situation is “normal” or that your progress is “as expected”, doesn’t mean that you need to believe it.

If you have any reason whatsoever to think otherwise, speak to a lawyer for free. Most of the time, your medical records can be ordered and objectively reviewed by a knowledgeable attorney without cost. This is how you learn the true answer.

Maybe it’s a case and maybe it isn’t, but you’ll never know unless you have a professional check it out for you. Each year, far more medical malpractice cases go unfilled than are actually filed, because those involved trust their doctors blindly and worry about “rocking the boat”.  There’s no reason to worry. All conversations with a lawyer are 100% confidential.

So, if you suspect something is wrong, have your case checked out for free. The worst that happens is the lawyer tells you it’s not a viable case, but then, at least you’ll know. Sometimes, even though serious permanent injury or death occurs during treatment or surgery, it’s still not a case. Other times it is. That’s because for it to be a medical malpractice case, the doctor must have “deviated from the standard of care”, which basically means that he or she must have done something wrong that other similar doctors would not have done.

Don’t try to guess if your case qualifies.  Ask an experienced lawyer.

Medical Insurance Company are Different

Insurance companies for hospitals and other medical providers are not like car insurance companies. If you have a car crash, you might be able to negotiate directly with the other insurer and settle your case. Not so with medical insurers. Their medical customers don’t usually want to settle. The stakes are also much higher than with car insurers, often involving many millions of dollars.

It’s unlikely that you’ll even be able find the contact information for the insurer, as medical providers are not likely to tell you directly. Experienced med malpractice attorneys know how to get in contact with such insurers though. An attorney might first try to negotiate, but more times than not, they need to begin a lawsuit to jump-start talks in earnest.

That’s because only when the insurer recognizes that a knowledgeable attorney is on the case and is ready to do all the things necessary to achieve justice, will your case ever get the attention and compensation that it deserves.

Medical insurance companies are just not in the business of giving out money or “doing what is right” or fair. They would prefer to pay you zero dollars if given a choice. Most of the time, they need to be pushed (and sometimes dragged) in the direction of justice and fairness.

Time Limitations Apply to File a Case

If you or a loved one has been harmed by a doctor or surgeon, contacting an attorney is surely very low on your list of important things to do. That’s completely understandable, but do keep in mind that in Illinois, a lawsuit for medical malpractice needs to be filed within two years from the negligent event (although there are some exceptions to this rule).

If it’s filed even a minute too late, the lawsuit will be dismissed. Also keep in mind that medical malpractice cases require the attorney to carefully examine all the medical records (sometimes thousands of pages) and consult with a medical expert in order to secure an affidavit before the case can be filed. All of this takes time, sometimes months. So, if you think you might have a case, try not to delay in contacting a lawyer for a free review.

If you believe that a medical professional caused harm to you or a loved one, call Sexner Injury Lawyers LLC 24 hours a day at (312) 243-9922 and speak to an experienced attorney. The call is free and there are never any attorney fees charged unless we are successful on your behalf.