Doctors and other healthcare professionals are often your most trusted confidants and supporters. Their goal should always be to promote your health and well-being, and to provide well-researched and experienced diagnosis, consultation and treatment for whatever ails you. However, this isn’t always the case and when misdiagnosis, poor treatment or surgical negligence occurs, it can be disastrous for the victim.
Medical malpractice is a serious offense, and victims of medical malpractice deserve compensation for pain and suffering as well as lost wages or other financial stress that a doctor’s negligence has caused. As personal injury lawyers in Chicago, we can review your case to determine whether medical malpractice has occurred and assist you in achieving the swiftest settlement or judgement possible.
7 Common Signs of Medical Malpractice
If any of the following signs of medical malpractice ring true for you, please contact a personal injury lawyer in Chicago as soon as possible. These cases often have a statute of limitations, which means if a case isn’t filed within a certain time frame, it is no longer valid in the court’s eyes. In the state of Illinois, the statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits is typically two years. A personal injury lawyer may have a difficult time assisting you with your malpractice suite if your claim is filed after the statute of limitations has expired.
The following are 7 common signs that you may be a victim of medical malpractice:
- Your treatment isn’t working. If your treatment isn’t working as predicted, it could be a sign that you were misdiagnosed. There are several concerns when a medical issue is misdiagnosed. The first is that the actual medical condition is continuing to progress without the treatment you need, which can lead to more serious side effects or the onset of other, more progressive health issues. A second concern is that taking a wrong prescription medication or undergoing unnecessary surgery can compromise your health. If you feel a treatment isn’t working correctly, and it turns out you were misdiagnosed, you may be a victim of medical malpractice.
- A serious condition was diagnosed with only basic lab tests. Doctors should use a range of tools to diagnose serious medical conditions. First and foremost, diagnosis should include a thorough exam with plenty of time for the doctor to listen to your symptoms. This typically leads to a deeper dialogue regarding your overall health and other potential side effects you may not have noticed. You doctor will typically draw blood, take a urine sample and/or use scanning or imaging-based tests to paint a larger picture of what is going on for your body. Failure to complete a thorough exam, or relying on only one or two basic diagnostic tests, can be a sign of negligence.
- The treatment doesn’t seem to fit the condition. We all know that modern medicine isn’t cheap. Often, we find medical malpractice lawsuits originate from a treatment that is much more involved than a patient really needs. Invasive testing and surgical procedures should only be used as the last resort when more conservative and less-invasive methods or treatments aren’t an option. If you feel your doctor is recommending – or has performed – an unnecessary medical procedure or treatment, it is worth looking into it.
- Your doctor puts your concerns on the back burner. It is your doctor’s job to provide you with all of the information you need about a diagnosed condition, treatment options, or information on how to prevent diseases or conditions you may be at risk for developing. If your doctor seems harried, rushed or unable to give you the attention you need, there is a problem. You also have a right to be concerned if your doctor fails to provide you with information you have requested or doesn’t clearly answer your questions and concerns.
- You’ve received a different second-opinion. We always advocate that our clients get a second opinion whenever there is a serious medical diagnosis, a treatment that seems to be more dramatic than a disease/condition may require or if a doctor is prescribing a “lifetime” medication. If you get a second-opinion that differs from the first, and then a third-opinion that agrees with the second, it is a sign the first doctor didn’t do his/her job right.
- The healthcare facility seems understaffed. Do you get the feeling that your treatment or the treatment of a loved on is compromised due to a lack of staffing at the healthcare facility? That is simply not acceptable and your willingness to pursue a medical malpractice suit can improve conditions for yourself, your loved ones and countless others.
- An error was made during a treatment or surgery. Your doctor is obligated to “do no harm” and to comply with certain standards of medical care. When he or she fails to do so, and especially when that failure leads to further injury, pain, illness or death, you have a right to compensation. If you feel you are suffering as the result of an error on your doctor’s part during your treatment or surgery, you have a right to take action.