When injured in a car crash, injury liability may fall on a negligent driver who caused the crash, as well as medical professionals who fail to provide proper treatment for the victim’s injuries.
What is Successive Medical Malpractice?
A car crash may result in a chain reaction of liabilities for people involved in the crash and medical professionals who examine and treat the injury victim. Under the common law doctrines of “approximate and foreseeable causation” and “eggshell plaintiff,” a negligent driver who causes a car crash can be held liable for his or her negligent actions, as well as those of others whose actions cause injuries to the victim. This chain of liability is known as successive medical malpractice.
A person who commits negligence is known as a tortfeasor. Successive medical malpractice is caused by negligent medical professionals who fail to provide appropriate treatment to car crash injury victims. This includes proper diagnosis and treatments, necessary procedures and surgeries, and medication errors. Medical professionals who may be held liable for successive medical malpractice include:
- Paramedics and EMTs
- Emergency room staff
- Emergency room physicians
- Medical clinics
- Manufacturers of defective medical products
Since all of the above medical professionals may be involved with a car crash injury victim, they may be found liable under the law for improper treatment. Personal injury lawyers often see cases of successive medical malpractice linked to car crashes where injury victims have been transported to local hospitals and rushed into crowded hospital emergency rooms. Car crash victims commonly suffer a variety of injuries ranging from bruises and lacerations to head trauma and internal bleeding. Medical professionals must perform thorough exams and tests to ensure that injuries are diagnosed and treated properly.
State laws require medical professionals and facilities to provide a standard level of care to their patients. When the standard level of care is breached, a patient has the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit through a personal injury lawyer to recover monetary damages for injuries. Such damages may include lost wages and future loss of income, past and future medical costs, rehabilitation and therapy costs, expenses for nursing and disability care, and pain and suffering due to post-traumatic stress and mental anguish. Medical malpractice cases in Illinois must be filed in the court within the two-year statute of limitations which begins on the date of injury or the date the injury is discovered.