Medical malpractice can be committed by virtually all types of practitioners. Whenever a patient visits a hospital or medical center, they are owed a basic duty of care by all those who are a part of their care giving process. This includes family doctors, psychiatrists, eye doctors, heart surgeons, and everything in between. The law is clear that a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed any time that a caregiver owes a duty to a patient and violates that duty by providing care that is less than what would be performed by a reasonable colleague. If that breach causes the patient to suffer any form of injury then the patient can file suit to seek recovery for their loss.
Throughout our years of experience our Illinois medical malpractice lawyers have developed a clear understanding that certain injuries tend to be more costly than others. It is only natural that certain medical events are riskier than others. For example, all forms of surgery are, on average, much riskier than basic check-ups. Certain forms of surgery have also been found to be riskier than others. In all of these cases, the medical professionals involved in the care are aware of the potential consequences to the patient if they make a mistake that should be prevented.
One of the most potentially costly problems involves complications during childbirth. Families can often think of few worse events than the loss of a child. In addition, if a birth injury strikes that could have been prevented, the young child will often face millions of dollars in increased medical expenses over the course of a lifetime. Many birth injuries caused lifelong disabilities that require around-the-clock care. It is natural for the lawsuit awards following these injuries to be larger than other healthcare mistakes.
A new jury verdict emphasizes this point. News Journal reported last week on a $58 million jury award that was given to a family whose child was severely injured at birth. The attorneys for the plaintiff explained that child’s mother went to her doctor in her 39th week of pregnancy with conditions indicating that she should have been ordered to have an immediate caesarian section. However, her doctor instead sent her back home. The woman had half the normal amount of amniotic fluid. The fluid keeps the child cushioned, keeps the umbilical cord from compression, and protects the baby from trauma in utero. The woman’s low level was a clear indication that the child needed to be developed immediately.
Upon the expectant mother’s return to the hospital two days later, the staff members again made a series of critical mistakes. One of those mistakes involved placing incisions in the wrong place during the C-section. As a result the baby was pushed down and became deeply lodged in the woman’s pelvis. The child’s birth was delayed, he was deprived of oxygen, and as a result he was left with a profound brain injury. He now suffers from severe cerebral palsy. As a result of the injury he will need close medical care for the rest of his life.
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