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County Seeks to Settle Medical Malpractice Lawsuit After Failure to Diagnose Brain Injury

The Contra Costa Times reported this week on moves to settle a medical malpractice lawsuit that was filed against a public rehabilitation facility. The lawsuit stems from allegations that care workers at the facility did not provide a thorough examination to a man who suffered a serious fall. As a result, the man did not receive the timely medical care that he needed and suffered complications as a result. Each Chicago medical malpractice lawyer at our firm works on these types of situations frequently.

In this case the man was living at a rehabilitation facility. While in the bathroom at the home he slipped and fell-hitting the hard bathroom floor with his head. Staff members claim that they gave him a thorough examination after the fall to ensure that he did not suffer serious injury. However, it was later learned that the examination was far less than thorough. Eventually the man was discharged and allowed to go home. But it wasn’t long before he needed to be rushed to a hospital. That is because he was suffering bleeding on the brain as a result of the fall that he took in the bathroom of the rehabilitation center. He required extensive medical care and faced a serious of complications because he was not treated in at timely fashion following the fall.

The man subsequently filed a medical malpractice suit, alleging that the faulty examination led to the caregivers’ failure to diagnose his traumatic brain injury. Now the local government, which runs the rehabilitation center, is seeking to settle the lawsuit. The city’s Board of Directors are set to vote on the settlement this week. If the proposal is passed the man will receive $2.3 million for his losses. In addition, almost $200,000 in state Medicaid funds will be paid back and his $634,000 hospital bill will be waived.

Medical malpractice diagnosis problems essentially come in three forms: failure to diagnose, missed diagnosis, and delayed diagnosis. The complications to the patient are the same in each-they do not receive the care that they need to treat their medical condition. However, each version represents a slightly different type of mistake on the medical caregiver’s part.

(1) Failure to diagnose involves telling a patient that they do not have any major problem. As in this case, it usually ends up with the patient being sent home only to have more serious problems develop which require an emergency return trip to the hospital.

(2) In a missed diagnosis, the medical provider does not tell the patient that they have nothing wrong, but instead diagnoses them with the wrong ailment. In these situations the patient often receives treatments that they do not need or that do not address the underlying problem causing their suffering.

(3) Similarly, delayed diagnosis refers to cases where the medical providers gets the diagnosis correct eventually but should have done so earlier. In these cases, which often include cancer, the time delay creates serious problems for the patient.

No matter what version has occurred, local residents should know that an Illinois medical malpractice lawyer can help them seek redress and accountability if they have fallen victim to one of these diagnostic errors. These cases are often complex and hinge on expert testimony from those experienced in the field who can explain what was appropriate and inappropriate in any given situation. Please take a moment to reach out to our office if you think we can help.

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