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According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, over 98,000 people die each year from injuries resulting from some form of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional does not adhere to the standard of care required of them, and their negligence causes an injury to their patient.
Medical malpractice is a serious matter that needs to be adequately addressed. With the help of the medical malpractice lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm – a nationwide firm – you can craft a strong and compelling case rooted in thorough investigation, expert testimony, and in-depth resources. Our legal team proudly represents clients throughout the United States, traveling directly to them for counsel. We have more than 50 years of collective experience navigating 10,000+ cases.
Don’t let medical malpractice go unchecked. Contact us and begin a free case consultation!
What Is Considered Medical Malpractice?
If you or a loved one were injured by a medical professional, this may constitute medical negligence by violating a standard of care. A standard of care refers to a generally accepted set of practices that peer providers would offer to a similarly-situated patient. Any deviations from this standard are considered medical malpractice.
If you or a family member experienced inadequate medical care that resulted in injuries, speaking with a medical malpractice lawyer will provide insight and straightforward counsel regarding your next steps for redress in court. Legal professionals can explore your options for financial compensation related to your losses during a free consultation.
Medical malpractice occurs when you or your loved one did not receive treatment from a medical care provider that meets the Illinois standard of care.
Our lawyers can help you pursue compensation for the following instances of medical malpractice cases:
- Delayed or missed diagnoses.
- Pregnancy and birth injuries.
- Medication and anesthesia errors.
- Surgical mistakes and injuries.
- Hospital infections.
- Emergency room
- Dental malpractice claims.
- Lack of informed consent.
- Wrongful death.
- And more.
The preceding list of negligent actions can lead to the long-term suffering, physical trauma, and financial losses that patients and their loved ones experience.
By working with a medical malpractice lawyer, you will have peace of mind in knowing that your rights stay protected while pursuing financial compensation for your physical, mental, and emotional losses.
For a free legal consultation with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer serving nationwide, call (800) 970-4884
How a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help You
Not only do we stand by your side throughout the entire claims process, but we will also work diligently and compassionately with you in the following ways:
We Will Utilize the Combined Knowledge of Our Team
Our firm specifically focuses on personal injury and medical malpractice claims. That means that we have strong subject-matter knowledge while drawing upon our network of resources to help you win your case.
We Will Conduct a Thorough Investigation
Evidence is essential to your medical malpractice claim. We will compile all relevant evidence to support your case, including:
- Patient records.
- Medical bills.
- Any testimony from other medical professionals you sought care from due to your injuries.
- Witness statements.
We can examine your case and determine the types of evidence that might strengthen your case.
We Will Fight to Defend You
Hiring a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer gives you the tools you need to assemble a fact-based argument. We will always be on your side while using negotiation and argumentation skills that have your best interests at heart.
We Will Calculate and Pursue a Claim for Fair Compensation
Estimating the value of your case is difficult since each medical malpractice claim is unique. We will review your medical evidence, personal accounts, and expert opinions to find every opportunity for financial redress available. You may be eligible to receive damages to cover:
- Lost wages.
- Out of pocket costs.
- Current and future medical costs.
- Pain and suffering.
There may be other ways in which we can pursue compensation for you. Reach out to us today.
We Allow You to Focus on Recovery
Your health should be your top priority. Litigating a medical malpractice case can detract from that since the process is overwhelming for parties who sue on their own. Working with our team can ease your mind in knowing that we are accurately representing your interests.
We Work on a Contingency Fee-Basis
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm offers our caring legal services on a contingency fee basis. That means we will fund your lawsuit for things like depositions, mediation, and expert testimony without asking for any money up front. We only collect our litigation fees when we win your case.
You do not have to go after your former doctor and their legal team alone. When you work with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we will request that you’re your doctor’s attorneys direct their questions and communications to our team. This strategy ensures that your rights remain protected throughout the entirety of the case.
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How to Determine Medical Malpractice
The first step in beginning a medical malpractice lawsuit is determining whether or not medical malpractice is to blame for your injuries. Three elements must be proven in order to establish a medical malpractice case.
The following must be established for a medical malpractice lawsuit:
- Negligent action by the healthcare provider
- Sustained injury or damages
- Injuries that were in fact caused by the malpractice
Healthcare providers include hospitals, medical doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors, and the majority of other types of healthcare professionals. Our experienced Illinois medical malpractice attorneys can help gauge whether or not your situation warrants a medical malpractice lawsuit.
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Common Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical malpractice cases may include:
- Delay in Diagnosis: When a medical professional does not discover the cause of an ailment in a timely manner, and the delay leads to a catastrophic and deadly injury, the doctor could be held liable for malpractice.
- Failure to Diagnose: Some medical conditions are extremely difficult to diagnose. However, if a medical professional fails to diagnose a condition that another adequately trained, reasonable, and careful professional would have diagnosed, they could be held liable for malpractice.
- Failure to Warn of Known Medical Risks: Failure to inform a patient about all known medical risks can also be referred to as negligent nondisclosure. These types of claims require the patient to prove they would not have consented to the procedure if they were aware of all the risks involved.
- Improper Patient Treatment: All medical professionals are required to be current in their knowledge of the best practices and treatments in their field. They are also expected to act reasonably and carefully. A medical professional may be held liable if their ignorance or carelessness results in an injury to their patient.
- Medical Mistake: A poor outcome of a medical procedure is not always a medical malpractice. However, when a mistake is made during a procedure or if the wrong procedure is performed, the medical professional may be responsible for the resulting injuries.
The time period you have to file varies state to state. Generally, the statute begins at the date the injured person knew or reasonably should have known of the injury. Many exceptions can affect the application of this rule, so contact our firm to verify any information you may have found.
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How Does a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Work?
Under law, there are very strict rules that you need to follow to pursue compensation in a medical malpractice case. Your medical malpractice claim requires you to navigate several steps before you can file a lawsuit; including obtaining an affidavit of merit, analyzing evidence, and ensuring you have the documentation necessary to prove your case.
In many cases, medical malpractice claims become extremely complex. Through this process, you may be able to reach a fair out-of-court settlement with the doctor’s medical malpractice insurance company, or your case may go to trial. In the event that this happens, your attorney will fight for an award in court on your behalf.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits May Require an Affidavit of Merit
Illinois’ medical malpractice laws require victims of medical malpractice to provide an affidavit of merit if they want to file a lawsuit. This affidavit declares that an “affiant” sat down with a qualified medical care provider and discussed the case to determine if it has merit. The “affiant” is generally your attorney, and the qualified medical professional will have similar training and experience as your doctor.
This affidavit needs to confirm that the medical professional:
- Looked over the facts of your case.
- Practices the type of medicine in question.
- Is well-qualified to identify the applicable standard of care, violation of the standard of care, and medical negligence.
In addition, the affidavit and other required materials need to confirm a “reasonable and meritorious” cause for pursuing compensation through legal action. The medical expert witness will have to document this cause, and your attorney will submit it along with the lawsuit when they file it.
Your case cannot begin moving forward until you have this documentation. Your attorney will represent you through this process, including discovery, pretrial conferences, and more. They will fight for your best interests, working to secure a fair out-of-court settlement or award from the court.
There Are Time Limits for Taking Legal Action After Medical Malpractice Injuries
Illinois law limits how long you can wait to take legal action against a doctor, medical care provider, hospital, or clinic who caused you to suffer preventable injuries or advancing illness because of medical malpractice. In general, you have:
- Two years from the date you became aware of (or could have become aware of) medical negligence and malpractice.
- Four years from the date the negligent act occurred, regardless of your date of discovery.
If you miss these deadlines, the court will likely bar you from pursuing legal action to hold the doctor liable. However, other statutes may apply in some cases. Your attorney can help you understand the time constraints that apply in your case during your free case review.
These cases also take time to build and prepare before filing. For this reason, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after you discover the possible malpractice. This gives your lawyer the opportunity to identify the best medical expert witness, to work with them to complete the necessary affidavit, and begin to build a case to support legal action.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help You Understand Your Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our medical malpractice attorneys understand Illinois medical malpractice laws and how they apply to your medical malpractice lawsuit. We can review the facts of your case and, if you qualify, help you navigate the process to file a lawsuit against the doctor, hospital, clinic, or other medical professionals.
We believe you should not have to suffer further damages by being forced to pay for the expenses that occurred because of a doctor’s medical negligence. The doctor or hospital should cover these costs, not you. We will take on even the toughest cases, and fight for the settlement or court award you deserve.
We always handle these cases based on a contingency fee. You pay nothing upfront. We only get our fee if we recover compensation for you.
Talk to a Medical Malpractice Attorney
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm offers free initial consultations and case evaluations. We can help you understand the strength of your case and navigate the process if you qualify to take legal action.
Call (800) 970-4884 to get started. We can meet you in your home or an area hospital if necessary, because of your treatment and medical condition.
How Common Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical errors and negligence may kill as many as 250,000 people in the United States every year, according to research conducted by Johns Hopkins University. The study found that medical malpractice is so common that it is the third leading cause of death in the U.S, followed only by heart disease and cancer.
Considering the above statistic, medical malpractice may be quite common. However, this number only considers cases when the victim passed away as a result of the malpractice. Since most victims likely survive with minor, moderate, or severe injuries, the total number of patients affected annually could be higher.
Medical Malpractice Can Occur in Many Ways
Medical malpractice occurs any time a medical care professional acts negligently, carelessly, or deliberately and the patient suffers preventable injury as a result. In general, any action by a doctor, nurse, or other hospital staff member that is not consistent with the acceptable standard of care could constitute medical malpractice.
Some examples include:
- Diagnostic errors: Diagnostic errors are among the most common types of medical malpractice. These errors can include misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose. This error is especially dangerous when the medical condition is serious, such as a heart attack, stroke, cancer, or other deadly condition.
- Birth injuries: Birth injuries are preventable injuries that occur before, during, or just after birth. The birth process can be traumatic, and doctors and other medical professionals involved with labor and delivery can make mistakes that lead to serious, lifelong injuries. Examples of birth injuries include Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy, and skull fractures.
- Surgical errors: Surgical errors can stem from negligence during the preparation for the surgery, while in the operating room, and in the early recovery process. Some examples include the wrong patient or wrong-site surgeries, preventable infections, leaving foreign objects inside the patient, and more.
- Medication errors: Medication errors can be extremely dangerous. They can involve anesthesia, painkillers, intravenous medications, prescription medications, or even over-the-counter medications. Giving a patient the wrong drug, prescribing an improper dosage, or failing to consider allergies or drug interactions are all examples of this type of malpractice.
A Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help You Understand if You Were a Victim
In some cases, the cost of taking legal action might surpass the available losses, which is probably true when injuries are relatively minor. However, it never hurts to reach out to a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case.
Most medical malpractice lawyers offer free initial consultations. They can help you understand the strength of your case, the applicable deadlines, and whether they believe you should take legal action. If you believe you suffered preventable injuries because of a doctor or other care provider who acted negligently, you may have a valid medical malpractice case.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Takes on Even the Toughest Medical Malpractice Cases
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our medical malpractice lawyers serving the greater Chicago metropolitan area want to make sure you get a fair opportunity to recover compensation if you qualify. We believe the victims of medical malpractice did not cause their own injuries and should not have to pay for the resulting expenses and losses.
We can help you pursue the settlement or court award you deserve if you sustained injuries and losses because of medical malpractice. This recovery could include:
- Related medical care costs.
- Current lost wages and benefits.
- Projected future lost wages or diminished earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering.
- Other related expenses and losses.
In some cases, the insurance company representing the doctor or hospital may offer a settlement before you file a lawsuit. If this happens in your case, we recommend reaching out to us immediately. Without calculating a fair settlement value for your case, you are unlikely to reach an agreement with the insurer that compensates you for your economic losses and pain and suffering.
Our team always handles medical malpractice cases based on a contingency fee. Our clients never pay us upfront or out of their own pockets. We do not receive any attorney’s fees unless we reach a settlement or recover an award in your case.
Talk to a Medical Malpractice Attorney About Your Case for Free Today
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we take on medical malpractice cases. We offer in-home initial consultations or can meet you in another location that is convenient for you. Let one of our attorneys review your case and explain your legal options today.
Call (800) 970-4884 now to get started learning more about your medical malpractice case.
What is the Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Negligence?
In order to qualify for compensation through a settlement or award, you must prove four separate legal factors to show that you were the victim of medical malpractice. Medical negligence is one of the four factors needed to prove a valid medical malpractice claim.
Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional or medical personnel fails to uphold the appropriate standard of care through their action or inaction. Medical negligence is required to prove a claim of medical malpractice; however, negligence alone cannot support a valid case. You must also prove that there is a duty of care, causation, and injury.
The Four Elements of a Valid Medical Malpractice Case
Under Illinois law, you will have to submit an affidavit of merit and other documentation from a medical expert witness so that you can prove all four elements of file your lawsuit.
Duty of Care
A medical care professional must have an established duty of care towards you in order to hold them responsible for your malpractice injuries. This could mean that they were your doctor, or had a doctor/patient relationship with you, including consulting on your case or treating you in an emergency room or hospital.
Standard of Care and Violation of the Standard of Care
Qualified medical expert witnesses can help document how your doctor deviated from his or her standard of care toward you by offering their opinion on your case. This can be done through the expert witness’s experience in a similar training or medical community as your doctor. Medical negligence relies on whether or not the standard of care has been violated, and expert witness testimony can help prove that.
The medical care provider’s negligence must have caused you to suffer injuries that were preventable. You may be required to provide expert witness testimony or have your medical records analyzed in order to prove causation.
Documentation of Injury and Losses
You must suffer documented injuries and financial losses to have a valid medical malpractice case and recover losses. Recoverable compensation may include medical care costs, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, and more.
Medical Negligence Does Not Always Support a Medical Malpractice Case
Medical negligence is essential in a medical malpractice case, but establishing proof of negligence does not always mean you have a valid malpractice case. There are several reasons why this could be true. Most commonly, victims did not suffer significant injuries, and there were only minor losses, so it does not make financial sense to take legal action. The legal costs will exceed the recoverable compensation from a settlement or court award.
Generally, medical negligence can support a malpractice case when the negligence caused the patient to suffer additional injuries. Injuries, in this sense, may include:
- Unreasonable side effects or complications.
- Unexpected medical problems that are unrelated to the initial complaint.
- Conditions that require additional medical care.
Discuss Your Potential Medical Malpractice Case with a Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you believe your doctor or another medical care provider acted negligently and caused you to suffer additional injuries, you may have a valid medical malpractice case. Reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer for a free case review. A representative from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is available now.
We can help you understand the elements present in your case and explain if we believe you have a strong enough case to pursue legal action. We do not believe victims of medical malpractice should have to shoulder the costs of their subsequent medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, or other expenses.
We will not shy away from complex cases and handle every case on a contingency fee basis. You pay nothing out-of-pocket, and we do not receive attorney’s fees unless we recover a payout for you.
Reach Out to a Member of Our Team Today for Your Free Case Review
The medical malpractice team from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can come to you for an in-home consultation. Our initial consultations are always free, and we will evaluate the merits of your case during this visit. We can build a case and take legal action on your behalf if you qualify.
Call (800) 970-4884 today to get started on your complimentary case evaluation with a member of our team.
How Do I Find a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
Finding a medical malpractice lawyer may seem like an overwhelming task to medical injury victims and their family members. Every firm out there appears to promote how working with them will help you win. However, conducting careful research before selecting a lawyer is helpful, especially during your initial consultation.
Standard Methodologies Used To Find a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Finding a medical malpractice lawyer begins with conducting thorough research before signing a letter of agreement. We encourage clients to evaluate and exhaust every opportunity to guarantee that they made the right decision using the following methods:
Contact the Illinois State Bar Association
The purpose of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) is to promote improvements in justice administration and support Illinois attorneys in their legal practice. As part of their vision, they offer information to the public by supplying a directory of all licensed legal professionals in the State of Illinois. Their tools can help you conduct the necessary research to determine if the medical malpractice lawyer you are considering hiring received any disciplinary actions or license suspensions.
Ask for a Referral From Someone You Trust
Word-of-mouth and referrals are how many attorneys build an extensive client roster. Make sure that you thoroughly investigate the background of any referrals you receive for a medical malpractice lawyer.
Conduct Online Research
Research the name of the law firm using a search engine, and take the time to dive into the reviews that previous clients provide. They are very informative when it comes to the type of legal services you can expect to receive. You can also find out more about the lawyers at the firm and investigate their independent backgrounds.
Request a Free Consultation With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
There are several ways you can approach the process of finding a medical malpractice lawyer. We recommend you request a free, no-obligation consultation to evaluate if the law firm is the right fit for you.
Ask the Right Questions During Your Initial Case Review
Before your free consultation, write down a list of questions to ensure that you and the legal team are a good fit. While you may be wondering how much you can get for financial compensation, there are other questions that you may want to ask. There are a lot of medical malpractice lawyers out there, and some are more competent and experienced than others.
Questions that you may want to address during your initial consultation should include:
- Their level of experience
- Whether they practice other areas of law
- How extensive their network of medical expert witnesses is
- If they charge an upfront retainer fee
- How they handle communications
- Their guiding principles in client service
- Their past case results
- What their strategy for your claim is
You and your family members should have access to the most competent and compassionate legal counsel available, so asking tough but fair questions is important in understanding what type of law firm you may be working with.
Understand How Contingency Fee Arrangements Work
Many people shy away from hiring a medical malpractice lawyer due to financial concern. The good news is that you can often find a legal provider that does not charge you an upfront retainer for their services.
Contingency fee arrangements are structured in the way that your firm will not charge you for legal services up front. Instead, your attorney will recuperate their legal fees after winning your case from a percentage of the total amount awarded.
Find a Medical Malpractice Lawyer With Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
You can contact the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today and determine if our legal services are right for you. We conduct legal services on a contingency fee basis using compassionate and comprehensive legal care. Request your free, no-obligation consultation today by calling (800) 970-4884. The statute of limitations imposed by 735 ILCS Sec. 5/13-212(a) limits the time we have to act.
Can You Represent Yourself in a Medical Malpractice Case?
Legally, you can represent yourself in a medical malpractice case. However, medical malpractice cases can be complex and medically technical processes. Even the most agile and steadfast individuals can struggle to prove their claims without having the training of an attorney.
You may be concerned about the cost of hiring a lawyer to represent your medical malpractice case, but not all medical malpractice lawyers charge an upfront fee. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, consultations calls are free, and there is no cost to you unless a settlement is reached. Talking to a legal professional can help you better understand the nuances of your case and provide guidance on how you can pursue a financial award for your losses in civil court.
Courts Hold You to the Same Standard When Representing Yourself
You are within your legal rights to represent yourself in a medical malpractice case.
If you choose to go this route, courts hold you to the same standards and guidelines established in the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure that any other attorney must follow when they pursue compensation on behalf of his or her client. Courts act as unbiased arbiters that work in the interest of the public, which means judges do not provide special treatment due to a lack of legal or procedural knowledge.
There Can Be Challenges to Representing Yourself
Although you do possess the right to represent yourself in a medical malpractice case, there are factors to consider when determining if self-representation is the best choice for you.
Litigating a Medical Malpractice Claim Can Be Expensive
Going to court can cost more than just the initial filing fee. There may be other costs, like depositions, expert witness services, process servers, and mediators, that can reach the five- or six-figure range. Hiring a law firm that works on a contingency-fee-basis can resolve the question of how you will pay for these services since a law firm will fund your case using their resources.
Medical Malpractice Claims Can Be Tough to Prove
Individuals who represent themselves in a medical malpractice case may need specific knowledge of medical terminology, the governance of medical standards, and how to prove their claims in civil court. This can be challenging due to the unique body of knowledge that pertains to the medical and legal fields.
Possible Advantages of Hiring a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Instead of representing yourself in a medical malpractice claim, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer. Hiring an attorney can allow you to focus on your health, your family and your recovery instead of the tasks involved in the legal process.
A lawyer can take on the tasks of:
- Handling insurance company communications.
- Managing and gathering evidentiary documents.
- Fairly evaluating your damages.
- Negotiating for compensation.
- Representing you in court, if necessary.
- Using their network of resources in your favor.
- Keeping you updated at every stage of the case.
While the list above is not exhaustive, it can help you understand just how much time, money, and energy it can take to win your medical malpractice case in a courtroom.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can take your case on a contingency-fee-basis. Therefore, you do not have to pay an upfront retainer to utilize our legal services.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm About Your Legal Options
If you or a family member experienced an injury or loss of life after a medical procedure or treatment, you have legal options available when pursuing an award for your financial, physical, and emotional injuries. You do not have to represent yourself in a medical malpractice claim alone.
The lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. Contact our team for a case evaluation by calling (800) 970-4884 today. Our phones are staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Consultation calls are free, and our firm works on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning you do not pay anything unless you receive a settlement.
How Do I Get a Malpractice Attorney to Take My Case?
Most medical malpractice attorneys offer free reviews of your case to help you understand if you have a valid claim and be eligible to recover a medical malpractice award. During this free case review, the attorney will evaluate your case and look for the four essential factors of any medical malpractice case:
- Proving duty of care
- Establishing the standard of care and violation of it
- Proving causation
- Establishing financial losses
Without the ability to do all of these things based on the facts of your case, you are unlikely to move forward with your medical malpractice case. The attorney will likely explain the missing elements and how that affects your ability to recover compensation.
Understanding the Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case
There are four factors you will need to prove in order to move forward with a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit. These are:
Proving Duty of Care
Before you can hold a doctor, clinic, or hospital liable for medical malpractice, you must prove they had a duty of care to treat you. As an example, you will need to show you had a doctor-patient relationship, that you went to the hospital seeking care and the doctor worked on your case, or that the doctor became a part of your care team at some point during the process.
Establishing a Standard of Care and Violation of It
To establish the standard of care and determine how and when your doctor or another medical care provider violated it, we generally need to call in a medical expert witness who has similar training and experience as the doctor overseeing your treatment. This medical professional can:
- Review the facts of your case.
- Give a deposition or make a recorded statement establishing the standard of care and violation of it.
- Sign an affidavit that the doctor violated the standard of care.
- Testify on your behalf if the case goes to trial.
Your relevant medical records and expert witness testimony are two pieces of evidence that help to prove causation in a medical malpractice case. You must be able to show you would not have suffered your injuries and losses if the doctor or other care provider did not commit medical negligence or violate the standard of care.
Establishing Financial Losses in a Malpractice Case
Not only is it necessary to establish that you suffered financial losses as a result of medical malpractice, but it is also important to put a fair value on your case. No matter whether you reach an out-of-court settlement for a payout or if you win an award in court, you will need to be able to make an argument for recovering the full value of your expenses and losses.
In order to reach a fair settlement or award, you will need to collect evidence such as medical bills, receipts, and more. Medical expert witnesses, economists, and others may also testify to help valuate your economic and noneconomic losses.
An Attorney Can Help You Understand the Strength of Your Medical Malpractice Case
If you suffered injuries because of a doctor’s failure to provide the proper standard of care or another type of medical negligence, you should not have to pay for your treatment, time away from work, and other losses. The doctor or hospital should cover these costs.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we make it our goal to protect medical malpractice victims from suffering any additional losses. You did nothing to cause this and should not be responsible for the financial consequences.
Our team will review your case and explain if we believe you can pursue compensation based on the facts of what happened. If we believe you have a strong case, we will take on your case based on a contingency fee. You will pay nothing up front, and never owe anything out of pocket. We only recover our fee when we get a settlement or award for you.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer Q&A
In the event of a medical malpractice incident, would you pursue damages for your client against the hospital/medical facility or the individual doctor?
We pursue compensation from all of these defendants. With a doctor, we look at their malpractice policy. We have never pursued a doctor beyond their malpractice policy. For the hospital or medical facility, they will have a much larger insurance policy. If that policy is inadequate for some reason, or if you got a very substantial verdict (which sometimes does happen), then a larger hospital would have to pay compensation out of their pocket.
The individual doctors typically have much smaller policy limits and would be responsible. Depending upon the state, you have to consider whether that doctor is an independent agent or if they are covered under a parent agency doctrine between a hospital and a doctor.
How long can it take to build a strong medical malpractice case and how long after can it take to receive compensation?
We receive hundreds, if not thousands, of medical malpractice calls on a monthly basis, and very few of them actually amount to malpractice. The primary reason is that you are already seeing a doctor because something was wrong. You have to prove that what the doctor did was negligent and that this negligence is what caused your current condition. For example, if you had terminal cancer and are going to die in 30 days, you went to the doctor, and they misdiagnosed you and said that you were totally healthy, but then you died 30 days later, you do not have a malpractice case.
Even though the doctor was wrong 100%, you were going to die anyway. The doctor’s negligence has to make your condition worse than it otherwise would have been. That is what we look for: that the doctor deviated from the normal standard of care and, as a result, you ended up with a substantial injury that is different than you otherwise would have had. It depends on the jurisdiction and it depends on the type of malpractice. Some of these cases are resolved in two or three years. In Illinois, which takes a longer time, that case might last five or six years.
It is a case-by-case basis and we must discover what malpractice was involved.
How often can you reach a settlement in a medical malpractice case and avoid taking the suit to trial?
Years ago, medical malpractice cases would never settle. Nowadays, because there have been so many large verdicts, if the malpractice case’s liability is very strong, it can settle. We had one recently that settled within eight months for $4 million. Normally, you have to file a lawsuit, take all the depositions, and then you look to settle the case up to the eve of trial. Frankly, they do not offer enough money.
Maybe your case is worth $5 million, and they offer you $3 million right away. Why would you take $3 million when, in two years when you go to trial, you can get $5 million or $6 million, or whatever the case may be? You do not want to accelerate or rush a settlement unless a client needs the money. There is also funding available for clients when they need money for wheelchairs, vans, or medical care, so that they can wait until the case is resolved.
That is known as pre-settlement funding.
What investigative steps will an attorney take to prove medical malpractice in the event of an injury?
An attorney will know the medical records and have them reviewed. They will ask the client if they have a copy of any medical records, looking to make sure they are the same. Every lawyer will give you a horror story about how they ordered medical records and they were different than the ones the client had because the doctors went back in and changed them, which is automatically legal death for the doctor and the medical facility.
Charges go crazy, as they should. It is a matter of filing suit, hiring experts, getting the experts to look at the records, taking the deposition of the defendant doctors. Then attorneys determine what happened and, through the evidence of their testimony and the records and the experts, that is your case.
If you suspect a doctor or nurse is guilty of medical malpractice, should you approach the hospital board without a lawyer?
No. Let’s use an extreme example. You went in to have your right leg removed because it had gangrene and they mistakenly took off your left leg. This is obviously a blatant mistake. They are guilty and they know it. You begin to discuss that with them and they say, “okay, we’re at fault. We admit it. We want to settle with you.” How much do you settle for? You might think the case is worth $10 million. Then they come in and make an offer for $14 million, and you take it.
But a lawyer may look at that and say no, your case is worth between $25 million and $30 million. You would not know that. You would have settled it for cheaper than an attorney could achieve. There is no way you could properly assess a case the way attorneys do. A medical malpractice attorney deals with this all the time. They know what these cases are worth. That is not even including admissions you might give that are detrimental to your own cause, since out of ignorance you can say things that are not appropriate. Speaking to the hospital board without an attorney is a big mistake.
My doctor used a tool on me that caused injury. What steps can be taken to determine if this was user error or a defective product?
Hire a lawyer that deals with this type of case and the lawyer will investigate. If there are other reports on this type of tool, maybe with the FDA or out in the general marketplace, they can look at whether you need to sue the doctor or the product manufacturer. Maybe you need to sue both. We handle a lot of defective product cases, such as, for example, hernia mesh. We have thousands of these cases.
In those cases, we are not suing the doctor, even though the product may be defective. We are suing the manufacturer. It is the same thing with the Essure birth implant. We have thousands of those cases. We are suing the manufacturer, not the doctor.
Typically, in a mass tort setting, you are looking at the manufacturer. If it is a one-off case, with some unique device that was used, then it may make sense just to sue the doctor or medical facility and, if they feel that it was a product issue, they could bring the product manufacturer in on their case.
Talk to a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you sustained injuries or your illness worsened because of medical malpractice, you may have a case against a doctor, hospital, clinic, or another medical care provider. To learn if you may be able to recover a settlement or award based on your case, reach out to an attorney from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today. We offer free case reviews for all potential medical malpractice victims and do not shy away from tough cases.
Call (800) 970-4884 today to discuss your case with a member of our team for free.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer Case Results
Peter (name changed to protect client), a veteran, sought treatment for a health condition at the Veteran’s Administration. His doctors failed to diagnose him with a spinal epidural abscess in a timely manner. A spinal epidural abscess threatens the health of the spinal cord in multiple ways. If not treated properly, paralysis or death can occur. Due to the doctor’s negligence in treating and diagnosing Peter, he was paralyzed and became paraplegic. Our attorneys pursued this case in federal court and returned a settlement of $3.5 million.
Tanya’s (name changed to protect client) family contacted our law firm because they believed that she had been a victim of medical malpractice. Tanya, who was 17 years old, had gone to the hospital because she was suffering from elevated blood pressure. Tanya was also a dialysis patient at the time.
Due to the doctor’s failure to properly manage and treat her high blood pressure, she suffered severe injuries to her organ systems and passed away. Our legal team worked extensively on this case and secured a settlement of $2.1 million for Tanya’s family.
Our client, Paul (name changed to protect client), received a liver transplant after a serious health condition permanently damaged his liver. Following the transplant, Paul had to take medication to reduce the activity of his immune system and prevent his body from rejecting the new liver. Initially, Paul was doing well following the transplant. However, a couple years after his transplant, he began to experience some problems.
After examination, the doctors told Paul that he had been taking the wrong dosage of medication for quite some time. It was later discovered that his family doctor was responsible for the mistake. Because he had taken the wrong dosage of medication, Paul’s body rejected the liver, and he had to be placed back on the list for a new liver. Upon learning this news, Paul and his family were devastated.
Being placed on a donor list means waiting for a long and unknown period of time, and they had already been through the difficult process once before. We successfully secured a settlement for Paul in the amount of $4 million. Our legal team worked extensively to ensure that Paul and his family would be compensated for their suffering due to a doctor’s mistake.
Our client, Kimberly (name changed to protect client), age 57, was a longtime patient at West Side VA Hospital and Hines VA Hospital. Approximately two years prior to the negligence, Kimberly was diagnosed with cervical myelopathy, a condition of extreme pressure on her spine. Due to her immobility, she was not able to move her legs or arm and was forced to move to a nursing home for 24-hour care.
Kimberly underwent necessary therapy and recovered almost completely. A few months prior to becoming immobile, Kimberly paid a visit to her general doctor. He noticed a change and diagnosed hyper-reflexia and clonus in both of her legs. (If you have clonus, your foot keeps on jerking after a strike of the doctor’s hammer, which usually implies injury to the spinal cord or brain.)
Unfortunately, Kimberly was never referred to a specialist. Six months later, Kimberly found herself at the emergency room of West Side VA. She fell down the stairs due to a weak grip and an unsteady walk. A neurologist, ordered an MRI for Kimberly’s neck. However, the neurologist never reviewed the MRI results and thus Kimberly was not evaluated as a surgical candidate.
At court, an expert testified on Kimberly’s behalf that surgery, if provided, would have had a 70-80% chance of halting the progression of the disease. It was successfully proven that West Side VA Hospital doctors were negligent, and the judge.
Our client Julia (name changed to protect client) tragically passed away immediately following the delivery of her child. Doctors were negligent in not catching what led to her death. Our attorneys successfully secured a settlement of $250,000 for our client.
Celia (name changed to protect client) underwent a c-section at the hospital. It was later discovered that the doctors left a sponge inside her, requiring a second operation to remove the foreign object. Celia then needed a third surgery because she was not sutured correctly during her second operation. Our attorneys successfully secured a settlement of $375,000 for our client.
Danielle (name changed to protect client) went to the hospital with head pain, but was sent home. She continued to have pain and returned to the hospital. The pain was caused by a shank that had been placed in her brain at birth due to hydrocephalus. Surgery was performed to place a new tube from her brain to her stomach, during which her lung was punctured. Danielle fell into a coma because of this, and may have permanent damage.
This was a case of medical malpractice, resulting in a settlement of $4,000,000.
Colin (name changed to protect client) went for hernia surgery and his only remaining testicle was removed without his permission. His doctor committed medical malpractice as he thought that the testicle was cancerous, when in fact it was not. Now, he is unable to have any future children because of this doctor’s wrong actions. Our attorneys successfully secured a settlement of $1,800,000 for him.
Emily (name changed to protect client) went to the hospital complaining of chest pains. She was admitted, but the hospital released her after a couple days without fully investigating the source of her pain. This client still had chest pains when she returned home, and passed away two weeks later. Our attorneys successfully secured a settlement of $4,290,000 for her family due to her wrongful death.
A mother called on behalf of her baby. She had a normal pregnancy and prenatal test results, but her baby had a seizure at birth and was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy. This diagnosis was thought to be due to a lack of oxygen during labor and birth caused by the hospital’s malpractice. Our attorneys successfully secured a settlement of $14,000,000 for this client.
Tom (name changed to protect client) was admitted to the hospital and treated there for two weeks following a stroke. He developed a Stage IV bedsore during the course of his treatment there. Our legal team successfully secured a settlement for $375,000 for our client.
Daniel (name changed to protect client) went to the hospital because he was light-headed. While there, he developed MERSA and bedsores due to the hospital’s negligence. He also is paralyzed from the waist down to a bedsore on his spine. This is a case of medical malpractice, and our attorneys successfully secured a settlement of $3,200,000 for this client.
Anna (name changed to protect client) had lasting health issues from childhood lymphoma. She was admitted to the hospital with leg pain which was wrongly attributed to neuralgia. Anna did not receive medical care until the next day when her legs were already turning black, eventually requiring amputation. We partnered with our co-counsel to secure a settlement of $3,350,000.
Robert (name changed to protect client) was admitted to the hospital for mental distress. He had previously attempted suicide. The patient was given a few different medicines and was eventually released from the hospital. Unfortunately, Robert took his life only two hours after being released. This was a case of medical malpractice because his doctors should have known that he was not ready to be discharged. Our attorneys successfully secured a settlement of $1,000,000 for his family.
A 31-year-old woman was incorrectly prescribed Lamictal Lamotrigine for bipolar disorder, when she actually had depression. This medication resulted in her developing a skin disorder called Stevens-Johnson syndrome. She developed scars all over her body. A settlement of $875,000 was secured for our client.
Jackson called on behalf of his mother Eleanor (names changed to protect client) after she bled to death during a dental procedure. Eleanor was in a nursing home, unable to care for herself, due to having three previous heart surgeries. She was on a blood thinner and started bleeding uncontrollably during her dental surgery. She was transferred to a hospital where she later passed away. Our attorneys acquired a settlement of $800,000 for Jackson.
Joe (name changed to protect client) was diagnosed with pneumonia in 2015 and a mass was seen on his chest x-ray, but no follow up occurred. In 2017, he again had pneumonia and was subsequently diagnosed with stage 4 small cell lung cancer. If his doctor had followed up about the mass in 2015 when it was first discovered, the cancer may not have progressed to this stage. Our attorneys successfully secured a settlement of $1,000,000 for him.
Helen (name changed to protect client) went to the hospital to have a tracheotomy removed. After the procedure, she was observed for five minutes and released. Her son went to get his car to pick her up and when he got to her, she had collapsed. She was taken back into the hospital but passed away soon after. . We secured a settlement of $4,000,000 for her family.
Dora (name changed to protect client) went to the hospital to have surgery for her ruptured aorta. She stayed in the hospital for seven months for treatment. During her stay, she developed a Stage IV bedsore. Our attorneys successfully secured a settlement of $400,000 for our client.
Our client Sherita (name changed to protect client) was not told she had breast cancer until 3 years after her mammogram initially showed the condition. As a result, she required extensive treatment which she would not have needed had she been diagnosed earlier. Our attorneys successfully secured a settlement of $500,000 for our client.
Emily (name changed to protect client) passed away hours after delivering her son, and the doctors failed to diagnose the condition which caused her death. Her pregnancy was without complications, and the baby was delivered full-term. Our legal team successfully secured a settlement of $525,000 for our client.
Jackie (name changed to protect client) went to the hospital with terrible stomach pain after passing out several times. Due to the delay in treating her, her appendix ruptured, and she developed sepsis. She required surgery and extensive care for months afterward due to the hospital’s negligence. Our attorneys successfully returned a settlement of $750,000 for our client.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation
When you are injured due to the negligence of someone else, you have the right to pursue compensation. We can review your case to determine if the ordeal you suffered falls in line with what is considered medical malpractice in Chicago.
Learn more about the opportunities available for you and your loved ones by contacting our legal professionals at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. You can request your free case review with us by calling (800) 970-4884 today.