Hospitals can be a great place for providing the help that you or a loved one requires, but it can also be a tragic place where loss of life takes place. In these crucial or final moments, you should be able to rely on the best care and the utmost respect directed towards the patients and your loved ones. Unfortunately, some medical professionals do not carry out their duties and services as they should be.
Hospital negligence claims can be filed when any practices that breach the duty of care afforded to a patient occur. Negligence of individual professionals or on a larger scale can put a patient’s life at risk in a number of ways and cost a family hundreds of thousands in medical bills as well as a life. We will discuss the ways that this may occur below.
At Mike Agruss Law, our personal injury lawyers have helped thousands of clients to seek justice and compensation for personal injuries, and you won’t owe us a penny for our services unless we win your case. If you or a loved one has experienced hospital negligence, contact our office today for a free consultation.
Types of Hospital Negligence
The idea of a hospital behaving with negligence encompasses a large number of cases. It could be on an individual-level or a systematic error. Some types of hospital negligence that can occur include:
- Negligence – If a doctor or nurse makes a careless mistake and causes injury to the patient, you may be able to sue them for negligence. You should be able to show that the injury was directly caused by the staff’s breach of their duty of care owed to the patient. Negligence can be due to their action or inaction.
- Abuse – Unfortunately, some doctors and nurses can go as far as abusing the patient. This could be physical abuse, financial abuse, or neglect.
- Malpractice – Medical malpractice claims are similar to negligence, but more specific. A malpractice claim alleges that the medical professional did not act with the same level of care that another reasonable medical professional would have in the situation. It encompasses a very wide range of scenarios that all ultimately amount to this concept.
- Wrongful death – The hospital or a staff member can be sued for a wrongful death claim if the death occurred due to their negligence, carelessness, or malpractice.
Examples of Hospital Negligence
- Administering the incorrect medication
- Transportation accidents or dropping patients
- Medical equipment failure or misuse
- Physically or sexually abusing the patient
- Improperly conducting various physical examinations
- Failure to appropriately respond to the patient’s needs
- Lack of adequate staffing or proper training among the staff
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnose
Filing a Claim and Illinois Law
It is important to take into account the status of the person that you believe engaged in hospital negligence. Doctors can be employees of the hospital, therefore, you could sue the hospital as a co-defendant in the lawsuit. However, a doctor could also be an independent contractor that is not directly an employee of the hospital. In this case, you will most likely be unable to name the hospital as a co-defendant in the lawsuit.
There are many independent contractors that treat patients at hospitals, yet are not hospital employees. You could file a claim against the independent contractor themselves, however, the hospital would remain uninvolved. Your options on which defendants against which you could take action will become much more clear once you speak to an attorney who can assist you in navigating the process.
The state of Illinois has a statute of limitations that applies specifically to medical malpractice laws. You should file your lawsuit within two years of the date that you knew about the injury that was allegedly caused by a doctor’s malpractice. If the injury is not able to be discovered immediately, then the statute of limitations extends to four years. For minors, either the minor themselves or someone must file the lawsuit on their behalf within eight years of the date of the malpractice; however, it must also be before their 22nd birthday. This is why it is important that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible to decide if you have a case, first of all, and also when you must file the claim before it is too late.
Damages That Can Be Recovered
We understand that medical care is costly. It makes matters even worse when malpractice or negligence occurs, and you feel that you have spent your money contributing to the hurt of a loved one. After winning a lawsuit, you can be compensated for the damages that you have incurred as a result. Some common damages in hospital negligence cases can include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Future loss of earnings
- Wrongful death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Punitive damages
If you or a loved one has been injured due to hospital negligence, contact our office today for a free consultation.