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Chicago Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Overwhelmed by Medical Malpractice? Your Lawyer Should Help You Overcome It

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It is a terrible moment for anyone, when they have to consider the fact that their doctor, surgeon, or other medical professional has made a mistake. It is all the more unfortunate because that mistake has likely had a shattering effect on the lives of the victim and their friends and family.

Whatever the case may be, victims of medical malpractice face new and difficult realities. From permanent disabilities or disfigurements to the death of a loved one their old version of "normal" is shattered. On top of these negative effects, there are very real and very expensive financial hardships associated with the mistake that was made. All of this can make for a very overwhelming "new reality" for victims.

At some point, people who find themselves in these situations will want things to return to how they were before.  They may want justice. They may want accountability. They may want relief from the financial hardship they have been subjected to.  It could very likely be some combination of all of this that they are looking for and unfortunately this is just the start of a difficult process.

Can Hospitals be Transparent Enough to keep Patients Safe?

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Patient safety is always spoken of in terms of being the most important factor in healthcare. After all, if a patient suffers harm at the hands of the healthcare system, it eliminates any good individual doctors or nurses may have achieved.

Research on harm suffered by thousands of patients every year suggests the current system is far from adequate. Studies point to hundreds of thousands of deaths every year caused by medical error or mistakes made by doctors and hospitals.

Why Medical Expertise Matters When Choosing a Medical Malpractice Lawyer For Your Case

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Medical malpractice work has always been the focus of our firm. About 20 years ago the firm decided to focus exclusively on medical malpractice cases because we have built in medical expertise.  Being a board-certified cardiologist allows me to help our clients understand where they stand as they consider whether filing a lawsuit is right for them.  I can take a look at the information they have and help them quickly assess what their next steps are. This process includes determining whether they have a case they should pursue or not and whether or not I need to look for more information.  

5 Qualities A Medical Malpractice Lawyer Would Want In His Lawyer

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If truth was found in billboards one would think the key qualities for a medical malpractice lawyer are clenched fists (preferably around hundred dollar bills) and the willingness to kick butt. These, however, are the last characteristics I would look for if I needed a med mal lawyer. No matter what you've heard (or what these advertisers tell you) there are no get-rich-quick schemes in medical malpractice litigation, and arrogance is a character flaw, not a strength. If I needed a malpractice lawyer, here's what I would want:

What your lawyer doesn't know about birth-injuries can be devastating.

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Joy and celebration should fill the home when a new child joins your family. But there are cases where sadness, fear and anxiety dominate the day. This is because sometimes our children are the victim of a birth injury. While advances in medical care and better training and attentiveness of doctors and nurses have brought down the incidence of birth injuries over the past decade (just below 0.2% of births in the U.S. in 2012 experienced some form of birth injury), the numbers are of little comfort to those families with a child injured at birth. They will likely face a wide range of emotions: heartache, anger, frustration, guilt, sadness, and, of course anxiety over an uncertain future for their child and their family. This is why understanding the cause of your child's injury is so important.

Flying is safer than surgery and it is no accident

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The commercial aviation and the airline industry are subject to very strict government regulation. In the event of a crash, it is not the airline, nor the manufacturer that investigates what went wrong. No, a separate governmental agency, whose job is only to examine transportation disasters, handles the investigation.

Can your surgeon keep you safe from an operating room fire?

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Surgeons and patients are not thinking about fires when they enter a hospital operating room.  There are so many things that take priority at that moment. For the patient this is an opportunity to improve their quality of life.  For a surgeon this is what they are trained to do. Too often unfortunately they are not trained to prevent a fire in the operating room.  

Fires in the operating are considered rare*(between 500-600/year) but they are devastating for patients. Unfortunately for victims these are catastrophes that could be avoided. All it would take is proper training for surgeons and anesthiologists; and a commitment to communicating proper procedures as a surgical team. 

Infections remain a threat to patient safety

Doctor Scrubbing Up.jpgSurgical infections are a threat to every patient who undergoes any surgery. The skin is marvelously effective at protecting us from infection, but once that seal is broken, things can go terribly wrong. With much orthopedic surgery, the incision is necessary and the implant that may be used can itself carry additional risk of infection.

A message of hope for families affected by Cerebral Palsy (SlideShare)

White-Paper-Button.jpgWe frequently work with families struggling to understand a cerebral palsy diagnosis, including what caused the condition and how it will impact their child's future. To provide a resource and starting place for these families, we recently published a white paper titled "Cerebral Palsy: A Message Of Hope For Illinois Families."

The most important piece of information that we want to convey to families is the message of hope. CP is the most common childhood disability, but affects each child differently. While not curable, advances in technology and therapy options allow children with CP to thrive.

U.S. Senate cannot overlook patient safety in the 21st Century Cures Act

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It is very likely that you are not familiar with some rather important legislation being considered by Congress regarding the funding and approval for medication and medical device development. Unless you are in the medical field or involved in politics, you may have never even heard of the 21st Century Cures Act.

The 21st Century Cures Act is health care legislation aimed at keeping the U.S. competitive in the medical research industry. Essentially, it would provide billions of dollars of funding to the National Institutes of Health agency and "streamline" the path to approving new medications and medical devices. However, even though the measure cleared the House last month, there continues to be considerable debate over whether will help or harm patient care.