According to a news report, a woman recently filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against an Illinois surgeon and hospital for medical malpractice. The surgeon operated on the lumbar, or lower, portion of the woman’s back. Two other defendants are also named in the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, the woman suffered neurological damage during the surgery as a result of the negligence of the defendants. Specifically, the woman is alleging that the defendants improperly utilized retractors during the lumbar surgery, and that they failed to take reasonable measures to protect the nerves in her lower back from surgical damage. The patient is also alleging that the defendants failed to timely recognize the nerve damage caused by their actions during the surgery and to accurately diagnose her condition.
The patient is suing each defendant for a minimum of $50,000. As a result of their actions, she is seeking compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Generally speaking, economic damages refer to out-of-pocket medical expenses, lost wages, and lost future income, while non-economic damages relate to an injured patient’s pain and suffering, emotional distress, and overall loss of enjoyment in life.
Injured Patients Have a Right to Sue Negligent Doctors and Hospitals
Not every surgery or non-surgical treatment goes as planned. There are risks to every medical procedure, even the most simple. When properly informed, patients understand these risks and weigh the positives and negatives of a given treatment or procedure. In making their decision, patients understand that even if their medical treatment team does everything as they should, something can still go wrong.
Sometimes, however, a patient is injured not because of the risks inherent to a given treatment, but because his or her doctor or hospital does not take reasonable care while providing the treatment. In Illinois, we call this failure to take reasonable care surgical malpractice. Another word for malpractice is negligence.
All health care providers must meet certain standards when caring for a patient. At a minimum, they must provide a level of care that is regarded as acceptable by other medical professionals practicing in the same type of medicine, taking into account the individual nature of each patient.
Like everyone else, doctors are not perfect. Neither are hospitals. As a result, mistakes are always going to be made. The problem is that in medicine, the stakes are very high. When doctors or hospitals commit preventable errors, the resulting injuries can be life-altering.
Illinois law helps to remedy a patient’s injuries by permitting him or her to recover compensation after negligence has been committed. A patient can recover compensation for time lost at work, medical bills that are not covered by insurance, and even wages that are likely to be lost in the future due to some sort of permanent limitation. These types of economic damages are sometimes called pecuniary damages.
Illinois law does not stop at pecuniary damages, however. Often, an injured patient’s monetary losses are accompanied by non-economic injuries, which can be equally or even more debilitating. These may include chronic pain and suffering, physical disfigurement, emotional distress, or simply the inability to enjoy the pleasures of everyday life. In Illinois, there is no limit to how much money a patient can recover for non-economic damages.
Did a Member of Your Health Care Team Fail to Take Reasonable Care During Your Surgery?
Sometimes it is hard to know if the pain you are feeling after surgery is normal or if it is the result of medical malpractice. This can also be the case with other symptoms after surgery as well. At Moll Law Group, we have the knowledge to know what you should and should not be experiencing after a given medical treatment. We understand the complexities of medicine, even if your treatment is highly technical or specialized. As a result, our attorneys are qualified to know when a medical error has been committed, and when you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. For a free consultation, call Moll Law Group at (312) 462-1700.
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Medical Device Manufacturer Recalls Hip Replacement Part, Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, November 14, 2015.
Six-Vehicle Chain-Reaction Accident Caused When Semi-Truck Rear-Ends Van, Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, October 20, 2015.
One Person Killed, Eight Injured In Accident on Interstate 57, Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, November 17, 2015.