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How to Handle Medical Malpractice in Chicago

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ElitesMindset Editorial Team
ElitesMindset Editorial Team
Suleman Siddiqui, an accomplished editor, navigates the realms of celebrity, lifestyle, and business with a distinctive flair. His insightful writing captures the essence of the glamorous world of celebrities, the nuances of contemporary lifestyles, and the dynamics of the ever-evolving business landscape. Siddiqui's editorial expertise combines a keen eye for detail with a passion for storytelling, making him a sought-after voice in the realms of entertainment, luxury living, and commerce.

Doctors and other medical professionals can see us at our most vulnerable. If we’re sick or injured. If we need surgery. If we need rehab. They see us at various stages of our lives. They watch us grow up. They watch us die. And they work hours and hours and hours to help keep us healthy or discover why we’re not.

Healthcare professionals are imperative to society. But sometimes you run into one who just doesn’t cut it. For example, have you ever been told all of your problems were due to your weight, only to find out later your weight was a symptom of something like PCOS? Have you been turned away as an emotional mess because you were a woman, only to be later diagnosed with a severe issue like hypothyroidism? Has a doctor ever refused to run a diagnostic test because it wasn’t their idea?

The above can be examples of Medical Malpractice.

Defining Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice doesn’t cover every time something goes wrong in healthcare; it’s focused on gross misconduct and incompetence. Common medical malpractice cases involve wrong diagnosis, improper treatment, lack of warning for known risks, and more. To file a medical malpractice suit, you must prove a doctor-patient relationship and that the doctor’s negligence caused the issue.

You also need to know about legal differences in Illinois from other states.

Medical Malpractice will cause an illness or injury with specific damages, such as pain, mental distress, more medical bills, lost work, and more. In some cases, it can lead to short or long-term disability— which, of course, leads to even more costs and losses.

Steps to Take When You Suspect Medical Malpractice

You have a choice with your first step. You can see another doctor first or get a free consultation with a local Chicago personal injury lawyer. Talk either of them through your concerns. If you retain a lawyer first, they may have a doctor to recommend. But if you are suffering, you should get your health taken care of first instead. Both steps need to be done; it’s up to you what order to do them.

Retain a Lawyer in Chicago

A free consultation with a lawyer does not obligate you to use their office. Chicago has several personal injury lawyers, and you should find the firm that works best for you. Always check for a track record of success when choosing a law firm. Reviews and recognitions are also good signs, but the settlement success is your proof that they know what they’re doing. Ensure that they take medical malpractice cases.

Most personal injury lawyers will only take payment once you win your case. Their fees are calculated into your compensation package. In fact, your lawyer will help you figure out damages and compensation before filing a complaint, so you have a starting number for negotiations. They will negotiate with the opposing attorneys and ensure you get a fair package. If the opposing attorneys refuse to settle for a reasonable price, the lawyer will take them to court and represent you.

Make sure you use a local lawyer. They will understand laws and statutes local to Chicago and Illinois, as well as federal law. In addition, they can recommend doctors and help you get documentation together.

Document, Document, Document

When you are at the next doctor, ask for a copy of their notes and your record. Ask the original doctor for your record; if you aren’t comfortable talking to them, sign a release for your lawyer to obtain the documents. Either way, these count as evidence in your case. Keep copies of all your statements and bills, and keep receipts for any payments you have already made related to the issue in question. All these count towards damages and will be included in your compensation request.

Don’t speak with insurance adjusters; direct them to your lawyer. Don’t speak with the accused office outside of requesting your records; refer them to your lawyer. Unless your lawyer says otherwise, anything related to the case gets forwarded to the law firm you retained. Insurance adjusters and other parties may try to twist your words to lessen your compensation— or get out of paying it. Let your lawyer handle those tactics; they’re used to it.

Be Cautious

Watch anything you say on social media or text to friends. Attorneys and adjusters may try and twist your words if they get a hold of your records or posts. Your lawyer can give you more tips on how to avoid giving them an edge.

Focus on You

Once you have a lawyer on the case, you should rest. Focus on recovery and treatment, whatever that means for you. Continue to document your journey for your lawyer, but other than that, let them handle the claim. They will let you know if they need anything specific.

If You Feel Like Something is Wrong, Don’t Hesitate

No one knows our bodies like we do. So when something feels wrong, we need to trust ourselves. We need to be able to trust our medical team to take our concerns seriously and help diagnose the issue. And if we feel like they haven’t or have made it worse, we can’t just ignore it. Filing for medical malpractice can feel uncomfortable. But if a doctor or other medical professional has harmed you, they must be held accountable. For you. For the next potential victim. For patients everywhere who have suffered due to negligence.

In an ideal world, medical malpractice wouldn’t exist. Hospital and clinical staff would be fairly scheduled and compensated. Accidents from exhaustion would never be a concern. 

Until that day arrives, unions and other organizations will continue to fight for fair hiring practices, scheduling, and wages. People will lobby for better regulations and continuing education. Non-profits fight for more recognition of specific issues like Dysautonomia and PTSD. Other medical professionals work to hold their peers accountable. And victims like you continue to stand up for themselves.

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