July is Medical Malpractice Awareness Month
Medical malpractice is one of the most difficult areas of law in which to practice. Highly fact-specific, extravagantly complex, and subject to aggressive defense from hospitals, providers, and insurance companies, these cases are undeniably difficult.
For the victims and families who’ve suffered as the result of preventable medical mistakes and unacceptable lapses in quality of care, medical malpractice claims are also critical to holding health care providers accountable – both for victims’ needs, and for the safety of all who may be treated by at-fault providers in the future.
Promoting Awareness About Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice claims make for difficult cases for many different reasons – but are especially challenging due to the nature of understanding when malpractice occurs.
As part of its mission during the month of July, the National Medical Malpractice Advocacy Association (NMAA) organizes Medical Malpractice Awareness Month in order to promote awareness about these difficult claims.
Part of the challenges of these claims is that it can be difficult to understand doctors are not required to cure us of all ailments, or to eliminate all risks present when seeking treatment. Though not every “poor outcome” means malpractice occurred, some adverse outcomes warrant further investigation – namely to determine whether treating physicians, nurses, hospital administrators, or other providers failed to meet their duty of care – the legal standard which, in medical malpractice cases, is defined as:
The quality of care a reasonably skilled medical professional would be expected to provide under the same or similar circumstances.
Failures to meet acceptable standards of care vary from case to case, by field of medicine and specialty, and even by the type of provider – which makes it difficult for any laymen (and even some medical professionals) to identify when injuries or adverse outcomes are the product of malpractice.
What’s most important to changing this, NMAA and advocates believe, is increasing transparency about malpractice and medical errors, and helping patients understand what it looks like and how it occurs. These objectives not only allow for negligent providers to be held accountable; they also help patients and families take needed steps to heal, seek justice, and pursue a recovery of their damages through the civil justice system.
Our Commitment to Medical Malpractice Victims
In fact, our firm holds the record for the largest medical malpractice verdict in Illinois history – a $55.4M verdict for a woman who suffered brain damage after treating practitioners failed to properly intubate and provide oxygen during a bronchoscopic procedure. The verdict included $15M in damages for the woman’s husband – a record recovery in Illinois for loss of consortium.
Our attorneys have secured many other multi-million verdicts and settlements in complex malpractice claims, including:
- $47.5M Settlement (the largest reported settlement in Cook County in 2016) over failure to diagnose and treat an infection
- $40M Settlement (the largest settlement for a brain injured minor in Illinois) over failure to diagnose abscesses in the neck, recognize organ dysfunction and clinical deterioration, and timely transfer patient to a children’s hospital, resulting in irreversible neurologic injury.
- $35M Settlement (largest in Illinois for child injured at birth) over failure to monitor fetal distress and brain damage resulting in cerebral palsy.
Find more information on our Medical Malpractice FAQ, or contact us to discuss a potential case personally with a lawyer. PRS is here to help.