Medical providers can hold our lives in their hands. We rely on them for accurate and timely information. When medical providers fail to give prompt and informative care, they can be held liable. If you or a loved one has been injured by a careless medical professional, our law firm can assist you in getting full and fair compensation.
HAVE YOU RECEIVED HARMFUL MEDICAL TREATMENT?
Medical malpractice refers to professional negligence by a healthcare professional or provider in which the treatment provided was substandard and caused harm, injury, or death to a patient. If you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice, contact The Unsell Law Firm, P.C..
KINDS OF MEDICAL ERRORS
In the majority of cases, the medical malpractice or negligence involves a medical error. This error can be in diagnosis, medication dosage, health management, treatment, or aftercare. The error may have been because nothing was done (an act of omission) or because of a negligent act.
What damages can I recover in a medical malpractice case?
Medical malpractice injuries are like any other type of personal injury case when you get to damages. The rules governing what type of damages you are entitled to involves looking at Illinois pattern jury instructions. lawyers call these IPIs for short. You should know upfront you cannot get under Illinois law punitive damages against a doctor. But let's talk about what damages you can receive.
Disfigurement under IPI 30.04, this type of damage is when you are physically disfigured. God forbid this happens to you, but if it does, your lawyer can create an argument as to how much you should be compensated. Think of a scar or lost appendage.
Disability 30.04.01. This involves you not being able to function the way you could before and will normally involve some doctor testimony about that disability.
Loss of a normal life 30.04.02 allows for money damages for things you can no longer do because of the injury.
Increased risk of harm 30.04.03 is a little more complicated and will involve a doctor explaining why you are at greater risk of developing some other condition or illness because of the injury you sustained.
Shortened life expectancy 30.04.05. It literally means someone has said that your life will be shorter because of this injury and you can receive money damages because of this injury for that shortened life.
Pain and suffering (past and future) 30.05 is my favorite. Every injury case involves pain and suffering. Many lawyers do not realize that pain and suffering are two different things. Illinois case law tells us that pain can come with suffering and without suffering. One could suffer without pain-think about someone who becomes paralyzed. One could say that person suffers from an injury, but we don't think of that person as experiencing pain. In fact, they have a loss of sensation. The confusion comes from the IPI placing them in the same heading. Pain and suffering damage allows your lawyer to get creative and increase your damage award.
Emotional distress (past and future) 30.05.01 is another element of damages that can be overlooked. You ask the jury to give your client emotional distress for what he or she went through. This too is different than pain and suffering. Think depression or anxiety. Someone could be paralyzed and suffer from that condition but be upbeat about his or her condition. You wouldn't say that person has emotional distress. Alternatively, that same paralyzed person could experience depression and anxiety. He or she would suffer and have emotional distress.
Medical expenses (past and future) 30.06 you are entitled to all your medical expenses both past and future. It is important for your lawyer to explore future medical costs. These can increase your damage award.
Loss wages (past and future) 30.07. If you were working prior to the injury, you can recover for any time off. You can also recover for any time off in the future that you may need to take because of the injury. Think about someone who needs a future surgery.
Care taking expenses (past and future) 30.09 this involves someone who will need help in the future. You have to get a surgery and need someone to help you while you recover. I've even argued that it should apply to parents who have to hire babysitters. You can get creative with these instructions.
Whatever you damages-make sure you pull in every damage element you can. Failure to include the element will waive that part of your recovery...So don't miss out. Maximize your award because you don't get to come back a second time.