Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer Tells You 2 Things to Look When Evaluating Your Medical Malpractice Case
Two Things To Evaluate In A CHicago Medical Malpractice Situation
In this article, I wanted to talk about medical malpractice, specifically what the two things that every lawyer needs to know to evaluate whether they have a good medical malpractice case.
Now, obviously there are hundreds of other things and hundreds of other details that a lawyer needs to know and to consider when ultimately deciding to file a lawsuit on a medical malpractice case. But I am talking about the things that a lawyer needs to know when they initially evaluate your medical malpractice case.
So, what are the two most important things and when should you call a medical malpractice lawyer?
A Medical Malpractice Case
Let's get right into it, a guy gave me a call about a medical malpractice case. He was getting an IV transfusion at a hospital, and they had it in his arm and he got an infection in his arm and then they removed it from his arm due to the infection and they placed it in his shoulder. Believe it or not, so there's lots of places they can put an IV, and sometimes they want a big healthy vein in an area of the body that has a robust blood supply. And when you get down to your fingers and toes there's very little blood supply the closer to the middle of your body that you get the more blood supply so it's less likely for you to get an infection.
That's what happened and then he got an infection in the shoulder, too. After that, he called me up and I immediately thought these two things which are the reasons why I thought to write this article for you.
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What Did The Doctors Do Wrong?
The questions that you should ask yourself is, “What happened?” and “What did the doctors do wrong?” Now, in this guy's case, just the fact that you get an infection at the hospital, isn't that surprising? In fact, infections hospital-born infections or they call them “superbugs” because they're resistant to all the basic antibiotics so superbugs infections in the hospital even if the doctor doesn't do anything wrong. They are quite common, now the flip side is usually with an infection case we see this a lot with bed sore cases and once a bed sore infection develops, they are negligent if they don't treat it or address it. If there's an infection and if they don't act immediately, in this guy's case, like change the site where the needle goes in and immediately start you on antibiotics and have an infectious disease doctor come in or it's not charted in the charts. If somebody has an infection and gets no treatment for a month, we all know what happens with infections that go untreated, they just get worse and worse, and they can eventually kill you.
But the client and his wife couldn't really tell me exactly the malpractice of the doctor. This is true in almost all medical malpractice cases, that is why getting the medical records in a medical malpractice case before giving a client a final answer on whether a case is one that can file a lawsuit on or not, is very important.
We have to do that in every medical malpractice case so that's the first thing that we need to know, what did the doctor do wrong? You can just tell the lawyer you consult with everything you know, and they will ask you for follow-up questions that will give them more information. But virtually, every medical malpractice case before a lawyer can give you an answer on whether it's going to be a medical malpractice case, whether they can take it, or whether they think they'll win, they're going to need to look at the medical records, there are few that don't do it right. So, if a doctor cuts off the wrong leg, that is kind of a slam dunk, but I would say 99.9% of the medical malpractice cases where I talk to people, that first one is a major issue.
How Big Are The Injuries?
Now, the second one is a little bit different than typical injury cases. So, the gentleman we are talking about called me. He and his wife called me at the beginning where they were doing wound care on his arm and on his shoulder and they had just started him on an aggressive course of IV antibiotics they didn't know, like literally had just started him on that stuff. The question is how and what's his outcome going to be like, how good is he going to heal? Well, why is that important for you to know? You may have consulted with me, and you may say,
“Scott, you know, I had a car crash case, and my neck was really hurt, and I thought I was going to have a permanent problem for sure. But then my neck got better, and you still took my case, and you still got me an awesome settlement.”
Really quick, that's true in a car crash case and this is we're talking about, the difference in a medical malpractice case how big the injury is determines how big the eventual settlement or verdict might be. Well, it's important because in medical malpractice cases, you can't just come into my office and say the Doctor so-and-so screwed up and file a lawsuit.
Instead, I have to obtain all your medical records. I have to organize them. I have to review them to see if there's anything missing, they’re often medical records missing. For example you'll get hospital records and anesthesia, there'll be no anesthesia record in there things like that so I have to make sure they're complete. Aside from that, I have to prepare a summary and then I have to find a doctor of the correct specialty to review the case and write a report for us saying that this isn't just a random happenstance a bad outcome.
It's an identifiable thing that a doctor or nurse or hospital did that caused your problem, so as you can imagine doctors don't like to testify against other doctors. Finding a doctor who will even review a case for medical malpractice is rare, it's hard to find a doctor who will do that for you and the ones who will do it for you are very expensive, they're usually like tops in their field, so an hour of their time is very expensive and compounding the problem if your case involves a mistake by a nurse, a mistake by hospital administrators, and let's say a mistake by an orthopedic doctor, and a mistake by a neurologist.
In theory, I have four different specialists, I have to talk to and pay it is not uncommon in a medical malpractice case to spend anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000 all the way up to more than a hundred thousand dollars. And that is before we even file the lawsuit, and virtually all of that money is spent on these medical experts and we're not allowed to file a lawsuit without consulting medical experts, so due to the extreme amount of work and expense in medical malpractice cases, that's the second thing that any lawyer is going to ask you right away.
They're going to ask you what the story with your outcome is, how serious are your injuries, and obviously in order to support the time and expense that it takes to do, one of these cases we're talking about we need a serious permanent injury or death or paralysis or you really know how serious its consequences and that's what most lawyers look for.
I'm happy to talk to you, you can reach out to me if you have any question, give me a call 312 500 4500.
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