Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Record-Setting Results for Malpractice Victims Across Illinois
We trust doctors, nurses, and other health care providers to meet established standards of their profession. Unfortunately, they don’t always meet their duty of care, or may make critical errors which compromise patient safety, and increase risks for profound or permanent harm. When substandard care results in preventable injuries, victims and their families have the right to justice and fair compensation. As proven medical malpractice attorneys in Chicago, we have the resources to help. In fact, we have recovered over $4 billion for our clients.
Medical malpractice is a serious problem, and one that claims thousands of American lives every year and causes even more injuries and pain. Unfortunately, many victims don't take legal action and pursue the compensation they deserve for their injuries and losses. At Power Rogers, we address all medical malpractice cases with integrity and conviction. Holding healthcare professionals accountable for their mistakes benefits the system as a whole. We are careful to accept only meritorious cases, maintaining our firm's reputation for ethical advocacy.
Power Rogers has over three decades of experience handling and winning cases involving medical negligence throughout Illinois. Call us today at (312) 313-0202 to discuss your rights and legal options in a free consultation.
A Leader in Illinois Medical Malpractice Law
Power Rogers is an Illinois-based trial practice recognized nationally for our work in complex medical malpractice cases – as well as our record results. In addition to recovering over $4 billion for our clients, our firm has obtained some of the most substantial and noteworthy medical malpractice results in the country, setting local, state, and national records along the way. Our track record includes:
- $55 million: Largest medical malpractice verdict in Illinois state history
- $47.5 million: Largest medical malpractice settlement in Cook County in 2016
- $40 million: Largest settlement for a brain damaged minor in Illinois history
- $15 million: Illinois record for largest loss of consortium recovery
Some other notable hallmarks of our firm include:
- Attorney Joe Powers has never lost a medical malpractice case at trial
- Almost every one of Joe Power's cases have resulted in tripling the pretrial offer to settle
- We have represented clients of all backgrounds, including NFL players in the Chicago Bears organization
If you have reason to believe that you or a loved one suffered harm as a result of medical malpractice, it is absolutely worth your time to speak with a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Remember: There are strict time limits for filing malpractice cases. At Power Rogers, we know how to investigate these cases in order to protect our clients' rights, including obtaining necessary medical records, witnesses, and medical experts. Our ability to advocate for our clients has been proven over the course of our firm's history.
Learn more about the following topics:
- What qualifies as medical malpractice?
- How do you prove medical negligence in Illinois?
- How long do I have to file a medical malpractice claim?
- Who can I sue for medical malpractice?
- What types of damages can I recover?
- What documents will I need to support my case?
- Do I need to hire a medical malpractice lawyer?
- Medical malpractice statistics in the U.S.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim: What You Need to Know
If you or a loved one suffered preventable harm due to what you believe is medical malpractice, the most important step you can take is to consult experienced attorneys as soon as possible. The laws governing malpractice claims, and the many nuanced challenges of negotiating or litigating fair settlements or verdicts, are quite complex – even for many lawyers. At Power Rogers, our attorneys can help you understand how medical malpractice lawsuits work, what laws may apply to your case, and what your rights are when it comes to taking legal action.
What Qualifies As Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice, like other matters of the law, is dependent on the facts and circumstances of each individual claim. What may appear to be medical negligence to the untrained eye may not be malpractice under the law – especially as there are inherent risks to obtaining medical treatment, and because there are generally no guarantees patients will be satisfied with medical results. Still, when patients suffer harm due to substandard care and failures to meet legal duties, there may be a valid basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Some of the most common examples of medical malpractice include:
- Hospital negligence
- Emergency room errors
- Medication errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Hemorrhagic stroke
- Sepsis / septic shock
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Plastic surgery errors
- Improper treatment
Under medical malpractice law, a key element to having a successful case is proving negligence. Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care, or a failure to use the same degree of care that a reasonably prudent person would use under the same or similar circumstances. Evidence of negligence is the basis for liability in these cases. Power Rogers can assess evidence of negligence in your case.
Proving Medical Negligence: Four Important Elements
Medical malpractice is a type of negligence committed by a professional healthcare provider – including, but not limited to, a doctor, nurse, dentist, hospital, or technician – whose care and treatment depart from the standard of care required for that profession, resulting in harm to their patient. Medical malpractice can occur when a healthcare provider does something he/she should not do, or fails to do something he/she should do. Although these cases are highly fact-specific, there are a few general elements that must be demonstrated, including:
- Legal Duty – For there to be any valid basis for a medical malpractice claim, a legitimate doctor-patient relationship must be proven. That means plaintiffs will need to show they were in fact being treated by the provider against whom their claims are made, and that a bona fide doctor-patient relationship existed at the time of the alleged incident.
- Breach of Duty – When professional health care providers treat patients, they assume legal obligations for safely and competently providing care. This is known as their “duty of care,” and it generally requires practitioners to treat patients in accordance with the accepted standards of their profession (or specialty). To prevail in a medical malpractice case, it must be shown that the provider failed to meet the accepted standards of care, and therefore breached their duty of care. Though every case is unique, a departure from accepted standards is generally proven by illustrating how a provider failed to act in the manner a reasonably careful provider would have acted in the same or similar circumstances.
- Causation – Proving a breach of duty is only the first step in substantiating a malpractice claim; plaintiffs must additionally establish the link between the breach and the harm they claim to have suffered as a result. Given the highly technical nature of the practice of medicine, proving causation can be extremely difficult; meticulous investigations, collaboration with medical experts, and extensive knowledge of the law are crucial to proving medical negligence as a proximate cause of the injuries claimed.
- Damages – Medical malpractice claims allow victims to recover financial compensation for their damages (including their past and future pain and suffering, financial losses, and emotional injuries, among others). If there are no damages, there is no case – and if victims did in fact incur damages, a full accounting of their past and future losses is crucial to recovering the full amount of compensation they need and deserve.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Illinois
Victims and families looking to hold negligent health care providers liable for damages have a limited amount of time to file their claims. Under Illinois law 735 ILCS 5/13-212(a), medical malpractice claims against physicians and other providers are generally subject to a two-year statute of limitations. However, certain factors may toll or extend the statutory timeframe.
Illinois medical malpractice statute of limitations:
- Within 2 years of the date of injury or death or the date on which the plaintiff knew, or should have known, of the link between malpractice and injuries / death, but not more than 4 years from the date of injury or death.
- Within 8 years of the date on which the malpractice occurred if the victim was under 18 at the time, but no later than the victim’s 22nd birthday.
Because plaintiffs are barred from filing lawsuits and recovering damages beyond the statute of limitations, we strongly encourage anyone with a potential claim to consult a Chicago medical malpractice attorney at Power Rogers as soon as possible.
Who Can I Sue for Medical Malpractice?
Depending on the individual facts of a case, victims may bring medical malpractice lawsuits against various parties. This may include individuals such as a negligent doctor, a nurse or physician’s assistant, or an anesthesiologist, or entities like hospitals, medical groups, and other health care providers that breached their duty of care, among others.
Though a skilled attorney can help you determine the defendant(s) to be named in your claim, it is vital to note that whether they are an individual solo practitioner or a major medical group, hospital, or health system, defendants will want to protect themselves, their reputations, and their bottom lines.
What’s more, insurance companies from which providers purchase malpractice insurance – and which typically defend their insured in court – also go to great lengths to dispute, deny, or underpay claims. It is, after all, their money. Because of these realities, it takes a skilled attorney to ensure fair, full compensation for damages that were caused by medical negligence.
Your Right to a Recovery of Damages
Medical malpractice lawsuits are important for several reasons. Apart from holding negligent providers accountable, sending a message that substandard care is not to be tolerated, and protecting other patients from suffering similar fates in the future, these claims offer victims an opportunity to recover financial compensation for their damages.
Although every victim or family will incur their unique losses, plaintiffs in medical malpractice claims are generally entitled to a recovery of their physical, financial, and emotional damages. In rare cases – particularly those involving egregious acts of misconduct – punitive damages may be sought as a means to further punish wrongdoers.
Recoverable damages in medical malpractice include:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income / reduced earning potential
- Emotional distress / mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Lost future wages
- Loss of consortium (awarded to victims’ spouses)
- Funeral and burial expenses (wrongful death)
- Grief and sorrow (wrongful death)
Securing full compensation is critical for victims, especially when serious or permanent injuries necessitate long-term medical needs or a lifetime of medical care. In addition to collaborating with experts to establish malpractice, our team also leverages expert insight to calculate past and future damages – and fight for the maximum compensation possible.
Medical Malpractice Checklist: What Documents Will I Need?
We've compiled a checklist of documents that could help your attorney win your case. Keep these in mind:
- Medical bills - Keep track of your expenses and the costs related to your injury, including bills and invoices from your doctors, emergency room visits, therapists, and so forth. You may be able to receive compensation for these costs.
- Medical prescriptions - Was your injury caused or exacerbated by your prescription medications? Keep track of your pharmaceutical records.
- Proof of missed wages - Did your injury cause you to miss work? Obtaining copies of your pay stubs and tax returns could help you receive full compensation in a successful medical malpractice case.
- Insurance information - Don't throw away documents pertaining to your health insurance coverage! Find out if you were unfairly denied or billed. Our team can analyze your insurance information to help you.
- Medical records - Receive copies of your medical records. This is essential in proving your injury and in winning your case.
- Photos of your injury - If applicable, photographic evidence can be extremely beneficial in a court case. Take periodic photographs of your injuries and treatments.
- Your personal record of the incident - As soon as possible, write down everything you know and can remember about your injury and how it happened. Unfortunately, it's easy to forget small details or key points over time. Take the time to sit down and write down everything that happened.
Do I Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
No law requires plaintiffs to have legal representation when filing a medical malpractice claim, but no lawyer would recommend anyone ever try. Medical malpractice lawsuits are notoriously complex, and they require an immense amount of resources and experience to effectively prepare and litigate.
What’s more, defendants against whom these claims are filed – and especially the insurance companies which represent them – are the same parties that consistently back so-called “tort reform,” and lobby lawmakers to pass legislation that limits a victim’s access to the courts. These efforts, which result in unfair laws like damages caps, show medical insurers value profits more than people, and act to shield providers against any claims of liability at the expense of someone who is seriously injured.
Skilled attorneys – ones who have demonstrated success in this unique area of law – can guide victims through difficult and emotionally turbulent legal journeys step by step, and provide the resources and firepower needed to take on powerful opponents.
Medical Malpractice Statistics in the U.S.
The statistics regarding medical malpractice are quite alarming. New studies are released on various occasions to break down the severity of medical malpractice claims, what types of allegations are involved, how many people are affected, and more. For instance, according to an article on malpractice (The Moral Climate of Health Care, Sara Cerrone, Queensborough Community College, CUNY), the belief among researchers is that roughly one out of every five patients in a United States hospital will receive an incorrect dosage of medication.
Becker’s Hospital Review also provides various malpractice statistics, including those regarding the severity of the injuries resulting from medical malpractice. In one study (29 Statistics on Medical Malpractice Payouts and Lawsuits), Becker’s reported that the most severe injury associated with malpractice was death, with 31% of the allegations, followed by significant and major permanent injury at 19% and 18%, respectively. Paralysis and brain damage were the fourth most common type of injury sustained as a result of malpractice at 12%.
The study also reported the most common types of medical malpractice alleged to have occurred:
- 33% diagnosis errors
- 24% surgery errors
- 18% treatment errors
- 11% birth errors
- 4% medication errors
- 3% monitoring errors
- 3% anesthesia errors
- 4% other
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Power Rogers are experienced in matters of medical negligence and error. We know how often they occur, why they occur, and how to determine who to hold responsible if injury or death occurs. We have a history of securing favorable outcomes for victims of medical malpractice. If you or someone you love was harmed as a result of negligent or reckless behavior on behalf of a medical professional, call our firm and learn how we may be able to help you take the necessary action to seek compensation.
Call to Request a FREE Consultation: (312) 313-0202
Medical malpractice claims are among the most challenging “torts” in the civil justice system, and they demand a great deal of experience, expert knowledge, and determination to effectively resolve. According to the Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter, less than 30% of medical malpractice victims in Cook County win their cases.
At Power Rogers, our legal team is equipped to help victims prepare winning medical malpractice claims, level the playing field with powerful corporate defendants and insurers, and fight for the justice and compensation they deserve. Our reputation as proven trial lawyers, record of notable cases, and respect earned for only pursuing meritorious cases, precedes us and helps our clients prevail.
If you have questions about a potential medical malpractice case anywhere in Chicago or the state of Illinois, call (312) 313-0202 to speak with an attorney. Consultations are free and confidential.