Failure to Diagnose

Chicago Attorneys Helping Victims of Medical Malpractice Diagnose

When the signs of illness go unrecognized and risk factors are ignored by health care providers, a medical condition may develop into a more serious stage or create unnecessary health complications. Seeking compensation for the injury caused by your doctor’s failure to diagnose a medical condition may be a necessary decision for you. At Leopold & Associates, our medical malpractice attorneys have 30 years of legal experience and are well-qualified to listen to your case. Based in Chicago, we have dedicated our practice to helping victims like you pursue their personal injury cases.

Pursuing Compensation for Your Medical Malpractice Claim

Medical malpractice is a specific legal term that refers to the professional negligence of a health care practitioner in providing medical treatment. Negligent medical treatment is a broad concept that can lead to outcomes including surgical errors, prescribing incorrect or faulty doses of medications, diagnosis errors, and wrongful death. If a physician failed to diagnose, delayed a diagnosis, or misdiagnosed the medical condition of you or a family member, you may have a valid malpractice claim. These lawsuits are complex, but a capable attorney with experience in this area of law can help you navigate the intricacies of a malpractice claim.

The elements that must be established for in medical malpractice case are generally the same as a traditional negligence claim. Expert testimony is generally required to establish these elements, and in failure to diagnose cases, expert medical testimony is typically a crucial part of the case. Specifically, a plaintiff must establish the proper standard of care against which the physician’s conduct is measured, show that the physician deviated from the applicable standard of care, and prove that an injury was caused by the physician’s lack of skill or care. To establish causation, a plaintiff must prove that the doctor’s negligence more probably than not caused the injury. In situations involving the failure or untimely diagnosis of a patient, where the patient’s chance of recovery or survival is lowered due to malpractice, causation may be shown by evidence that the malpractice caused an increased risk of harm or lost chance of recovery. Purtill v. Hess, 111 Ill. 2d 229 (1986).

Lastly, the plaintiff must prove that he or she was damaged. Damages are the award of money paid to someone as compensation for a loss or injury. Damages in medical malpractice cases can be both economic and non-economic, ranging from current and future medical expenses, lost salaries and benefits, compensation for disability or disfigurement, pain and suffering, to the loss of companionship and services. The amount of compensation to which the patient is entitled depends on the severity of the injury caused and the cost of recovery, and it is particular to each situation. Lebron v. Gottlieb Mem'l Hosp., 237 Ill. 2d 217 (2010); Ill. Pattern Jury Instr.-Civ. Damages 30.00-35.00 and comments.

Another important consideration is the statute of limitations, which provides strict deadlines for filing your claim. Generally, in Illinois, a medical malpractice claim must be filed within two years from the time that the patient knew of the injury, or should have known, and in any case, no later than four years after the date that the negligent act occurred. There are a number of exceptions, however, for cases involving minors and others, which can be determined by your attorney. 735 ILCS 5/13-212.

Contact a Chicago Lawyer to Discuss Your Failure to Diagnose Claim

If you believe that your injury was caused by your physician’s diagnosis error, a qualified attorney can help you determine whether you have a valid legal claim. The injury lawyers at Leopold & Associates in Chicago have the legal experience you need to bring your medical malpractice suit. We are proud to protect the rights of Illinois residents throughout Cook County, including in Skokie, Evanston, and Des Plaines. Contact our Chicago-based office at (312) 781-6261 or online to schedule a free consultation and understand your rights under the law.