Chicago, IL OBGYN Malpractice Lawyers
Obstetricians and gynecologists are trusted with women’s reproductive health, as well as the health and safety of unborn children. From conception through delivery, OBGYNs are expected to provide quality medical care and preventative treatment to both mother and baby.
Did your OBGYN practitioner fail to meet acceptable standards of care? Did you undergo an operation or procedure that was later found to be unnecessary? Was your disease or condition not diagnosed and treated within a reasonable time frame? If you have experienced a situation where you did not receive the proper care, leading to injury or illness, it makes sense to speak to one of our qualified Chicago medical malpractice lawyers. We care about you, your quality of life, and that of your child. We have been fighting for the rights of the injured since 1994, and we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Unfortunately, thousands of women are injured every year by negligent OGBYNs and supporting staff. The consequences of OBGYN medical malpractice are often dramatic and life altering. They can include loss of reproductive ability, birth defects, or a severe birth injury to your child (such as cerebral palsy).
What is OBGYN Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is generally defined as any direct action (either with or without the patient’s consent) that causes harm. Malpractice can also be seen as lack of action – failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, or inappropriate medication or treatment. This can be due to miscommunication between physician and technicians, misunderstanding of complicated medical issues related to pregnancy and birth, or general neglect or carelessness from an overworked medical staff.
Examples of OBGYN malpractice may include:
- Failure to provide a pap smear
- Failure to have emergency procedures in place during surgery or childbirth
- Over or under medication
- Failure to test for fetal diseases such as Down’s syndrome or cerebral palsy
- Failure to screen for serious conditions
- Misinterpreting diagnostic test results
- Failure to diagnose a serious condition such as cervical cancer, breast cancer or tubal pregnancy
- Surgical errors during a C-section, hysterectomy, tubal ligation or other procedure
As in all medical malpractice cases, to provide proof that an OBGYN’s inattention led to your injury, credible medical professionals need to show specific evidence of mistakes that took place. And that’s just what our Chicago malpractice attorneys can do. Our on-staff physician (also a lawyer) can perform an examination and identify signs of negligence.
Don’t get overwhelmed with medical bills, pain and frustration. If you have suffered an injuries or condition because of the improper medical care of an OGBYN, then you have the legal rights to compensation. At the Law Offices of Steven J. Malman& Associates, P.C, Chicago, Illinois, our highly experienced medical malpractice lawyers will help you to get maximum repayment and support you deserve.
To better serve our clients, Malman Law employs a full time Registered Nurse with over 30 years experience working and operating various nursing homes throughout Chicagoland. Our nurse is dedicated to reviewing all of the nursing home and medical malpractice cases to assist in the prosecution of the cases.
Our personal injuries attorney will meet with the medical professionals who worked with you, and collaborate with medical specialists that can serve as eyewitness for your case. We will make sure you and your child get the care you need.
Please call our law firm to schedule your free consultation or Request a Medical Malpractice Case Evaluation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the most common bases of medical malpractice lawsuits against OBGYN specialists?
According to the 2015 Medscape Malpractice Report, OBGYN specialists are most likely to be sued for:
- An abnormal injury
- Failure to properly diagnose a condition
- Failure to treat a condition
- Poor documentation
- Lack of proper informed consent
- Failure to follow safety procedures
- Medication errors
These are only a few of many possible bases for a medical malpractice lawsuit against an OBGYN specialist.
What do I have to prove to win an OBGYN lawsuit?
To win an OBGYN medical malpractice lawsuit, you will have to prove that:
- Your healthcare provider failed to meet the applicable standard of care. Doctors are held to a high standard of care due to their extensive training as well as the trust that the public places in them. An OBGYN specialist will be held to a higher standard of care than a general practitioner or a midwife.
- This failure to meet the standard of care actually caused you harm. A misdiagnosis, for example, might not have caused you harm if a proper diagnosis was issued a month later and your condition hadn’t worsened or caused you any pain in the meantime.
- This failure caused you a specific amount of damages. In other words, you will have to prove every dime of your damages with admissible evidence. Although this is a fairly straightforward matter in the case of tangible losses such as medical bills or lost work time, you needn’t worry about calculating the exact value of non-economic damages such as pain and suffering – they are generally calculated as a multiple of your economic damages.
Do most medical malpractice cases go to trial?
No, over 90 percent of medical malpractice claims are ultimately settled out of court, and OBGYN claims are no exception. Nevertheless, medical malpractice claims are more likely to go to trial than most types of lawsuits, because healthcare defendants see a malpractice lawsuit as an attack on their reputation and thus tend to fight tooth and nail against any admission of liability. Despite this reality, it is often a good idea to file a lawsuit at some point, in order to pressure the defendant into offering a generous settlement.
The threat of an adverse verdict is likely to provide you with the bargaining power that you would lack if you relied solely on out-of-court legal arguments delivered at the settlement table. In any case, a settlement can be reached at any time during a pending lawsuit.
What is the standard of proof in an OBGYN medical malpractice case?
The applicable standard is “preponderance of the evidence” not “beyond a reasonable doubt,” as in a criminal case. Proving a claim by a preponderance of evidence is like placing your evidence on one side of a scale and placing the defendant’s evidence on the other side of the scale, and ruling in favor of whichever side is heavier, even if one side is only slightly heavier.
In other words, you need to prove about a 51 percent likelihood that you are right in order to win the case in court. In settlement negotiations, it is possible that the defendant might be willing to settle with an even less than 50 percent likelihood just to stay out of court, although most defendants are more stubborn than that. This lower standard of proof makes it much easier to win a medical malpractice lawsuit than to win a criminal conviction.
What is comparative fault and how might it affect my case?
If the defendant credibly alleges that your damages were partly your own fault, Illinois comparative fault principles will kick in. You might share the blame for your own damages if you failed to fully disclose your past medical history, for example, or if you failed to follow the doctor’s instructions in a manner that contributed to the harm you are complaining of. If the court agrees that both parties share fault for your damages and that it is not practical to separate your damages into two distinct maladies, the court will assign each of you a percentage of fault.
If the court assigns you fault of 50 percent or higher, you will not be entitled to any damages at all. If, on the other hand, the court assigns you fault of 49 percent or less, it will deduct this exact percentage from your damages. If your damages were $100,000 and your percentage of fault was 15 percent, for example, you will lose $15,000 and the court will award you only $85,000.