How to Sue a Hospital for Negligence

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

How to Sue a Hospital for Negligence

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

When patients visit hospitals, they expect to receive quality care and attention. Unfortunately, hospital negligence is all too common, often leading to patient injuries. One study found that one in every six patients who visit hospitals suffers harm due to preventable errors involved in their treatment.

Hospital negligence victims may wonder how to proceed with legal action. To sue a hospital for negligence, you must demonstrate a clear case of negligent behavior by the hospital or its employees, which directly harmed the patient.

However, this is a complex matter that requires the input of a hospital negligence lawyer. At Malman Law Firm, we have the experience and resources to handle your case to ensure you receive justice and fair compensation.

Reasons Why People Sue Hospitals

People sue hospitals for various reasons related to medical care and patient safety. Some reasons people choose to take legal action against hospitals include the following:

Failure to Diagnose/Misdiagnosis

When a patient’s condition remains undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, it can lead to serious consequences. A lawyer can help by gathering medical records to demonstrate that the medical misdiagnosis caused injuries. This often involves comparing the patient’s symptoms with standard diagnostic practices.

Injury During Treatment

If a patient sustains an injury during treatment, you must prove that the hospital or its staff’s actions directly caused the harm. Common injuries during treatment include birth injuries and surgical errors. A lawyer can consult experts and interview witnesses to establish a clear link between the malpractice and the injury.

Failure to Treat

In cases where a patient’s medical condition is not adequately treated, it can result in serious harm to the patient. You must prove the hospital or its staff neglected their duty to provide appropriate care. This may involve presenting evidence of established treatment protocols and demonstrating that these were not followed.

Failure to Document

Proper documentation is crucial in healthcare for tracking a patient’s condition, treatment, and progress. When a hospital fails to maintain accurate records, it can lead to medical errors that can cause injuries to patients. The victims have the right to lawsuits to address injuries caused by potential lapses in care.

Medication Errors

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine (NLM), medication errors are the third leading cause of death in America. Other than death, these errors have been found to cause severe consequences. Common medication errors include:

  • Administering the wrong drug
  • Incorrect dosage
  • Prescription errors
  • Ineffective prescribing
  • Overprescribing/underprescribing
  • Inadequate assessment

These errors may have severe consequences for patients. Your lawyer will gather evidence of medication mistakes through medical records, expert testimony, and any available witness statements.

In all these medical malpractice cases, the role of a lawyer is to show a clear deviation from accepted medical standards and protocols. This is a prerequisite to building a strong case to win compensation for victims of hospital negligence successfully.

Proving Hospital Malpractice Claim

To file a successful hospital malpractice claim in Illinois, you must establish specific elements in your case.

  • Legal responsibility: The hospital must have had a legal duty to care for the patient. This responsibility typically arises when a patient seeks medical attention or treatment at the hospital.
  • Actions below the expected standard of care: To prove negligence, it’s crucial to demonstrate that the treatments, actions, or decisions made by the hospital or its staff fell below the standard of care that is expected in similar circumstances. In other words, the care provided didn’t meet a certain professional standard.
  • Causation of injuries: It’s not sufficient to show that the hospital’s actions were below the standard of care. You must also establish a direct connection between the act or omission and the serious injuries suffered by the patient. The personal injury should be a direct result of the hospital’s negligence.

To successfully prove these elements, your Chicago hospital negligence lawyer will typically involve gathering evidence and expert testimony to build a case that demonstrates the hospital’s liability for the patient’s injuries.

How to Sue a Hospital for Negligence in Illinois

Suing a hospital for negligence may take a long time due to a complicated evidence-building process. However, you have to initiate the legal process within two years, according to the Illinois statute of limitations. This means failing to do so within this timeframe may result in your case being dismissed.

In Illinois, before your case can progress, you must file an affidavit of merit. This document requires a medical expert to review your case and provide their professional opinion regarding whether you genuinely suffered from medical negligence.

The next step is determining who within the hospital or healthcare facility was directly responsible for the negligent acts. Potentially liable parties may include:

  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Technicians
  • Any other staff members involved in your care

Sometimes, several medical professionals can bear the blame for medical negligence. This means that you can sue multiple members for hospital negligence. However, the hospital will not bear responsibility for negligence if the doctor was actually not a hospital employee.

Next, you will assess the damages resulting from the medical negligence. These damages may include:

Calculating damages accurately is crucial for seeking fair compensation. Your attorney will guide you throughout to ensure your claim receives fair compensation.

Lastly, your lawyer will file the complaint on your behalf. It will include details about the injuries, the extent of the injuries, and the damages that seek financial compensation.

Contact a Chicago Hospital Negligence Attorney Today

If you believe you or a loved one have been a victim of hospital negligence in Chicago, you need to consult a hospital negligence attorney from our firm. Our legal team can provide proper legal guidance and support to pursue your case effectively.

Our law firm is compassionate towards hospital negligence victims, and we are ready to discuss your situation, understand your rights, and explore your options for seeking compensation. Speak with our firm to discuss a possible case. We offer a free initial case evaluation.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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