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Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer | Panio Law Offices

Medical Malpractice and Patient Abandonment

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When a patient is under a physician’s care and that physician abruptly terminates the provider/patient relationship without reasonable notice or excuse, and fails to give the patient adequate opportunity to find a qualified replacement provider, that can constitute medical malpractice called patient abandonment—that is if the patient suffers a worsening of their condition or further harm as a result.

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Products Viability Vs. Medical Malpractice

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When a patient is injured by a medical device in a hospital or medical treatment setting, the most immediate response is typically to seek damages in a defective products claim. However, it may also be true that damages may be awarded in connection with medical malpractice as a result of the incident.

The good thing is that claimants do not have to choose which to pursue: products liability or medical malpractice. Claimants are eligible to fight for damages under all available legal theories. As such, it is very important to understand when you are eligible for multiple awards or for damages under multiple legal theories.

In the case of a patient injured by a medical device in the course of treatment, it is important to make the distinction between the two legal theories at play.

Products Liability

Under the theory of products liability: (1) a claimant must have been injured; (2) the defective  medical device must have been defectively designed or manufactured or packaged/promoted with language that failed to properly warn of any inherent danger related to the device’s use; and (3) the defect or improper marketing was identified as the cause of your injuries.   

To successfully win a products liability claim, it is important to understand that you are not entitled to damages if you were never actually injured by the defective device.

Medical Malpractice

In the context of an injury caused by a defective medical device, medical malpractice typically comes into play when the physician, nurse or technician improperly operates the medical device or even fails to recognize that the device is defective when other qualified medical professionals in their position would have understood that it posed a significant danger to the patient.

There are many ways a medical professional commit medical malpractice, but essentially, when a medical professional, be it a doctor or a nurse or EMT, fails to carry out the standard of care as recognized by the medical industry (and identified as common to other qualified medical professionals in the same circumstance), any resulting injuries may entitle the patient eligible to  medical malpractice damages.

It is advisable that you seek the counsel of an experienced medical malpractice attorney like those of Panio Law Offices. We are very experienced in negotiating personal injury claims and litigating medical malpractice cases. Our attorneys know well the intricacies of Illinois medical malpractice law. We will work assiduously to ensure you are awarded all of the damages to which you are entitled.

Call us at 888.799.7561. We can help!

Who is Liable in Emergency Situations if Something Goes Wrong?

Medical malpractice is never really a cut and dry legal matter. As discussed earlier on this blog, a variety of factors must co-exist for valid medical malpractice claim. First, a "medical standard of care" must be adhered to, and the patient must be injured if the care provided did indeed fall below that standard.

However, in situations where there is a medical emergency, circumstances are such that the standard of care has to be relaxed when compared with most controlled medical treatment settings. As such, there are actual strong protections from lawsuits in place for first responders (fire, police, EMT professionals, and others first responding to an emergency situation). Lawmakers also provide for these protections in an effort to preserve emergency services for the state. These protections do not typically extend to emergency room treating physicians, nurses and other medical staff.

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Medical Malpractice and Early Discharge Complications

When a patient is discharged early from a hospital, it can often have devastating repercussions. Hospitals have, at times, been known to discharge patients before they are medically stable enough to go home to finish their recuperation. This occurs for many reasons from overcrowding to a shortfall in capacity to manage surgical volume. The fact is, however, when a patient is discharged and then shortly thereafter re-admitted, it may by definition be a case of medical malpractice if that readmission was due to complications resulting from the early discharge.

Of course, in order to prove medical malpractice the early discharge must fall below the medical standard of care. (Would a competent physician in the same circumstance have demonstrated the same action or inaction?) In addition, a malpractice claim must also demonstrate that the patient suffered harm as a result of the action or inaction (in this case the early discharge). Further, the claimant should consider these questions:

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Medical Malpractice: Lack of Informed Consent

 

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When a patient undergoes a medical procedure, in most cases, there is always some element of risk involved. Before the patient is treated, it is the doctor's and/or hospital’s responsibility to educate the patient about the specific treatment, procedure, or test, including all of the primary risks involved, so that the patient has a clear understanding of what he or she is getting into.

When doctors and hospitals establish this "informed consent," the patient acknowledges they are aware of the risks and essential information surrounding their particular treatment or procedure. When informed consent is not established and the patient suffers harm as a result of the procedure, the treating hospital or doctor could potentially be held liable for any side effects or unexpected injuries.

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