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Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer | Panio Law Offices

Reasons for Common Surgical Errors Leading to Medical Malpractice

When a patient undergoes surgery, they put their trust in their surgeon(s) and medical team that they are prepared and skilled and that their competency levels are high enough to achieve success. However, it is a fact that surgical mistakes (read our blog post on common surgical errors) do happen, but when they do, it does not necessarily mean that the errors constitute medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice does not account for every instance when a surgery is unsuccessful or when medical treatment goes wrong in some way or another. Medical treatment in question should adhere to a medical standard of care that is uniformly accepted by the medical industry. And even when it doesn’t, medical malpractice does not come into play unless the treatment causes patient harm.

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Medical Malpractice Damages

When a patient suffers harm or injury because a doctor or other medical professional did not provide medical care above acceptable standards, the patient is entitled to medical malpractice damages.

Examples of such harm include:

  • Failure to diagnose (or misdiagnosing) a medical condition
  • Failure to follow appropriate medical procedures when treating the patient
  • Failing to warn the patient of known risks of a medical procedure or prescribed medication


We discuss the burden of proof in medical malpractice cases in our February 13, 2014 post on the subject. However, one area of medical malpractice many have questions about is the amount of damages they owed in such cases.

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Brain Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1.5 billion people suffer traumatic brain injury (T.B.I.) in the US each year. Many of those injuries are considered acquired brain injury, which is defined as injury to the brain that is neither hereditary, present at birth, or degenerative in nature. Many factors contribute to acquired brain injury. Some include trauma to the brain; intracranial surgery, and toxic exposure (e.g. substance abuse, ingestion or inhalation of volatile agents).

The CDC defines traumatic brain injury with or without skull fracture an "an insult to the brain caused by an external physical force that may produce a diminished or altered state of consciousness." Results of these types of brain injury may include an impairment of cognitive functioning  (e.g. particularly with regard to perception, memory, or judgment), as well as physical, behavioral or even emotional functioning.

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Birth Injuries

The happiest and most joyful event of one's life, the birth of a child, can quickly turn into one of the most devastating events when complications occur during birth causing injuries or even death.

Birth injuries can mean lifelong medical challenges, and when those injuries are the result of medical malpractice due to negligence, parents have a right to compensation for a wide variety of damages to support the ongoing care and recovery of their child. Additionally, punitive damages are awarded in many birth injury malpractice cases.

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