When patients suffer further injury in a hospital or medical facility setting the typical response is to assume medical malpractice. However, there are specific circumstances that constitute medical malpractice, and further injury alone is not necessarily enough to warrant a personal injury medical malpractice claim.
Two specific factors must be established in any medical malpractice case (assuming, of course, that the patient can establish that they were, in fact, under the care and treatment of the medical professionals they attribute fault in their medical malpractice claim). The claimant must demonstrate that: (1) the medical standard of care required for the given circumstances surrounding their treatment (and therefore subsequent injury) was not achieved; and (2) they were in fact injured as a result of said treatment (or lack thereof).
Mistakes may happen in medical facilities that fall below the medical standard of care, but when no one is injured, there is no cause for damages. Likewise, when someone suffers further injury as a result of medical treatment, if the treatment did not fall below the medical standard of care, there is no cause for damages.
What is the "medical standard of care?" Typically, considered a legal term of art, "medical standard of care" is defined as follows:
The type and level of care an ordinary, prudent, health care professional, with the same training and experience, would provide under similar circumstances in the same community.
Basically, what that means is a level of treatment that any another health care professional with similar training and in the same situation would be reasonably be expected to provide.
Say, for instance, a young man enters an emergency room with a high fever and is seen immediately, yet no immediate cause can be determined after tests and treatment. His condition gets progressively worse over time and all tests return negative. If, later, it is determined that the young man contracted a virus specific to the tropics on a recent vacation, and suffered brain damage before the exact cause was determined and the correct treatment administered, you might think that this patient has a case for medical malpractice.
However, the fact is that if it can be demonstrated that skilled and educated medical professionals in a similar setting would have taken the same steps to diagnose and treat the patient that those this young man encountered (and in the same amount of time), the patient would likely not be successful in recovering damages in this case.
That is why it is so important to find an experienced medical malpractice attorney like the attorneys of Panio Law Offices in Chicago. We can assess the merits of your case, document your injuries and medical damages, and we work with skilled, respected professionals in the medical industry who are able to offer expert testimony and support your case and claim.
If you have questions about a possible medical malpractice case, please call the attorneys of Panio Law Offices at (312) 313-0305 to get the professional, caring and experienced counsel you deserve.