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    Best Lawyers Badge Medical Malpractice 2024Clifford Law Offices is Chicago’s premiere medical malpractice law firm. Our attorneys have significant experience handling medical malpractice claims and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of injured patients. The unfortunate fact is that medical malpractice often leaves patients with permanent injury, a lifetime of medical expenses, or tragically takes their life. While a lawsuit cannot reverse the damage done by a negligent healthcare professional, it can provide vital financial resources for families and, potentially, prevent similar errors or negligent actions from happening to other patients in the future.

    At Clifford Law Offices, we understand how important a lawsuit is in these situations and do everything possible to maximize the compensation our clients recover. The lawyers at Clifford Law Offices obtained nearly $100 million in reported medical malpractice cases in 2023 involving complex healthcare issues and numerous defendants. Many other cases remain confidential.

    Some of our case results include:

    • $27M settlement in November 2022 for the family of a newborn who suffered permanent injuries, including a skull fracture and brain bleeding, during an emergency C-section delivery.
    • $25 million recovery in October 2022 on behalf of a woman suffering from “Locked-In Syndrome” as a result of negligent treatment by a resident physician and a hospital’s failure to recognize and treat a stroke.
    • $20 million settlement in October 2022 on behalf of a 42-year-old man and his spouse for a radiologist’s alleged failure to diagnose a brain aneurysm.
    • $20 million recovery in 2021 on behalf of an infant boy who suffered severe and permanent brain damage due to negligent obstetrical care during labor. Resulting in neurological injury including motor deficits inability to speak, seizures, and cognitive delays.
    • $15 million recovery in 2023 on behalf of a baby who sustained permanent brain injury from lack of oxygen due to failure to perform a timely cesarean section.
    • $14.5 million settlement in April 2023 for the family of a newborn who suffered permanent injuries, including a skull fracture and brain bleeding as a result of a vaginal forceps delivery.
    • $13.75 million recovery in 2022 on behalf of a teenage boy drowned during swim team practice at the defendant school district due to the defendant’s willful and wanton misconduct.
    • $12.5 million recovery in November 2023 on behalf of a baby who sustained brain injuries resulting in cerebral palsy and cognitive deficits due to the failure to perform a timely C-section delivery.
    • $10.2 million verdict in September 2023 on behalf of a 49-year-old man whose right leg was amputated as a result of medical malpractice at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights.
    • $10 million recovery in April 2023 on behalf of a 66-year-old woman who suffered a ischemic stroke when she was improperly removed from her blood thinner prior to a lower extremity surgery.
    • $9 million recovery in September 2022 on behalf of a woman who developed cervical cancer and passed away after a Chicagoland area laboratory misread her pap smear slides.
    • $7.25 million recovery in March 2023 on behalf of an individual who suffered a broken left collar bone and brain swelling as a result of medical negligence.
    • $6 million recovery in November 2023 on behalf of a 76-year-old woman who died after a hip surgery from receiving a blood transfusion with the wrong blood type.
    • $6 million verdict in July 2023 was obtained on behalf of a 41-year-old woman who died as a result of opioid addiction while under the care of a pain management physician.
    • $6 million recovery in February 2023 on behalf of a 69-year-old man died due to negligent delay in diagnosing and treating complications of cardiac catheterization procedure, leaving a widow and 4 adult children.
    • $5.2 million verdict in July 2022 on behalf of a family who lost their unborn child at 16 weeks.
    • $5 million recovery in March 2022 on behalf of the family of a 20-year-old male who died due to a failure to timely diagnose and treat seizure and brain swelling.

    View recent medical malpractice results here.

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    What Is Malpractice, and What Should You Do About It?

    Medical malpractice is a legal term that describes negligence that results in death or injury by a healthcare provider who fails to adhere to the accepted standards of practice and care for the relevant procedure. This includes doctors, nurses, technicians, pathologists, hospitals, nursing home facilities, and any person that provides medical care.

    In February 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled that caps on damages involving medical malpractice cases are unconstitutional. It is the third time that the state’s highest court made that finding, eliminating limits in medical negligence cases. This lack of a cap means that medical providers, medical facilities, and their insurance companies fiercely contest malpractice claims. As such, it is important to choose an attorney who can stand up to these large entities and fight for justice on your behalf. It is also vital that you seek help right away, as insurance companies often launch their lawyers into action immediately upon learning of potential malpractice.

    Types of Medical Malpractice

    Medical negligence by a health care provider or facility can take many forms. Any incidence of a doctor or licensed medical practitioner failing to act according to the accepted standards of care constitutes medical malpractice. The types of medical malpractice cases we handle at Clifford Law Offices include:

    • Defective medical devices (product liability): medical devices that contain dangerous design flaws, manufacturing errors, or marketing defects. Defective products may malfunction and cause patient harm during use.
    • Improper treatment: any deviation from the established standards of care in the medical field, leading to substandard medical practices such as failing to treat a patient or recommending the incorrect treatment.
    • Failure to diagnose: a health care provider overlooking a medical condition, leading to absent or delayed treatment that can have severe consequences for the patient.
    • Delayed diagnosis: a medical professional taking an excessive amount of time to identify a medical condition, leading to delayed treatment, reduced treatment options, and the potential for more severe health complications.
    • Misdiagnosis: a doctor incorrectly identifying a patient’s medical condition, potentially leading to a lack of treatment, inappropriate or unnecessary treatments, and delayed intervention.
    • Surgical errors: mistakes made during surgical procedures, such as injuring nerves or arteries, operating on the wrong patient or wrong side of the body, performing the incorrect procedure, or leaving foreign objects behind in the body cavity.
    • Anesthesia errors: mistakes made during the administration of anesthesia, such as miscalculating the dosage, making intubation errors and improperly monitoring the patient’s vital signs. These errors can lead to respiratory distress, brain damage, allergic reactions, and death.
    • Medication errors: mistakes related to the prescribing, dispensing, or administration of medications, including prescribing the wrong medication or dosage, administering medicine to the wrong patient, and adverse drug interactions.
    • Defective medication: drugs that contain dangerous defects from the manufacturer or distributor, which may affect quality and pose risks to patient safety, such as adverse reactions and side effects.
    • Birth injuries: harm suffered by a mother or child due to trauma before, during, or shortly after birth. That can result from various errors during labor and delivery, such as improper use of birthing tools or failure to detect fetal distress.
    • Failure to obtain informed consent: a health care provider neglecting to adequately inform a patient about the potential benefits, risks, and alternatives of a medical procedure or treatment.
    • Inattention: a medical provider failing to dedicate proper attention or due diligence to patients, potentially leading to lapses in care such as poor postoperative care, delayed response to emergencies, premature discharge, and inadequate follow-up.

    No matter what type of medical malpractice caused you or a loved one injury, the attorneys at Clifford Law Offices can offer legal advice tailored to your situation during a free consultation. We have decades of experience in this practice area and a deep understanding of the nuances of medical malpractice law.

    The Causes of Medical Malpractice

    2024 Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers in ChicagoMedical malpractice is always preventable. When it occurs, it is due to careless errors or negligence from medical professionals. Overworked nurses, unprepared surgeons, careless physicians, and short-staffed hospitals could all cause patient harm. Proving negligence is a crucial aspect of a personal injury case. To determine negligence, your attorney will look to the cause of the incident. Common causes of medical negligence at Chicago health centers include:

    • Health care practitioner negligence. All physicians have a duty to adequately care for patients. This duty is broad and includes things such as making accurate diagnoses and getting informed consent before undertaking treatment. Any breach of duty, resulting in injury to a patient, may be medical malpractice.
    • Hospital negligence. Sometimes it is not a specific practitioner who causes patient injuries, but the way the hospital operates. Improper protocols, falling short of medical standards, lack of proper employee training, poor sanitation, and preventable miscommunications all put patient lives at risk.
    • Equipment failures. Injuries or deaths that arise from machines failing, abruptly shutting off, or malfunctioning during patient treatment could come down to hospital or product manufacturer liability. The hospital could be liable if lack of proper maintenance caused the defect, while a manufacturer would be liable for defects that existed upon distribution.

    Determining the underlying cause of a medical injury is the first step toward securing compensation. If you believe you’ve suffered medical malpractice, talk with an attorney. He or she will investigate the situation, look for signs of negligence or misconduct connected to your case, and file a medical malpractice claim against the appropriate party/parties.

    Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim

    2022 Top 100 Verdicts Med Mal Clifford Law OfficesAlthough every medical malpractice case is unique, they all have certain traits in common. For instance, all come with a burden of proof – a burden to show the defendant is legally responsible for the patient’s injury or illness. For a medical malpractice case in Illinois, you need the following four main elements:

    1. A professional relationship. You need proof you and the defendant had a professional patient relationship at the time of your injury, through documentation and/or medical bills. If a physician gives you advice at a dinner party and following it causes further harm, you cannot sue him or her for malpractice because no professional relationship existed.
    2. Breach of duty of care. The breach of care, or act of negligence, is the main component medical malpractice lawsuit. You will need clear and convincing evidence that the defendant breached, or failed to fulfill, a duty of care to you. Showing up to work drunk or misinterpreting test results are examples of breaches of medical duty.
    3. Causation. There must be a causal relationship between the defendant’s breach of duty and your personal injury. The doctor or hospital’s breach of proper care must be the proximate (main) cause of your damages for you to have a case against the defendant. Otherwise, you may have a case against someone else.
    4. Damages. Finally, victims must show they suffered real damages because of the defendant’s breach of duty. Damages may include medical bills, physical pain, emotional distress, lost quality of life, or lost income.

    If you are not sure whether you have grounds for an Illinois medical malpractice claim, contact us. We can review your case and give you our honest opinion on its merit in a court of law. We will review your case for free in Chicago today.

    Our Medical Negligence Practice

    2020-no_1-medical-malpractice-settlement-il-clifford-lawClifford Law Offices in Chicago has handled numerous medical malpractice cases. In this era of healthcare change, Clifford Law Offices’ commitment to consumer rights and awareness is unwavering. We handle all forms of medical malpractice claims in Chicago and throughout Illinois.

    With an attorney-nurse as well as a full-time nurse with a legal background working on these negligence and malpractice cases, Clifford Law Offices offers in-depth medical insight to its clients and referring attorneys. We combine innovative legal theories with well-researched facts related to current medical and pharmaceutical practices.Easton AT100_Med Malp Lit_2022

    Robert A. Clifford and Keith A. Hebeisen, partners and medical negligence attorneys at the firm, have written extensively on this subject and were among those in the forefront of the fight on behalf of patients’ rights to a trial by jury.

    How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in Illinois?

    In Illinois, a law known as the statute of limitations places a time limit on your right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you miss your deadline, the ability to file will most likely be time-barred, meaning your case will not be allowed to proceed.

    735 ILCS 5/13-212(a) states:

    No action for damages for injury or death against any physician, dentist, registered nurse or hospital duly licensed under the laws of this State, whether based upon tort, or breach of contract, or otherwise, arising out of patient care shall be brought more than 2 years after the date on which the claimant knew, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have known, or received notice in writing of the existence of the injury or death for which damages are sought in the action, whichever of such date occurs first.

    Under this law, most claimants have two years from the date of the event to file a medical malpractice claim. If the injury is not discovered until later, there is a statute of repose of four years from the date the malpractice occurred. This means that regardless of when the patient discovers the harm, he or she must file a claim within no more than four years.

    There is an exception for minors under the age of 18 who are affected by medical malpractice. Injured minors have eight years from the date of the malpractice incident to file a claim, with a statute of repose that expires when the minor turns 22 years old.

    Illinois Laws Related to Medical Malpractice Cases

    Illinois has specific legal requirements for injured victims of medical malpractice who wish to file claims. For example, patients must file an affidavit of merit (735 ILCS section 5/2-622) with a claim, which is a document signed by a medical professional who has reviewed the patient’s medical records and determined that there is a “reasonable and meritorious case” for bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

    Damages in Illinois Medical Malpractice Cases

    A successful medical malpractice claim in Illinois could provide financial compensation (also known as damages) for the victim’s various past and future losses. Damages may include:

    • Necessary medical treatments
    • Disability costs or accommodations
    • Lost income or wages
    • Lost future capacity to earn
    • Pain and suffering
    • Emotional distress or mental anguish
    • Loss of enjoyment of life

    Unlike many other states, Illinois does not limit the amount of economic and noneconomic damages a plaintiff can recover in a medical malpractice claim.

    What to Expect in a Medical Malpractice Case

    When a medical malpractice case is filed in Chicago, it initiates the insurance process. The defendant’s insurance provider will investigate and decide whether to accept or reject the claim based on the evidence. Someone known as the insurance claims adjuster will contact you with questions about your case during this process. It is important not to speak to the adjuster before consulting with an attorney.

    If the claim is accepted, the insurance company will offer a settlement – a sum of money given to the claimant in exchange for immunity from any future liability for the malpractice. If a fair settlement cannot be reached or the insurance company rejects the claim, the case will proceed to trial. While the average settlement is reached in around three to six months, a medical malpractice trial can take one year or longer.

    During a trial, evidence will be presented by both sides. This may include medical records, expert testimony, photographs and imaging, and hospital protocol records. A jury will listen to the evidence and witness testimonies and determine if the plaintiff met the burden of proof. If so, a judgment award will be granted to the plaintiff in an amount the jury deems appropriate.

    Our Multi-Million-Dollar Medical Malpractice Case Results

    • $101 million record verdict on behalf of a baby who was brain damaged at birth at West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park. (Attorneys: Keith A. Hebeisen, Bradley M. Cosgrove, Sarah F. King, and Charles R. Haskins)
    • $22.9 million recovery on behalf a child who sustains permanent brain injury due to lack of oxygen to his organs during labor and delivery. A brain MRI demonstrated evidence of a severe profound perinatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. He was diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy, has global disabilities including the inability to walk, motor and speech delays and cognitive impairment. (Attorneys: Keith A. Hebeisen, Robert A. Clifford, and Sarah F. King)
    • $15.55 million recovery on behalf of a 33-year-old woman who dies after a cesarean section due to massive bleeding caused by doctors’ negligence in failing to diagnose and adequately treat placenta abnormality. (Attorneys: Sarah F. King and Keith Hebeisen)
    • $16 million recovery on behalf of a a newborn who suffered brain damage when oxygen was cut off after doctors and hospital personnel fail to perform a timely C-section. (Attorneys: Bob Clifford and Keith Hebeisen)
    • $13.5 million recovery on behalf of an infant who suffered severe brain damage at birth as a result of an improperly mixed intravenous solution. (Attorneys: Bob Clifford and Keith Hebeisen)
    • $12 million settlement due to failure to diagnose cancer leading to metastatic cancer in a 55-year-old man. (Attorneys: Bob Clifford and Keith Hebeisen)
    • Easton AT100_High Stakes Lit_2022$12 million record medical malpractice verdict in DuPage County is won on behalf of an infant who suffered permanent and severe brain damage as a result of a delayed C-section delivery. (Attorney: Keith Hebeisen)
    • $8.5 million recovery on behalf of a Williamson County man from Marion, Illinois who died when a certified registered nurse anesthetist and hospital employees allowed a patient to become dangerously hypotensive and was later declared brain dead. (Attorneys: Bradley M. Cosgrove and Charles R. Haskins)
    • $7.4 million recovery on behalf of a 38-year-old man who was paralyzed from the waist down following a neurosurgeon’s decision to deviate from a spinal cyst drainage procedure without the patient’s consent. Click here to read more about the case. (Attorneys: Keith A. Hebeisen and Sarah F. King)
    • $6.75 million recovery due to doctors and hospital personnel negligently fail to timely recognize, diagnose, and treat a baby girl in the intermediate care nursery who developed jaundice that resulted in permanent brain injury. (Attorney: Keith Hebeisen)
    • $6 million recovery on behalf of a young mother of two who suffers severe disfigurement when doctors unnecessarily remove a healthy breast after a lab technician mixes up pathology slides. (Attorneys: Bob Clifford and Keith Hebeisen)
    • $5 million recovery due to a doctor performing an unnecessary hysterectomy on a 31-year-old Chicago area woman after a C-section to deliver her first child. (Attorneys: Keith Hebeisen)
    • $5 million recovery on behalf of a 41-year-old Chicago area woman who suffered unnecessary hysterectomy after a doctor performs a C-section to deliver her first child. (Attorney: Keith Hebeisen)
    • $4.5 million recovery on behalf of a 52-year-old mother of three who suffered permanent and severe brain damage after a hospital fails to monitor her breathing following hip replacement surgery. (Attorney: Bob Clifford)
    • $3.6 million recovery on behalf of a 55-year-old woman who died when a doctor fails to properly and timely diagnose her breast cancer, leaving one adult daughter, disabled. (Attorney: Keith Hebeisen)
    • $3.2 million recovery on behalf of a plaintiff who suffered a spinal cord injury during surgery and is permanently disabled and partially paralyzed in all four extremities. (Attorney: Keith Hebeisen)
    • $3.2 million (partial) recovery on behalf of a 46-year-old man was paralyzed after surgery, leaving him incontinent, impotent, and severely spastic. (Attorney: Keith Hebeisen)
    • $2.5 million recovery for a mother who was in labor for 25 hours with prolonged periods during which her baby was deprived of sufficient oxygen and suffered from poor fetal tones; her son was born with cerebral palsy and died two years later from a seizure disorder. (Attorneys: Richard F. Burke Jr. and Shannon M. McNulty)

    In the video above, attorney Susan Capra answers some of the most frequently asked questions related to medical malpractice. Ms. Capra is not only a partner at Clifford Law Offices but also a registered nurse who is well aware of the issues involved in medical malpractice claims. Questions she answers in the video include:

    • What is medical malpractice?
    • What are some common types of medical malpractice?
    • What should someone do if he or she believes they are a victim of medical malpractice?
    • What needs to happen for a medical malpractice lawsuit to be filed?

    We have more videos on this topic. This series of short videos covers such issues as whether malpractice has occurred, what you need to prepare for a malpractice case, and how medical malpractice cases are settled. Want to learn more? Read our medical malpractice FAQs.

    If you or a loved one have suffered a serious injury as a result of medical negligence, we can help. Please, contact Clifford Law Offices today at (312) 899-9090 for a free and confidential case evaluation.

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