Medical Malpractice

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, totaling 225,000 in 2008. The most common types of medical malpractice cases include, but are not limited to:

  • Unnecessary Surgery
  • Medication Errors
  • Preventable Infections
  • Drugs Side Effects
  • Missing Test Results
  • Delayed Diagnosis

There are over 72 medical specialties. However, only 24 medical specialties are recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Furthermore, physicians are encouraged to pursue continuing education classes offered by medical organizations because of the wealth of medical conditions, diseases and new technology available to treat diseases and medical conditions. Yet, this coursework may be completed over a weekend through a large number of organizations. Certain medical organizations set stringent criteria for membership in the organizations that teach continuing education classes. Others do not. For example, there are over 150 self designated boards in plastic surgery. There are only two plastic surgery medical organizations that align themselves with the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which is the only plastic surgery board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. These factors contribute to the high number of medical malpractice cases that are brought into court today.

Know Your Rights

It is important for people to protect their rights when visiting a physician. Medical malpractice can mean unhealthy side effects, illnesses, medical conditions and death.

  • You have the right to ask your physician questions.
  • You have the right to follow up with your physician about lab tests.
  • You have the right to see another doctor for a second opinion.
  • You have the right to ask your physician about the side effects associated with the drugs you are taking or are being directed to take.
  • You have the right to ask your pharmacist about drug interactions with other drugs you are taking.
  • You have the right to submit medical expenses to insurance providers after treatment. If the insurance company disputes the expenses, you have the right to appeal the decision.
  • You have the right to have a support person there with you when you meet with a physician.

Illinois and Indiana have special laws that apply to medical malpractice cases only. For example, in Illinois, a victim of malpractice must have a certification from a licensed physician who practices in the same field of medicine as the physician who committed the malpractice attached to the complaint. The certification must state that in the physicians opinion, malpractice occurred. No such similar certification is needed for other lawsuits such as slip and falls, car accidents or product liability cases.

Indiana law requires that in most instances a claim be filed with the Indiana Commissioner of Insurance. Three medical professionals in the same field as the provider who allegedly committed the malpractice are chosen to make up a medical review panel. Additionally, an attorney is selected as a panel review chairperson. The victim and the defendants proceed forward with discovery as if a lawsuit in court was filed. Evidence is submitted to the panel and they render a two part opinion, was there substandard care that constituted malpractice and was the substandard care the cause of damage to the victim. Once that opinion is rendered and assuming that no settlement takes place, the case must be filed in a trial court and the process begins all over again. In effect, the victim has to present his or her case twice.

There is no similar procedural requirement for other injury cases such as auto accidents, premises cases, or defective product litigation.

Mr. Burton Padove has effectively pursued lawsuits against physicians because of medical malpractice. He has the keen ability to demonstrate the validity of medical malpractice claims. In fact, he educated other lawyers on the topic of medical malpractice involving delayed care through an article he co-authored in the Illinois Trial Lawyers Journal.

Contact Burton Padove for a free consultation at 219-836-2200 or 877-446-5294 for nationwide callers. Visit www.todayslawalert.com to view Burton Padove's blog.

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