Medical Malpractice Frequently Asked Questions
- What is medical malpractice?
- What must be proven in order to be successful in a medical malpractice claim?
- I signed a consent form. Does that mean I have waived my rights?
- How do I know if my doctor has committed medical malpractice?
- What time limits do I need to be aware of if I want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Illinois?
- Who can be held responsible for medical malpractice?
- What will it cost me to hire a medical malpractice lawyer?
- What should I look for in choosing an attorney to represent me in a medical malpractice case?
- If I bring a medical malpractice lawsuit, will I have to go to court?
- If medical malpractice damages are recovered, is that money taxable?
- Why is Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. the right law firm to handle a medical malpractice case?
- Will I have to pay a fee to have an attorney at Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. review my case?
- What is the best way to contact a lawyer at Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C.?
What is medical malpractice?
A: Medical malpractice is a term describing any conduct that deviates from the standard of care owed by medical professionals to their patients. The standard of care requires medical professionals — typically doctors, nurses or hospitals — to exercise the same degree of knowledge, skill or care that another reasonably careful medical professional would use in a similar situation. Medical malpractice can be both an act that causes an injury or a failure to act in a way that would treat or prevent an injury. A few common examples of medical malpractice include:
- Delayed or inappropriate treatment
- Failure to diagnose or treat a condition
- Errors in prescribing
What must be proven in order to be successful in a medical malpractice claim?
A: Once the relationship with the patient has been established, the medical professional owes the patient the duty to conform to the standard of care. Prevailing on a medical malpractice claim requires that the injured party show that (1) the medical professional breached that duty; (2) the party was injured; and (3) that the breach of duty caused the party’s injuries.
Bringing a medical malpractice claim can be both complicated and costly. In order to ensure that your claim and right to recovery are protected, it is essential to choose a medical malpractice attorney with the experience, knowledge, resources and skill required to successfully litigate your claim. The attorneys at Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. have an excellent record of achieving winning results on behalf of their clients with medical malpractice claims.
I signed a consent form. Does that mean I have waived my rights?
A: No. When you sign a consent form, you’re acknowledging that there are known risks associated with the medical treatment you are about to undergo. However, a signed consent form does not mean you have acknowledged or consented to conduct which falls below the standard of care owed by all medical professionals to their patients. Simply signing a consent form does not excuse or permit a medical professional to commit malpractice and your right to bring a medical malpractice claim is not waived because of it.
How do I know if my doctor has committed medical malpractice?
A: A bad result alone is not evidence of medical malpractice, but it provides a solid ground for suspicion medical malpractice or negligence may have occurred. Suspicions are best looked into, and experienced medical malpractice attorneys are used to sifting through bad results to separate actionable malpractice from bad results that are no one’s fault. Complete investigation includes collecting and examining all medical records and medical data and having this material evaluated by qualified doctors, possibly other medical experts and lawyers. That type of investigation can reveal or rule out medical malpractice. In cases involving severe disabling injury or death, when there are legitimate suspicions of medical malpractice, attorneys will often invest the time and money needed to perform this type of investigation.
What time limits do I need to be aware of if I want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Illinois?
A: While two years is a common time limit for filing suit after an injury or death in Illinois, often shorter and occasionally longer time limits govern. Since calculation of the applicable time limit in a medical malpractice claim in Illinois can be confusing, in our opinion it is best to consult with qualified attorneys to calculate the time limit when a statute of limitations expires on a claim, and if a lawsuit has not been filed, the claimant loses all rights to recover money damages.
Who can be held responsible for medical malpractice?
A: Any health care professional (and the companies they work for) can be held liable for medical malpractice. Experienced medical malpractice lawyers identify the potentially liable parties as part of their investigation, then use judgment in determining who to sue in order to ensure their clients receive the maximum recovery.
What will it cost me to hire a medical malpractice lawyer?
A: At Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. medical malpractice cases are accepted on a contingency basis, meaning that the attorney’s fee will be a calculated percentage of the amount recovered at the resolution of your claim. If nothing is recovered for your claim, then you personally owe nothing.
What should I look for in choosing an attorney to represent me in a medical malpractice case?
There are a lot of attorneys out there and it’s important to know what separates the attorneys qualified to handle your medical malpractice claim from those who are not. Some of the main factors include:
- RESOURCES REQUIRED TO LITIGATE YOUR CLAIM: Pursuing a medical malpractice negligence claim is costly. From gathering evidence to obtaining experts needed to assure that you prevail on your case, the expenses mount quickly. A qualified attorney must have the resources necessary to cover those costs. A medical malpractice lawyer who has both experience as well as a record of recovering outstanding results on behalf of the client is more likely to have the resources to ensure superior preparation and litigation of your claim.
- EXPERIENCE: To ensure a higher chance of prevailing on your case, it’s vital to select an attorney with advanced experience in the complex area of medical negligence litigation.
- DEDICATION AND DILIGENCE: It is in your best interests to select an attorney who dedicates a large part of his or her practice to representing plaintiffs with medical negligence claims. Also, be sure to choose an attorney who can offer you the individual attention you need. In doing so, you can ensure your claim is being handled by an attorney with the proper knowledge to litigate your case, and also that your claim will be thoroughly prepared and presented — not ignored because of an attorney’s high caseload.
- RESULTS: Finally, you should seek out an attorney who has a reputation for achieving the maximum recovery for his or her clients. Oftentimes, the defendants in medical malpractice cases and their insurance companies hire highly skilled defense attorneys who work hard at preventing their clients from having to pay. An attorney with a history of securing exceptional results for clients in this charged atmosphere is the type of attorney you should want handling your medical malpractice case.
If I bring a medical malpractice lawsuit, will I have to go to court?
A. As with any lawsuit filed, there is a chance that the action will have to proceed to court, and it is essential that you be prepared to do so. However, many medical malpractice cases are settled without going to trial.
Trials can be long and costly. An attorney with experience representing clients with medical malpractice cases will possess the skills required to fully and properly litigate your claim, while at the same time working to recover the compensation you deserve in a reasonable amount of time. Since every case might proceed to trial and no one knows until a case is concluded if it will be tried, it is essential that you choose an attorney qualified to represent your interests and protect your right to recovery in front of a judge and jury if that becomes necessary. Having a qualified, experienced trial lawyer with a track record of success in court is especially important for those who want the highest settlement out of court.
If medical malpractice damages are recovered, is that money taxable?
A. Damage amounts recovered from a medical malpractice lawsuit are generally not taxable.
Why is Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. the right law firm to handle a medical malpractice case?
- Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C.’s attorneys have an outstanding record of success representing clients with medical malpractice cases, including those with lawsuits arising from delayed or inappropriate treatment, misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose or treat a condition and errors in prescribing.
- Our medical malpractice lawyers are skilled negotiators; however, they are also highly experienced litigators who are not afraid to take a case to trial.
- Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. has an established and constantly expanding network of expert resources to aggressively pursue the best outcome for our clients under their unique circumstances.
- Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. exclusively represents individuals who have suffered severe injuries and families who have lost loved ones as the result of a wrongful death, including cases arising from medical malpractice or negligence.
- Our medical malpractice lawyers and legal support staff take great pride in delivering personalized legal service, never losing focus of what matters: Our client.
Will I have to pay a fee to have an attorney at Rapoport Weisberg & Sims P.C. review my case?
A. No. If you feel that you or a loved one may have been a victim of medical negligence, rest assured that there is never a fee to have the circumstances reviewed by one of our experienced attorneys.