According to recent studies, malpractice claims made against hospitals have a high rate of severe injuries. When injuries result from negligence or substandard care, a patient has the legal right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit with an injury lawyer.
Hospital Malpractice Claims
In a recent study of hospital malpractice claims between 2007 and 2014 involving over 2,100 hospitals, the rate of severe injuries was considerably higher than those of claims filed against private physicians. The study shows the following statistics:
- 36 percent of claims were related to an incorrect or delayed diagnosis
- 31 percent were related to improper management of treatments
- 11 percent were related to medication errors
Reviewers noted that 35 percent of the cases resulted from an inadequate initial assessment of patients, so the possibility of an accurate diagnosis was greatly reduced.
Proving Medical Negligence
Hospitals have a duty to patients who are admitted for care. According to law, a hospital must admit a patient who needs emergency care, regardless of that patient’s ability to pay for treatment and services. A patient who has been injured as a result of negligence on the part of a health care provider must prove the four necessary elements of a medical malpractice claim to hold the provider responsible:
- The health care provider had a duty to the patient
- The duty was breached
- The breach of duty was the direct cause of harm or injury to the patient
- The harm directly caused injury that the patient should be compensated for
If any of these four elements are not present, a plaintiff may not make a medical malpractice claim. In all personal injury cases handled by an injury lawyer, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff. The injured patient must prove that the hospital is liable for his/her injury.
Under Illinois law, the statute of limitations to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for personal injuries must be filed within two years from the date the patient knew or should have known of the injury. If the injured patient is a minor, under the age of 18, a special statute of limitations (up to eight years) applies. Most medical negligence and medical malpractice claims result in monetary damages for medical expenses, lost wages, future medical expenses for treatments and medications, and pain and suffering. In cases that involve serious injuries or death of a patient, damage awards can be substantial.