The insurance and medical industries have repeatedly sought to scare the public into believing that the filing of large numbers of "frivolous" medical malpractice lawsuits has caused medical malpractice insurance premiums for doctors in Illinois to skyrocket, forcing physicians to leave the state. These claims are untrue. The entire Duke report is available for review online at http://eprints.law.duke.edu/1125/.
In response to these insurance industry claims, in 2005 the Illinois State Bar Association, a voluntary organization that provides education and services to the public and is composed of attorneys representing both corporate and consumer interests, commissioned an independent study by a distinguished law professor from Duke University, Neil Vidmar, Ph.D., to evaluate whether the claims made by the insurance and medical industry were true.
To the contrary, Dr. Vidmar found in his exhaustive study that the number of doctors in Illinois had increased between 1993 and 2003, not decreased (including in areas of practice that are claimed to be hardest hit by medical malpractice suits: obstetrics/gynecology and neurosurgery). He found that insurance premiums had indeed risen for doctors, but not because of an increased number of medical malpractice suits or increased payouts on successful suits. Dr. Vidmar found that the insurance industry's claims were completely unsupported after close scrutiny of actual data.
Doctors and hospitals save lives and improve the quality of life for thousands of people every day. At Friedman & Bonebrake, P.C., we interact daily with skilled medical professionals and we believe that the profession is entitled to great respect. We do not file unjustified or "frivolous" lawsuits. Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys file personal injury lawsuits only where truly negligent conduct has caused significant harm.
We also believe strongly that doctors (just like lawyers or other professionals) must be accountable to their patients for their actions. Good doctors invite questions, bad ones do not. To ensure accountability, our lawyers handle medical malpractice cases involving wrongful diagnoses, failure to diagnose and improper treatment.Misdiagnosis And Failure To Diagnose
Allegations of wrong diagnosis or failure to diagnose make up more than 40 percent of all medical malpractice claims filed in the United States. In fact, failure to diagnose is the single most common complaint in medical malpractice lawsuits.
The insurance and medical industry like to criticize attorneys who represent patients as playing "Monday morning quarterback" against doctors. The doctors have only seconds or minutes to make life-and-death decisions while the attorneys have months and even years to criticize in hindsight.
In reality, the vast majority of failure to diagnose lawsuits involves claims where the doctor had hours, days or even weeks to recognize the symptoms of a condition, not seconds or minutes. In these situations, the doctor fails even to consider and to rule out through appropriate tests (or consults with specialists) various life-threatening causes, instead opting to conclude based on a guess that the symptoms must relate to the most common and least severe cause.
These cases usually involve intellectual laziness or failing to think before acting. This sort of error usually occurs because the doctor takes on too many patients or simply does not give the patient and his family enough time to provide all the symptoms, family history and other details important to reaching a comprehensive list of potential causes for the patient's condition (called a "differential diagnosis"). A diagnosis cannot be reached if it is never even considered within the differential.
Our lawyers take on cases not just because a bad result occurred, but because the bad result occurred due to a doctor's failure to think carefully before reaching life-and-death medical decisions.Improper Treatment
After a condition has been diagnosed, doctors are expected to identify and pursue the correct, medically approved method of treatment. Improper treatment occurs when doctors mistakenly prescribe the wrong treatment for a patient or fail to provide appropriate treatment.
Today, there is no medical excuse for a doctor prescribing improper medical treatment for the vast majority of diagnosed conditions. Countless resources are available to the physician online and through medical libraries to educate himself or herself about proper, nationally recognized treatment options for virtually any given diagnosis. Moreover, if a physician, such as an internist, family practitioner or other primary care physician, feels he or she is in over his or her head, he or she has the right and obligation to consult with specialist physicians in the area of medicine at issue or even to transfer care to another physician better qualified to treat the particular illness at issue.
Where a diagnosed condition requires expertise or equipment unavailable at a given hospital, that patient should be transferred or, at least, offered a transfer to another facility with the resources necessary to handle the patient's needs. Doctors are not negligent because they lack immediate recall of proper treatment options for every illness or disease. They are negligent when they fail to avail themselves of the medical resources and community around them necessary to provide each patient with proper care. Our lawyers will take on doctors who fail to abide by their professional duty to use the medical resources available to them.
In order to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice in Illinois, all cases must first be reviewed by a medical expert who agrees after a record review to write a report stating that the plaintiff has a meritorious claim. Our attorneys have a network of respected and credentialed doctors in all disciplines of medicine throughout the country to assist in the evaluation and presentation of medical malpractice cases.
Friedman & Bonebrake, P.C., has won verdicts in medical malpractice cases of up to $4 million and settlements for millions more.Free Consultation: Medical Malpractice Attorneys In Chicago
Call us at 312-466-8200 or send us an email. We handle all medical negligence cases on a contingency basis, which means you pay no fee unless we provide results.