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My surgery went wrong. Is that enough to sue?

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2023 | medical malpractice

If you have undergone surgery and experienced a bad outcome, you might wonder if you have a medical malpractice case. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other medical professional fails to apply the appropriate standard of care, resulting in harm.

However, that result does not mean you experienced malpractice. How can you tell the difference between a no-fault bad surgical outcome and medical malpractice?

Inherent risks

By their nature medical treatments have risks, even when they do what they are supposed to do.

To pursue a medical malpractice claim, there must be both a bad result and that bad result must be the result of negligence. The negligence can be from failing to conduct the appropriate tests, failing to make proper notes, etc.

Signs of Illinois medical malpractice

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • First, did the doctor inform you of the risks and benefits of the surgery and obtain your informed consent?
  • Did the doctor follow the accepted standards of practice for surgery and post-operative care?
  • Did the doctor communicate with you and other members of the medical team about your condition and treatment plan?
  • Did the doctor monitor your vital signs and respond to complications?
  • Did the doctor use sterile equipment and follow infection control protocols?
  • Did the doctor order appropriate tests and interpret them correctly?
  • Did the doctor document everything accurately and completely?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you might have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. However, you will also need to prove that the doctor’s error caused or contributed to your injury, and that your injury resulted in damages, such as additional medical expenses, etc.

Illinois law

Illinois has specific laws that govern medical malpractice cases. For example, you must file your lawsuit within two years of when you knew or should have known of the malpractice, but no later than four years from when it occurred.

You must also file an affidavit of merit along with your complaint, stating that you have consulted with a qualified health care professional who has reviewed your case and believes that there is a reasonable and meritorious cause for your claim. You must also disclose the identity and qualifications of this expert within 90 days of filing your lawsuit.

Medical malpractice cases are complex and challenging, requiring extensive evidence, expert testimony, and legal knowledge.

If you believe you have been harmed by medical negligence during or after surgery, you do have rights, but you will likely need the help of legal and medical professionals before pursuing the medical malpractice claim.