Illinois Heart Attack Error Attorney
Sometimes, myocardial infarctions strike suddenly and with little or no warning. These heart attack victims might have few or no apparent pre-existing conditions. Frequently, however, negligent physician care contributes to these incidents. This negligence could be a failure to see heart attack warning signs and properly prescribe medication and/or lifestyle changes. When these victims come to hospitals, they often don’t exhibit signature symptoms. So, heart attack misdiagnosis is common. After the episode, some doctors fail to properly follow-up on patient care issues.
In contrast, the diligent Illinois heart attack error attorneys at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman pay close attention to details from beginning to end. When you meet with us, we thoroughly review your case and outline all your legal options, carefully laying out the pros and cons of each one. Then, we don’t take shortcuts as we build your claim for damages. Finally, when the case goes to court, we do not settle for anything less than the best possible result under the circumstances.
Basically, negligence is an unintentional injury. If Julie knocks over her neighbor’s mailbox when she backs out of her driveway, she should pay to replace the mailbox. The same principle applies in medical malpractice, or medical negligence, matters. These claims have four basic components in Illinois:
- Duty: Most patients have little or no education, training, and experience when it comes to healthcare matters. In contrast, doctors have extensive amounts of each. Therefore, physicians have a fiduciary duty. That’s the highest level of legal responsibility in Illinois law.
- Breach: A breach is Legalese for a violation of a legal duty. The violation must be so severe that it’s a breach of care as opposed to a mistake. The duty of care matters. For example, a simple mathematical error is usually a mistake as opposed to a breach of duty. But if a doctor forgets to carry the one, a patient could sustain a permanent injury.
- Cause: Legal cause usually means foreseeability (possibility). If an unexpected power outage causes a medical mistake during a heart attack procedure, that’s not a foreseeable event. Factual cause usually means but-for causation, as in the injury wouldn’t have happened “but for” the doctor’s negligence. Other factors might have been involved, but the doctor’s negligence must have been the primary contributing factor.
- Damage: If Julie nudged her neighbor’s mailbox but did not knock it over, her neighbor suffered no damage, so Julie doesn’t have to pay compensation. Similarly, unless a medical mistake or other negligent act causes tangible damage, a victim does not have a legal case.
These elements make up a prima facie (preliminary) negligence claim. Various insurance company negligence defenses could be available. Comparative fault might be the most common one.
Insurance Company Defenses
Basically, contributory negligence, or comparative fault, shifts blame for an injury-causing incident from the tortfeasor (negligent party) to the victim (negligent party). So, in an Illinois heart attack error claim, the insurance company might admit the doctor didn’t properly treat the patient, and argue that the victim failed to manage his/her own health.
In these situations, jurors must proportionally divide fault (e.g. 70-30) based on the evidence presented. Illinois is a modified comparative fault state with a 51 percent bar. Victims are eligible for a proportionate share of damages if they are not more than 49 percent responsible for the claimed injury.
Other insurance company defenses include assumption of the risk, which usually involves a pre-surgery waiver, and lack of evidence on one of the aforementioned elements.
Contact a Dedicated Chicago Cook County Attorney
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced heart attack error attorney in Chicago, contact Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman by going online or calling 410-567-0800. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.