If you have suffered harm at the hands of a medical professional, you may be entitled to seek legal damages for the harm caused to you. To help you understand medical malpractice cases better, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions. For legal advice specific to your case, please contact us for a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
If I accept a settlement and later realize that the extent of the harm is much more significant, can I still file a lawsuit?
In most cases, it is not possible to file a lawsuit after you have accepted a settlement. One of the stipulations of accepting a settlement is that you will not pursue legal action in the future to seek additional compensation. It is important to speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer before you take any action that could limit your ability to recover just compensation in a medical malpractice case.
How do I know if I can file a medical malpractice lawsuit?
In a medical malpractice case you must be able to establish that the following are true:
- You were seeking care for a medical condition and had a doctor-patient relationship.
- The doctor was negligent in providing care.
- Your injury was a direct result of the doctor’s negligence.
- Your injury resulted in specific damages, such as physical pain or mental anguish.
Proving that a doctor was negligent often requires the assistance of a medical expert who is willing to testify that the harm caused to you would not have happened if you were treated by a competent doctor under the same circumstances.
What is the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases?
You have a limited amount of time from the date you knew (or reasonably should have known) about your injury to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The exact time varies depending on multiple factors.
If I signed a consent form, can I still file a medical malpractice lawsuit?
Yes. Signing a consent form is an acknowledgement of the risks associated with the treatment you are receiving. If a physician or other medical professional does not meet the standard of care, you may still file a claim if you experienced harm as a direct result of their treatment. Harm is generally defined as any reckless or negligent care that directly results in injury.
What is “standard of care?”
“Standard of care” refers to the methods, processes and procedures that are generally accepted by the medical community regarding the evaluation, treatment and care of specific condition. If a doctor, nurse, medical professional or hospital causes you harm by not meeting the standard of care, you may be able to file a lawsuit for malpractice.
If you believe you have suffered harm as the direct result of medical malpractice, contact Donald A. Shapiro, Ltd. For more than 30 years, we have helped victims of medical malpractice and their families fight for the compensation they need and deserve—and we’re here to help you, too. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with a skilled medical malpractice attorney in Chicago.