When a judge finds a doctor or health care worker guilty of medical malpractice, it can result in large settlements. There have been some high-profile cases in the Chicago that demonstrate different aspects of medical malpractice, how these lawsuits can play out in court and the settlements that can result.
Medical malpractice litigation usually involves cases of very serious, permanent, irreversible injury or damage due to negligent care. Because the stakes are so high in these cases, and because the harm is permanent, high settlements often reflect the court's determination of the damages in a monetary way.
Medical malpractice on children
A particularly serious case that took place in Chicago in 2016, as reported by The Chicago Tribune, was that of a doctor who performed experimental surgeries on a 6-year-old boy. In that case, the boy suffered, among other things, irreversible brain injury. The court awarded his family $30 million in their malpractice settlement. This was an extremely complicated case that involved over 20 surgeries, but the lawsuit alleged that the negligence occurred in an operation shortly after the boy's birth.
Serious brain injury
Another Chicago medical malpractice suit involved a 12-year-old boy who was born with a serious brain injury. In that case, a jury awarded the family $53 million. This case also involved a series of what the Chicago Tribune article described as "about 20 alleged missteps" that began at the time the boy's mother arrived at the University of Chicago hospital for delivery.
These cases with large payouts serve as high-profile examples of medical malpractice. However, many people experience medical malpractice on a smaller scale in hospitals and clinics throughout the Chicagoland area on a daily basis. Even errors in diagnosis can constitute medical malpractice. A delayed diagnosis or a missed diagnosis are just two types of this error. Examples such as diagnostic errors show how medical malpractice suits can range from very high-profile cases to cases that may be much more common.
It can be helpful to consult with an attorney with experience in medical malpractice cases if someone suspects that he or she has been a victim of medical negligence or improper practice. A lawyer can help determine what someone's rights are under Illinois laws and how those laws may apply in the individual case.