3 Common Types of Medical Malpractice You Can Sue for and When

Medical Malpractice Attorney

When a medical professional makes a mistake, the error can lead to a patient becoming disabled or disfigured. In a worst-case scenario, it can lead to a patient’s death.

Some mistakes are more common than others, but most of them can result in devastating consequences for the family of the deceased or disabled individual. According to Illinois law, if you are either of these, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit and get the compensation you deserve and need.

However, to prove the claim in court, you must prove the mistake fell below the standard of care the doctor was supposed to maintain, thus resulting in the incident. In other words, you cannot file a medical malpractice lawsuit if the procedure and the diagnoses were not to your liking. This includes mistakes that did no harm to a patient.

Valid Medical Malpractice Claims

The following medical practice claims can hold up in court:

  1. Misdiagnosis – Failing to diagnose a medical ailment or failure to diagnose it incorrectly is the most common mistake a doctor can make. These often lead to devastating consequences or debilitating injuries.
  2. Surgical Mistakes – Common mistakes include leaving sponges, gauze, or surgical equipment inside a patient before sewing up the surgical site or performing surgery on a patient who doesn’t need one.
  3. Medication Mistakes – This includes prescribing incorrect doses and medications and disclosing incorrect methods of administration. Additionally, doctors who prescribe drugs that have to possibility to harmfully interact with medicine the patient is currently taking also is grounds for medical malpractice.

Illinois Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

You cannot take your time filing a medical malpractice claim. The statute of limitations places strict timelines on the time you have to file a case in civil court. In Illinois you have two (2) years to do this, but the clock starts from the date the offending medical practitioner knew or should have known about the medical concerns, which resulted from malpractice.

There is a larger deadline for cases in which the patient’s injuries are not discovered until later. In that case, the plaintiff has four (4) years after the date the medical mistake occurred. If the plaintiff is under 18, their case must be filed within at least eight (8) years of the date but not beyond their 22nd birthday. In either case, you have ample time to bring the negligent medical personnel or medical facility to task and get the compensation you deserve and need.

Whether you are suffering from the results of medical malpractice or acting on behalf of someone who has fallen victim to one, you need aggressive legal representatives in your corner. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens have more than two decades of experiences representing clients who have suffered because of a doctor, nurse or hospital’s neglect.

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To ensure you have a solid case, we will analyze all medical documentation pertaining to the case and consult with experts before coming up with a plan of action to present in court. We represent clients in Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, Woodstock and Antioch, Illinois so you can get in touch with us today.

An Overview of Medical Malpractice Laws

Medical Malpractice LawyerUnder the state of Illinois Law, a doctor or a health care professional will be committing medical malpractice if they are in breach of an established standard of care while providing medical treatment to their patient, which causes a serious injury or could result in a fatality. The term “standard of care” indicates the set of various medical standards and treatment practices any medical professional would rely on while treating patients under similar circumstances.

How to Determine Malpractice

You will need the services of a skilled medical malpractice attorney to help determine various factors which have led to the malpractice and caused you an injury. In a medical malpractice case, it’s essential to determine:

  1. The age of the patient who suffered an injury or fatality
  2. The condition of the patient while seeking treatment
  3. The condition of the patient before treatment

A violation of any standard of care will be known as medical negligence, which has caused an injury, the plaintiff in such a case has to prove the injury they suffered was indeed caused by negligence and malpractice of the doctor.

 The Common Types of Malpractice

The common types of medical malpractice are:

  • Misdiagnosis/Delayed diagnosis
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Surgical errors
  • Prescription drug errors


Misdiagnosis is the most common type of medical malpractice, where a doctor or a health care professional will tell a patient they have a particular condition, but in reality, they are making an incorrect diagnosis. The most commonly misdiagnosed diseases include infections, cancer, heart attack, blood clotting in the lung and heart diseases. Misdiagnosis can occur with complex conditions because a patient may not always realize all the symptoms which cause a particular disease. Because the doctor has been spending time treating the wrong conditions, these consequences can be life-threatening and even fatal.

Delayed Diagnosis

Delayed diagnosis is similar to misdiagnosis. In this situation, doctors initially make a wrong diagnosis, but the patient eventually does receive the right diagnosis.

Anesthesia Errors

These errors are comparatively rare, but can be more perilous than other medical malpractices. Even a small error by the anesthesiologist can result in lasting injuries, brain damage, or even death. The usual reasons for malpractice by the anesthesiologist include failing to examine the medical history of the patient, or failing to notify the patient about essential preoperative actions. If you have suffered any kind of medical malpractice, make sure you discuss everything with your malpractice attorney.

If you wish to find out more about this topic or schedule a free consultation, contact the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

When There Is “a Plague On Both Houses,” Who Is Liable?

While the Shakespearean quotation was more likely meant to be a non-literal curse reflective of the times in which it was written, in modern times it may raise new questions in surprising areas of law. News reports in recent years have provided much in the way of speculative banter on the prevalence of the bubonic plague. The very mention of the two words together conjure images in readers’ minds of “the black death” of Europe and Asia in the 1400s, which has been causally linked to the deaths of 30-60% of the world’s population at that time.

Actual occurrences in modern times are far less widespread, with approximately 7-15 cases per year reported in the United States, but this does not mean that the disease is less deadly. To the contrary, without proper diagnosis and prompt treatment the bubonic plague can be just as deadly (and contagious) as its medieval counterpart.

Missed or Misdiagnosis

The symptoms of the plague in the beginning stages of infection can closely mirror those of many common types of flu, and so can be difficult to identify without running specific tests for plague. Some cases of misdiagnosis of the plague have proved fatal for the sick person, when prompt treatment could have set them on the path to recovery. In instances where such misdiagnoses are the result of a healthcare provider’s negligence or carelessness, it could mean that they are guilty of malpractice.

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Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence that occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide treatment at or above the required standard of care in a certain case, and that failure causes injury or death of a patient. What can make these types of claims difficult is the myriad issues that can contribute to the overall state of a patient, the availability of all possible treatment options, as well as the fact that there are many standard risks that come with engaging in any form of medical procedure. Further, in order to prove that a doctor failed to provide a patient with the correct standard of care, it must be shown that the physician failed to use the same skill and care that would be used by a qualified physician in the same or similar circumstances.

When an individual is sick and cannot treat themselves properly at home, the first person they seek aid from is not an attorney or police officer, but a doctor. This is because a doctor has the training and knowledge to provide them with the skills to help treat whatever medical issue that person is experiencing. If a physician does not provide the sick individual with the standard level of care that he or she is duty-bound to provide, it can have serious negative effects on the individual that they were supposed to treat.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured by a medical professional’s negligence through misdiagnosis, contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. in Antioch today. Our attorneys have years of experience handling medical malpractice claims and can help you obtain the relief you are entitled to, and maybe also help prevent anyone else from being harmed by the same person in the future.

The Name Game: Determining Proper Parties in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

In a recent medical malpractice case filed in the Illinois courts, the plaintiff is alleging that his wife died as a result of the negligence of one or more doctors who were involved in a procedure that she was undergoing while in their care. According to one report of the contents of the complaint, the plaintiff’s wife became unresponsive during surgery and she died shortly thereafter. While the language of the complaint may seem to suggest that the error was with the anesthesia she received, the plaintiff names more than just the doctor responsible for that portion of the surgery. It can be confusing for those who do not file lawsuits on a regular basis as to how numerous individuals or organizations may be named as defendants in a lawsuit without the appearance of explicit proof against each and every defendant. This complexity is one that is very common with medical malpractice suits for a variety of reasons.

Name them now or forever hold your peace?

One may think that numerous individuals or groups are named as defendants in an attempt to prevent the inability to sue them at a later date. While this may be true if statute of limitations issues arise, it is not necessarily the driving force behind a plaintiff’s decision to file against many defendants. Sometimes, the evidence that is available to a plaintiff at the time of filing is not sufficient to provide a clear-cut answer as to who made the fatal error in their situation. Also, especially in medical malpractice cases where numerous parties may be involved in one patient’s care, naming multiple entities is necessary to ensure that each person or entity who owed a duty to the patient is examined for possible negligence.

Further, when a patient is under the care of multiple health care providers, it is sometimes compounding negligent acts that lead to a person’s serious injury or death and merely focusing on one individual in a chain would not provide a fair outcome for any party. It is for these reasons that naming the proper defendants in a medical malpractice lawsuit can take more skill than many individuals or less experienced lawyers think. In these types of cases there is a delicate balance between the “shotgun approach” in which every possible person and entity who ever saw the plaintiff is named, and the single defendant idea that places all the blame on one or two entities or individuals. Neither of these approaches is likely to lead to the best possible outcome for the plaintiff, which is that the persons most liable for the injury or death are held responsible.

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Need Help or Have Questions?

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. has attorneys in Waukegan who are skilled at all aspects of medical malpractice litigation and are ready for your call. Our professionals can answer your questions and provide high quality advice as to how to proceed with your case. Even if you are not sure you are ready to file a lawsuit, our team understands and can provide information with regard to the statute of limitations on the issues involved in your situation, so that you can proceed whenever you are ready.


Medical Malpractice Claims Lowest Ever in Wisconsin: Why This Should Not Prevent Filing Suit

In states across the country, there is a battle going on between doctors, their insurance companies, and the patients/clients that both are supposed to serve.  In states like Wisconsin, it seems that doctors and their medical malpractice insurers are winning that battle.  While it is arguable that doctors should not fear lawsuits when administering care to patients, they also should be held accountable when they act in a way that is negligent or fail in their duty to do no harm to those patients.

The biggest problem with the medical malpractice conundrum, however, is that it seems that the battle has been fought in the legislatures, rather than the courts as cases have dropped to a record low.  This does not mean that someone who is injured by a doctor’s negligence should give up.  It just means that it is more important than ever for injured patients to consult with a legal professional about their case so that they can fully understand the pros and cons of going forward with a claim.

Caps on Damages

One of the ways that legislatures control what they believe to be problematic cases is by implementing damage caps.  These caps limit the amount an injured party can recover in a lawsuit, and they vary by state.  Essentially, members of Congress decide that they know better than juries when it comes to how much an injured victim can recover from a negligent doctor.  In Wisconsin, the statutory damages cap on medical malpractice cases for non-economic damages is $750,000 per incident.  There are no caps on economic damages.

Types of Damages

Non-economic damages are by their nature difficult to quantify.  Examples include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.  These types of damages are intended to place a monetary value on a non-monetary loss and are highly subjective.  It is these types of damages that are splashed across newspaper headlines, and that are most cited to by proponents of legislative caps.  Economic damages are those that are more readily apparent and able to be calculated, such as the cost of receiving medical treatment, lost income, and lost earning capacity.  These types of damages do not have a capped limit in Wisconsin, but victims will need to be able to show how any requested award was calculated.  Anyone who has been injured by a doctor’s negligence should keep in mind that the latter types of damages accounts not only for the costs of past medical care, but also what can reasonably be projected to be incurred for future care as well.

Waukegan Medical Malpractice Lawyers | Lake County Personal Injury
If you or someone you love has been injured by a healthcare professional’s dereliction of duty or gross negligence, call the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. in Chicago today and speak to an attorney about your case.  Do not let a doctor or insurance company cheat you out of a fair settlement for your injury.  Call today as our attorneys have experience with medical malpractice cases and can discuss your options for recovery.


The Time is Now: Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

When someone is injured by a medical professional, filing a lawsuit is often not the first thought on their mind.  Injuries from medical malpractice and negligence can have serious side effects with lengthy recovery times.  Unfortunately for the injured person and their family members, time is not on their side when it comes to protecting their right to sue for recovery of damages.

Statute of Limitations: What Does It Mean?

Even after being told that a statute of limitations applies to their case, many people may not realize what that phrase actually means.  Simply put, it is a potential time limit that can bar a person from ever filing a lawsuit, regardless of the potential outcome of the case.  This means that even if an injured person has “the smoking gun” proving that a doctor is responsible for their injuries, if the time provided by the statute of limitations passes, they are forever barred from filing a lawsuit to recover damages pursuant to that incident.  A bar such as this can mean that an injured person, or their estate in some unfortunate cases, is left on the hook for thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and lost damages for pain and suffering.

Illinois and Wisconsin

In Illinois, someone who believes that their injuries were caused by medical malpractice must file a lawsuit within two years of the date that he or she discovered the injury.  Further, courts have barred some cases in which the injured party did not have knowledge of the malpractice until after two years has gone by, but the court found evidence that they should have known of the injury.  This is a very strict standard that could cause a complaint to be dismissed before anyone even looks at the evidence.

Wisconsin’s law is a bit different, as it provides an injured party with three years from the date of their injury to file a lawsuit.  However, in Wisconsin, if a party does not discover the injury until after the three years has passed, they only have one year from that date of discovery to file suit or be barred from filing.  Under both Illinois and Wisconsin laws, a potential plaintiff must file any claim for medical malpractice within four and five years, respectively, from the date of the actual act or omission.  Simply put, even if an injured party did not know (or had no reason to know) that their injury was caused by medical malpractice until six years after the incident, any lawsuit would be barred.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C.

Medical malpractice can be a very complex area of law, especially when a case involves difficult and complicated medical procedures.  The impact on an injured person from a doctor’s carelessness can be even more complex and difficult, however, and injured parties should not be left holding the bill.  If you or your loved one has been injured by a doctor’s careless act, or failure to act, call the Barrington professionals at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. today.  Time may not be on your side, but our experienced attorneys are and will work hard to get you the help you need.


Defensive Medicine: Not ‘What the Doctor Ordered’

When someone is told by their primary care physician that they need to visit a specialist in order to fix whatever is ailing them, increased costs of care are often the first thing to run through the patient’s mind.  Specialists are professionals who specialize in one or a few areas, rather than practice in general medicine and their fees can vary depending on the nature of the illness or injury.  Insurance coverage for specialists also varies, and usually means more out-of-pocket costs for the patient.  Many individuals do not balk at the increased costs, however, as it typically means that their issue will be handled by a skilled physician with expertise in the particular type of injury or illness.  Therefore, it may be surprising for some to learn that when they are providing their expert opinion on what course of action to take with regard to treatment options, many specialists are guided more by their fear of lawsuits than their opinion on what is best for their patient.

Defensive medicine: the new frontier

Physicians who specialize in one particular area of medicine will often complete well over 10 years of study in order to complete college, medical school, a residency program, and fellowship program before practicing in their chosen specialty.  This fact makes it even more surprising that a specialist would second guess themselves, and their education and expertise, in the face of a nebulous threat such as someone choosing to file a lawsuit sometime in the future.  Unfortunately for many patients, this ‘defensive medicine’ is becoming more and more common as doctors shy away from providing the care that they believe is right for their patient and move toward providing the care they believe will protect them from lawsuits.  One study showed that out of over 1,000 board certified physicians, more than 80% admitted to ordering more imaging tests for defensive reasons.  The study also showed that in states where malpractice lawsuits are common, neurosurgeons were less inclined to perform high-risk procedures, even if they believed that the procedure could help their patient.

Malpractice, by any other name, is still malpractice

While physicians and professionals in the health care industry may cite rising costs due to medical malpractice lawsuits to justify this new practice, what they may not realize is that deviating from what they admittedly believe is the best course of action may still leave them open to a malpractice suit.  Regardless of whether the physician’s intent was to avoid malpractice liability, if the standard of care provided fell below what it should have been, malpractice laws still apply.  Many may wonder how ordering more tests could possibly translate into malpractice, but the standard for malpractice does not change merely because someone says they are trying to avoid it.  If, for example, a brain surgeon delays surgery for a patient in order to run additional tests that they do not truly believe are necessary out of a fear that they would be criticized if they did not, and that delay causes harm to the patient, they may have committed medical malpractice.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens | Waukegan Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you, or someone you love, has questions about medical care they have received, call the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. today.  Our attorneys have a deep knowledge of Illinois’ medical malpractice laws and can provide you with the professional guidance you need.


Medical Malpractice: More than a Rule Violation

When people think about the word “malpractice” they may immediately think of legal malpractice, insurance fraud, or maybe even an accountant-gone-rogue who decides to breach his duty to embezzle millions from his employer.  It is often not the first thought that a professional’s decision to cut corners and not follow rules can have very personal side effects, but this is exactly what happens when a physician commits malpractice.

Medical Malpractice: What is it?

Sick patients trust that they are in the best hands possible, especially if they are facing major surgery.  The situation that these patients often find themselves in is one that involves a proverbial rock and hard place; specifically, a doctor fitting them in on a busy schedule, and not having the recommended surgery.  When the latter option is not available, as in cases involving terminal situations, some patients are left with no choice but trust.  It is the breach of this trust that is considered medical malpractice, and can carry with it serious consequences.

Slip of the Knife or Callous Act?

Every medical procedure carries with it some element of risk as evidenced by the multitude of forms that patients must complete before undergoing surgery.  However, what many people may not realize is that a doctor’s responsibility to provide a high level of professional care is not something that can be signed away in a rush of pre-surgery paperwork.  The question that will need to be asked is whether the injury suffered by a patient was within the normal dangers faced by the particular surgery, or whether a physician utilizing reasonable care could have avoided the damage suffered?

Doctors are professionals and like with any other profession they owe a duty to perform up to the standards of their chosen position.  While true that doctors are human, and also that all humans can make mistakes, if a doctor breaches his or her duty to a patient it generally means that they have done something so egregious that it cannot be considered a mere mistake.  Examples include objects left in patients after an invasive procedure, the use of unclean equipment during surgery, and medication dosage errors.  Any of these can and do occur in surgeries across the country, especially when a doctor is over-worked and cutting corners in order to fit more and more patients into one day.  Further, these types of negligence cases are fairly straightforward, and being able to show that a doctor did not meet the proper standard of care in more complicated cases can take weeks, months or even years depending on the situation.  During this time an injured patient and their family are often left adjusting to life post-injury, including rising costs of medical care and changed routines, while hospital staff and doctors continue with business as usual.

Waukegan Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Medical negligence and malpractice can cause serious injury to patients and cause long-lasting debilitating effects or even death.  If you or a loved one has been injured by the careless actions of a busy doctor, you do not have to face the healthcare industry alone.  Call the professionals at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C and we can answer your questions about the pathway to recovery.


Nursing Home Wandering Lawsuit-Elder Abuse & Neglect Law Firm

Robert Edens ‘Bob’ is an award winning nursing home neglect and abuse attorney with over 20 years of experience fighting for the elderly who’s care has been entrusted to a facility. His law firm will provide you with the legal advice you NEED to answer your questions and explain your options. 

Attorney Robert Edens Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse Attorneys The Call is Free, The Advice Might Be Priceless

Nursing Home Wandering Neglect and AbuseWandering is one of the most intriguing, potentially, hazardous, and least understood behaviors amongst the elders in nursing homes. Additionally, it has been poorly defined and is very ambiguous despite that it is a very common occurrence of elderly patients whose care has been entrusted to a facility to keep them safe.

The reason it is so difficult to define “wandering” from a legal perspective is that it is a somewhat purposeful behavior, at least to the wanderer, yet it is often initiated by a cognitively impaired or disoriented individual. As a result, wanderers place themselves in hazardous situations that a cognitively intact persons would avoid. For the purposes of litigation, the wandering of a nursing home resident should be thought of as behavior that should be reduced or eliminated at all times.

At a minimum the standard of care at a nursing home must identify wanderers, develop prevention programs and activities, keep the facility safe, and have a swift, comprehensive, facility-wide method to mobilize staff to look for a missing resident. Expert testimony often is critical to successful litigation against nursing homes.

Known Tendency to Wander

If the nursing home is aware of a patient’s predisposition to wander it is more likely to give rise to liability. Recovery has been allowed, for example, where a nursing home was aware of wandering and failed to take proper precautions, the facility may be found liable for any subsequent injury or death.

Golden Villa Nursing Home v. Smith, Texas.A motorcycle struck a nursing home resident who left the facility and wandered onto a highway. A verdict against the facility was handed down, finding that the resident’s long history of wandering put the home on notice of the resident’s known tendency to wander.


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Category: Blog, Medical Malpractice

A Doctor’s Mistake: Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death

When a person is told that a loved one must have surgery, it can be a fearful time regardless of whether the surgery is routine or rare. As anyone who has undergone or watched a loved one go through a medical procedure knows, prior to the procedure the physician will ask that many forms are completed with regard to the known risks and potential hazards associated with a surgery. These forms have been created in an attempt to limit a physician’s or hospital’s liability for any injury that occurs during or pursuant to the medical procedure. What many people may not know is that a doctor is not immune from being held accountable for mistakes made during a surgical procedure.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional provides substandard care or treatment to a patient, which resulted in the harm, injury or death of a patient. Substandard care may take the form of a specific action that should not have been taken, or a physician, nurse or surgeon failing to take a certain action when action was necessary. To clarify, a healthcare provider is not responsible for all injuries suffered by a patient under their care, but only those injuries that were received as a result of their deviance from the level of care that they should have provided.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

When a patient dies as a result of a healthcare provider’s negligence, the family of the patient may file a lawsuit based on the wrongful death of their loved one. Medical malpractice cases can affect people regardless of economic class. While the case filed by the widow of the late Bernie Mac has been withdrawn, it brought to light many common issues dealing with wrongful death claims stemming from alleged medical malpractice. Wrongful death claims can be difficult to prove, as it generally requires a showing that a doctor in a similar field under similar circumstances would have acted differently than the doctor accused of malpractice. For example, proving that a doctor’s negligent diagnosis caused the wrongful death of a patient would likely require a showing of one of two things: that the doctor did not provide the correct diagnosis to the patient where a skilled, competent doctor would have; or, that the doctor provided the patient with the correct diagnosis but did not conduct the appropriate tests or ask for help from specialists to ensure the diagnosis was correct.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens | Waukegan Personal Injury Lawyers


Losing a loved one can be a difficult and overwhelming time, and filing a lawsuit is possibly the last thing on the minds of grieving family members. However, when someone is injured at the hands of a physician, it cannot be assumed that the physician provided the level of care to which their patient was entitled. While nothing can bring a loved one back, investigating a possible wrongful death claim is important to ensure that healthcare providers are held responsible for the dereliction of the duty they owe to every patient entrusted to their care. An attorney at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. can help you learn more about your options for recovery. Contact the Antioch offices today for a consultation.