MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

Our medical malpractice attorneys represent clients who are injured or killed by the negligent acts of doctors, nurses, hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare providers. Medical errors are one of the top leading causes of injury and death in Illinois. Each year, more than 98,000 people die as a result of preventable medical mistakes. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys in Lake County Illinois travel the state of Illinois representing the victims of medical malpractice.  Healthcare providers must be held accountable for their conduct if it falls below the standard of care. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, our attorneys can help you and your family get what you deserve.

TYPES OF CASES

A common type of medical negligence case is the failure to diagnose a health condition.  If that missed or delayed diagnosis leads to injury or death, our trial attorneys can help you.  These types of cases usually focus on whether your doctor or healthcare provider properly performed a “differential diagnosis.”  This requires them to properly rule out the cause of your symptoms.  We often see missed diagnoses with conditions such as cancer, heart attacks, aortic dissections, pulmonary embolisms, infections and pneumonia.  We handle numerous missed diagnosis cases each year.  Let us help you.

Similar to a failure to diagnose case, the delayed diagnosis case also involves properly performing a differential diagnosis.  However, these cases involve time-sensitive treatment in order to save lives.  We trust our medical providers to perform the necessary steps – in a timely fashion – to determine what is causing our symptoms.   In these cases, early and correct diagnoses save lives.  These cases many times involve breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, appendicitis and other conditions.  Our Cook County medical negligence lawyers can help you with delayed diagnosis cases.  Call us for a free consultation.

Patients have a right to know their options before giving consent to non-emergent medical treatment.  Patients should be told in simple, clear to understand language, what their options are so they and their families can make informed decisions about their personal medical care.  Without proper informed consent, patients are deprived of their rights.  Let our Illinois medical malpractice attorneys assist you with your lawsuit involving informed consent issues.

If you or someone you know had a difficult time during the delivery of your baby, and if your baby is injured, you might have a viable claim for your child.  These types of cases include shoulder dystocia, brachial plexus injuries, Erbs palsy, and breech birth complications among others.  The birth trauma attorneys at Gibson Steigauf will walk you through the process of determining if you have a lawsuit, and then recovering the amount of money your child deserves. 

The most important thing to consider when hiring a medical malpractice attorney is experience.  For three decades, the medical negligence attorneys at Gibson Steigauf have represented families whose babies were injured at birth.  Birth injuries include death related to medication doses, injuries from vacuum extraction, failure to timely perform Caesarean sections, among others.  If your child was deprived of oxygen during the birthing process due to medical negligence, he or she will suffer immense economic and non-economic injuries for the rest of his or her life.  The birth injury attorneys at Gibson Steigauf will walk you through the process of determining if you have a lawsuit, and then will help you recover the amount of money you and your child deserve.

Medical device errors are common in hospitals.  With any technology, errors occur.  Some commonly used devices that are the subject of litigation include: IV pumps, stents, hip implants, knee implants, and pacemakers.  The medical negligence attorneys at Gibson Steigauf can help you with your medical device litigation.

Medication errors should never occur.  Nowadays, your own internist might not be able to see you in the hospital. Instead, “hospitalists” or internal medicine doctors employed directly by the hospital, take responsibility for your care while you are an in-patient.  These doctors do not know your history like your regular doctor. Hospitalists meet you for the first time on admission, and generally manage your care once a day until you go home or to a rehab facility.  This is where medication issues frequently fall through the cracks.  When someone not familiar with your history is monitoring the interactions among all your medicines, errors occur.  We can help.  Please contact the trial attorneys at Gibson Steigauf to assist you with your medication overdose/medication error cases.

VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS

The baby was born in a Waukegan hospital after questionable fetal heart monitoring results were recorded. The baby suffered initial seizures post-birth but he grew and developed normally. By kindergarten he was not showing any significant impairments. Before trial the defense defended the case and refused to offer any amount of money in settlement. During the trial the defendant paid $1.4 million to resolve the case before verdict. Result: $1,400,000 settlement during trial.

A married, 72 year-old retired father of 3, who was a lay Christian minister, died in the emergency room from undiagnosed blood clots (Pulmonary Embolism caused by clots in his left leg).  He went to his long-time family doctor three days prior; complaining of shortness of breath, chest pain and his vital signs were abnormal.  The doctor misdiagnosed him with asthma and prescribed an inhaler.  The same doctor had treated this patient and hospitalized him twice before due to blood clots in his left leg but failed to comply with the required medical care in prescribing him lifetime blood thinners and then not correctly diagnosing him three days before his death.  The doctor and his insurance company agreed to pay his medical malpractice insurance policy limit before trial. Result: $1,000,000 (policy limit) settlement.

39-year-old bank vice president underwent a gallbladder removal surgery which resulted in post-operation pain, fever and abdominal cramping. The surgeon referred her to a private gastroenterologist who concluded, based on testing, that the right hepatic duct had been improperly clipped during the surgery requiring follow-up surgery. The original surgeon refused to perform follow-up surgery. Three months later the plaintiff had to undergo a significant roux-en-y bypass surgery by a world-renowned expert at Fredort Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Subsequently the Plaintiff has been able to return to her normal activities. Result: $916,162 Federal Trial Verdict.

A 44-year-old warehouseman who went to the Waukegan hospital emergency room with chest pain and shortness of breath. Defendant cardiologist admitted him and after completing a cardiac workup including catheterization discharged him the next day to return to work after the weekend. There was no referral to any other specialists or investigation of potential pulmonary embolism. Twenty-four hours after discharge he returned to the emergency room with continuing symptoms resulting in a pulmonologist diagnosing him with pulmonary embolism which caused his death the next day. Result: $1,000,000 (policy limit) settlement.

A 71-year-old man with severe multiple illnesses was admitted into a Chicago hospital for a high risk ruptured aorta surgical repair. Two weeks after the surgery he was found on the floor next to his bed after having been transferred from the ICU to the general hospital room just hours before he was found. The physician orders for restraints due to hallucinations from medicines and inability to follow orders were unilaterally not followed by the nurses on the general floor so that he was not safely kept in his bed. He was found with a head laceration. A delayed CT scan showed subdural hemorrhage and brain shift. He was not a surgical candidate and died two days later. He is survived by one adult son. Result: $800,000 settlement.

46-year-old man was brought into an emergency room after being the victim of a beating. Physicians at the emergency room failed to timely diagnose a depressed skull fracture. As a result of the delay in diagnosis the Plaintiff developed a brain bleed leading to permanent neurological damage. Result: $2,050,000 settlement.

Plaintiff had been treated for many years by his family physician who monitored his kidney function. Subsequently his family physician retired and a new doctor took over the practice. In follow-up examinations the new physician informed the Plaintiff that he had significant kidney disease and would require a kidney removal and transplant. The previous physician failed to take timely action in regard to blood test results showing declining kidney function. Result: $750,000 settlement.

A man in his sixties saw his primary care physician for an annual physical.  The doctor failed to send the patient for a colonoscopy to investigate the abnormal mass that was discovered in the patient’s rectum during the exam.  Instead, the physician informed the patient that the mass was a simple hemorrhoid.  The patient’s colorectal cancer went untreated and he later died. Result:$1,000,000 settlement before trial.

A woman that was a severe alcoholic was admitted into a Rockford hospital for alcoholic delirium and liver failure.  The doctor personally inserted a draw needle into her stomach to secure a lab sample.  It was done bedside without the aid of ultrasound.  The patient suffered an internal bleed from the puncture. Result: $275,000 settlement.

An elderly man was referred to the Cook County ENT for redness on his nose and upper cheeks.  The surgeon performed a laser surgery in his office without proper controls and burned our client’s nose.  He required a different surgeon to correct the burns. Result: $130,000 settlement.

A 21 year-old female college student was admitted into a secure psychiatric floor in defendant’s hospital for severe depression and suicidal ideation.  The nurses allowed her to go into a small room with a washer and dryer to clean her own clothes.  The room had a wood door with a small window which was directly across the hall from the nurse’s station.  While in the room the student used a robe tie to hang herself from the inside door overhead closing mechanism.  By the time the nurses noticed that she was in that room she was severely injured and died shortly thereafter.  The hospital was negligent in not properly supervising her and in violation of safety codes by failing to have the required specialty “break-off” door hardware in a secure psychiatric floor.  She was the youngest child of a large close knit family – Gibson Steigauf successfully filed the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of all of the family members against the hospital which was responsible for the negligence of its staff. Result: Confidential Settlement

A 2-year old baby with severe water burns was taken to the hospital.  The physicians who cared for him violated the standard of care in caring for a child this age.  He died as a result of the medical malpractice. Result: $1,000,000 settlement before trial.