In Illinois, patients like you put your health and lives into the hands of medical professionals every day. Unfortunately, even medical professionals can make mistakes, which is where the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid.
Cancer has become a disease that most families have come face-to-face with at some point. The number of people diagnosed with various types of cancer each year are many. One positive thing for some people is that many types of cancer are possibly curable or at least manageable. That, however, does not negate the seriousness of a cancer diagnoses nor the impact on a person's life. If you have recently been told you have cancer, you may want to consider getting a second opinion.
The Illinois Supreme Court has now provided a new avenue for victims in wrongful death act and survival act cases: the discovery rule. Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/13-212(a), the discovery rule establishes that, within a four-year statute of repose, any claim of malpractice against a physician or hospital must be filed within two years of the date on which the claimant knew or through the use of reasonable diligence should have known of the existence of the injury or death for which damages have been sought. In Moon v. Rhode, the Illinois Supreme Court found that it was an issue of fact in wrongful death and survival actions predicated upon medical malpractice as to when the individual knew of the injury and its negligent cause. The discovery rule can now extend the wrongful death act and survival act statute of limitations beyond the two-year anniversary of death.
Medical malpractice suits across the country cost hospitals millions of dollars a year, and in Illinois, Crain’s Chicago Business reports that two public hospital systems alone have racked up over $160 million in settlement costs since 2012. The two Chicago hospital systems in question are University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System and Cook County Health and Hospitals System, and over the past four years, each have paid out at least $80 million for medical negligence settlements.
Although urgent care physicians serve many of the patients who might otherwise have gone to the hospital, emergency departments still see plenty of traffic. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over 130 million visits to emergency rooms in the United States annually. Ideally, each of these patients would receive appropriate and effective care, but it is an unfortunate fact that ERs are common sites for medical errors and malpractice. There are several issues that are more common than others, but these four are the most likely ones a patient would encounter when visiting an emergency room in the US.
If you have been diagnosed with a debilitating, life-threatening illness and are facing expensive, life-altering treatments, it's important that you trust your doctor implicitly. Even if you trust your doctor, human error may be an issue in creating a treatment plan. Some patients opt for a second opinion to determine if the treatment is the right course of action. You should always feel comfortable asking for a second opinion, and here is when to do it.