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Pediatrics and medical malpractice

Most Illinois children are taken to doctors and hospitals on a regular basis. In fact, children and the elderly are two of the most vulnerable groups who need medical attention regularly. When the doctors and medical practitioners do not treat them properly due to medical negligence, it can be catastrophic for the family.

Pediatrics is one of the most developed medical specialties in the United States. The number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed every year against pediatricians is low compared with lawsuits against other specialists. Interestingly though, even with a low number of pediatric malpractice lawsuits being filed, the mean compensation awarded in cases of pediatric malpractice is one of the highest in the United States.

In a pediatric medical malpractice case the attorney for the victim will present evidence to the jury demonstrating that the physician failed to adhere to the accepted standard of care for pediatricians. Expert testimony is necessary to prove that the pediatrician was negligent. Additional evidence is presented as to the extent of the injury and the effects it will have on the victim. The jury is then asked to award damages in an amount sufficient to compensate the victim and his or her parents for their medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, future loss of income and pain and suffering.

Any negligence on the part of a pediatrician has the potential of leading to a lifelong disease, injury or disability for the child. The jury is asked to consider the future pain and suffering of the child as well as that of the parents in order to determine the amount of compensation due to the victim.

Source: NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov, "Malpractice risks among US pediatricians," June 2013

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