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Cook County Wrongful Death Law Blog

Legal protections for victims of a missed diagnosis

A missed diagnosis can be devastating for victims and their families. When a patient entrusts their medical care to their doctor or other healthcare professional, it is important they are familiar with their options if their trust was violated and a diagnosis was missed. Medical malpractice claims serve to protect victims in these situations.

An erroneous diagnosis can occur in a variety of ways including a failure to diagnose; a delayed diagnosis, or diagnosis that was not promptly made; or an incorrect or erroneous diagnosis. In circumstances when a failure to diagnose results in disease progression beyond what would have been expected had the disease been promptly and accurately diagnosed, victims may have options to recover compensation for the damages suffered as a result.

Watching for the signs of nursing home abuse

It is important to watch for signs of nursing home abuse and for family members of elderly patients in nursing homes to be familiar with the legal resources available to protect them. Family members may oftentimes be able to observe problems in the nursing home setting earlier on so it is helpful to know what to watch for.

Signs of nursing home abuse can include emotional and behavioral changes including frequent tearfulness, agitation or lethargy; physical evidence of abuse including skin tears or bruising that is not accounted for; bed sores, pressure sores or sepsis; poor hygiene which can lead to bed sores; evidence of physical abuse such as restraints or evidence and reports of physical or sexual abuse; broken bones or frequent falls; evidence of malnourishment or dehydration; overmedication or failure to administer the correct medications in a timely manner; evidence of delayed medical treatment and poor monitoring of residents which can result in residents getting lost.

Know how to recognize symptoms of nursing home abuse

Helping your aging parent transition to a fully assisted living facility can be an intensely emotional experience. Witnessing your loved one's emotions as he or she says goodbye to a long-loved home and coming to terms with the fact that independent living is no longer an option can evoke tears of sorrow along with feelings of worry, hoping you are making the right choices. You likely checked into various nursing homes in your area before determining which one was the best fit for your mother or father. 

Understanding that you wouldn't be able to be with your loved one 24/7, you knew you had to trust caregivers to provide quality care and compassionate attention to your family member and expected all staff members to act according to the utmost level of accepted safety standards. Sadly, nursing home abuse is problematic in Illinois and throughout the nation. Recognizing signs of abuse and knowing where to turn for help if a problem arises are critical factors of quality elder care.  

Increased police patrols in Illinois aim to prevent car accidents

Unfortunately, car accidents occur every day, which is why it is important to keep in mind that legal protections are available to car accident victims.

This year's Memorial Day weekend is expected to be the busiest for travelers in 10 years. In fact, AAA is predicting a 5 percent increase in the number of holiday travelers compared to last year and AAA also estimates that the number of holiday travelers during Memorial Day will be 42 million.

Fatal Chicago hit-and-run accident kills one and injures others

This blog recently discussed that hit-and-run accidents are on the rise. A fatal hit-and run accident in Chicago recently killed one man and injured four others. The 21-year old female driver of the vehicle that struck the victims was arrested following the accident. The woman was charged with one count of leaving the scene of a fatal car accident and four counts of leaving the scene of a car accident that resulted in serious injury.

According to authorities, the fatal hit-and-run accident occurred when a taxi broke down and the occupants of the vehicle began to walk up the off ramp. The 21-year old driver exiting the freeway hit the victims as they were walking up the off ramp. A 27-year old victim was killed in the accident and four others, ranging in age from 25 to 30, were taken to local hospitals with injuries that were described as non-life threatening. Police located the vehicle that was involved near the scene of the accident and a subsequent investigation identified the driver who was later arrested.

Hit-and-run accidents on the rise

Hit-and-run accidents can have significant and devastating consequences for victims. According to research done by AAA, hit-and-run accidents are at an all-time high. In fact, it is reported that there is a hit-and-run accident in the United States every minute. In addition, hit-and-run accidents are resulting in a greater number of fatalities. During 2016, there were 2,000 hit-and-run deaths throughout the country and 65 of those occurred in Illinois. Many victims are pedestrians and bicyclists.

The research conducted by AAA was unclear as to why more drivers are failing to stop following an accident. Drivers should keep in mind that leaving the scene of a car accident that resulted in injury or death is a felony charge which could result in prison time. Keeping roadways and streets safe is a combination of many factors, including holding negligent drivers responsible for their actions when possible, which is how a personal injury claim for damages can help.

Nursing home appealing $25,000 fine

Victims of nursing home neglect and their families should be familiar with the legal resources available to them when an incident arises. A nursing home is appealing a $25,000 fine from the state of Illinois for an incident where the staff failed to notice a change in a patient's health and respond accordingly. The patient later died. An inspection report from the Illinois Department of Health reports that the victim was taken from the nursing home to an emergency room. The victim died four days after being taken to the emergency room with pneumonia and sepsis, which are both serious infections.

The victim suffered from dementia and severe cognitive deficits. He was reported lethargic during a meal days before he went to the emergency room. The patient's wife allegedly declined to have him sent to the hospital for testing. The victim displayed decreased activity and an increasingly altered mental state over the two days prior to being taken to the emergency room. The victim's wife had noticed him growing increasingly weak in the two weeks prior to being taken to the emergency room.

What is informed consent?

There are different types of medical malpractice claims and a claim based on a lack of informed consent is one type. Informed consent is an important part of the medical process and of receiving medical care and treatment. In circumstances when there is no informed consent, a medical malpractice claim for unauthorized treatment may follow. So, what is informed consent and why is it so important?

Informed consent is essentially the recognized right of patients to receive information related to their medical condition; diagnosis; treatment options; the risks associated with potential treatments; alternative treatments and the risks associated with them; the potential consequences of doing nothing; and the patient's prognosis when making a decision concerning their medical treatment or care.

Different options for workers following a construction accident

This blog recently discussed the importance of workers' compensation to victims of work-related accidents, which can include construction accidents. Workers injured on the job may be able to receive workers' compensation benefits for their medical expenses and lost earnings, which may help them and their family through a difficult time following a work-related injury or death.

While workers' compensation benefits are generally available as an alternative to a personal injury claim for damages, in some circumstances injured workers may be able to pursue a personal injury claim for damages following a construction accident. Damages that may be available through a personal injury claim include medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. In circumstances when the negligence of a third party, such as a sub-contractor, caused the injuries suffered by the victim, a claim for damages may be possible.

Understanding workers' compensation basics

Workers' compensation benefits can be helpful to workers and their families who find themselves in challenging situations following a workplace accident, injury or death. Workers' compensation is a form of insurance that can pay out benefits to injured workers and family members of workers killed in fatal workplace accidents.

Workers' compensation is typically considered a no-fault system that protects workers in the workplace and their families if they have been harmed. Because it is largely a no-fault system, workers' compensation benefits provide protections if either the employee was negligent or the employer was negligent. Workers' compensation benefits, depending on the circumstances, can include benefits for medical expenses for treatment and care of the injury or illness; replacement income; vocational rehabilitation training; compensation for disability; and death benefits to surviving family members following a work-related death.

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