Deliberate Indifference to Medical Care Attorneys
Chicago & Willowbrook, IL.
When a jail or prison accepts custody of an inmate or pretrial detainee, certain constitutional standards apply. These standards include the obligation to provide medical care in response to a known serious condition. When a jail or prison is knowledgeable of an inmate’s needs but purposefully disregards a serious medical condition, resulting in the death of an inmate or pretrial detainee, the jail or prison can be liable for wrongful death. Such medical negligence includes the denial of prescription medications, the failure to respond to symptoms indicating potentially fatal heart conditions or other medical conditions, the refusal to treat serious infections, and the denial of medical care leading to wrongful death.
At Dvorak Law Offices LLC., we also handle cases involving abuse or neglect in jail or prison resulting in wrongful death or serious injury. Such cases include;
- Inmate assaults or rapes
- Suicide -- A disregarded a prisoner’s known propensity for violence, as well as cases involving suicide where a jail or prison consciously disregarded clear signs that an inmate was likely to take his or her own life.
- Unconscious & unresponsive; someone having heart attack symptoms; someone has an obvious broken bone or someone suddenly cannot walk.
Deliberate indifference to a medical condition can be from a correctional officer, or a Health care professional, or both.
Differences in Medical Opinion
Sometimes there is a difference in medical opinion regarding the correct diagnosis or correct treatment plan, and providers disagree about whether a particular serious medical need exists. Some examples are:
- A prison medical provider does not agree with the discharge instructions from a hospital based upon a lack of medical evidence to support them
- A prison medical provider requests specialty care but the utilization management physician does not agree that the specialty care is medically necessary.
In those situations, the provider must enter thorough documentation into the medical record to show what medical decisions have been made and why with respect to the alleged serious medical need.
Alleged Delays in Treatment
Frequently plaintiffs allege that there has been an improper delay in treatment of their serious medical needs. Examples of these claims are disputes over whether and when a prisoner needed to have orthopedic surgery, disputes over whether it took too long to diagnose and treat a prisoner’s disease. To support this type of deliberate indifference claim, a plaintiff must have medical evidence confirming that the delay was harmful. Medical neglect in jail happens too frequently. When a person is harmed or dies from medical neglect in jail or prison, “deliberate indifference” is often cited as the constitutional standard governing civil lawsuits. It is a standard which we are familiar with and one we regularly keep in mind when evaluating cases of medical neglect.