Everything You Need To Know About Medical Malpractice Claims



Have you suffered physical or financial hardship as a result of medical malpractice? If so, you may have standing for a medical malpractice claim. Here is some basic information about these and how they may affect you.


What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is when a healthcare provider (usually a doctor or someone directly assisting a patient) departs from normal standards of care and does not provide the level of care that a regular provider would offer.


Some types of medical malpractice include:

  • Misdiagnosis: Misdiagnosis is when a doctor does not accurately identify a condition. Misdiagnosis can lead to using the wrong treatments and allowing the disease to progress further than it should.
  • Delay in Diagnosis: A delay in diagnosis can occur if doctors do not request diagnostics or inform patients about the results in a suitably timely manner.
  • Failure to Provide Treatment: Medical malpractice can occur when healthcare providers identify the problem but do not recommend an appropriate treatment. For example, someone with a broken toe probably doesn’t need to amputate their foot.

It’s important to remember that failure in treatment is not the same as malpractice. Many medical conditions require a trial-and-error approach to treatment, and procedures like surgeries often have risks and limited success rates.

If doctors notify you (or someone with authority to make medical decisions for you) of this ahead of time, and a procedure fails, it’s probably not malpractice. Establishing malpractice requires failure by healthcare providers to do something they should have done, not just an error when providing it.


Establishing Medical Malpractice Claims

Most medical malpractice claims require establishing four details. If you can do this, you may have a good case.

First, there must be a relationship between a patient and a healthcare provider. Signing in at an emergency room creates a relationship, but a doctor who merely happens to be nearby when someone else has a health issue does not have a relationship. Malpractice can only occur when a healthcare provider is expected to provide treatment.

Second, you must establish negligence. In this context, negligence generally means that a healthcare provider significantly failed in their job by not knowing things they should have known or not acting on information they had.

Third, you must establish that the negligence in question specifically caused injuries. These can be financial injuries, such as paying for treatments unrelated to a problem. However, they can also be literal injuries like the progression of a disease or other physical harm.

Finally, you must identify losses as a result of your injuries. Medical malpractice claims compensate for losses, so you only have a case if you have losses.


Evidence For Medical Malpractice Claims

Appropriate evidence for medical malpractice claims can include the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Testimony from other medical professionals
  • Comments from friends or family members about how the damage has affected your life

In Chicago, as with all of Illinois, you also need a certificate of merit for your case. A certificate of merit is a filing by your attorney certifying that they’ve consulted with a relevant medical expert who agrees that the case has standing. In many cases, it takes personal expertise to judge if something was malpractice or standard procedure, hence the consultation.


Statute of Limitations

Under Illinois law, the statute of limitations imposes a two-year deadline for medical malpractice claims. This timer starts when a patient first discovers the claim or at least has enough evidence to discover it. Therefore, it’s usually better to file a claim earlier when possible.


Do You Qualify?

If you think you qualify for a medical malpractice claim, seek out the help of qualified Chicago surgical mistake attorneys. An expert can look at the facts unique to your case and consult with medical professionals to help determine if you have a real case. Most consultations are free, and the statute of limitations applies, so call now to get started.


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