Many of our readers in Illinois have likely heard that malpractice lawsuits can be among the most difficult legal cases to pursue when medical errors occur. In many cases, this is accurate. Medical malpractice cases almost always involve highly-detailed medical issues and terms, which can oftentimes be difficult for people who are not doctors or nurses to understand. So, what do victims of medical malpractice need to focus on in their cases in order to attempt to obtain financial compensation?
Well, for starters, fault needs to be established. When medical malpractice occurs, it may mean that the victims have suffered an injury or illness, or perhaps a worsened condition, due to the negligent or reckless acts of a healthcare professional. However, an allegation of harm is not enough. Victims must be able to "connect the dots" between the harm they suffered and the doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional who is responsible for that harm.
The trickiest part of a medical malpractice case is usually when victims need to show that the healthcare professional deviated from the acceptable "standard of care" for the situation. This means that the victims must show that other healthcare professionals in a similar situation would have acted or recommended action that is different from what actually occurred, and the result was harm to the patient.
Another tricky part of medical malpractice cases is that, unlike other personal injury cases, there may not be an obvious injury. The malpractice may be that a disease was not recognized in time for life-saving treatment, for example. In those cases, even more expert testimony may need to be the focus of the victim's efforts to prove the case.