Medical malpractice cases tend to be among the most complex personal injury claims due to the many medical details involved. In Illinois and other states, there are four fundamental factors that must be proven in order to prevail in a medical malpractice case:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty of care
- Actual injury
- Breach of duty as cause of the injury
Duty of care
A doctor, or other health care provider, has the legal duty to treat or care for a patient using the standard of reasonable care. Reasonable care is defined as doing what a similarly situated physician or other health care provider would do under the circumstances.
Breach of duty of care
A breach of duty of care occurs when a doctor deviates from what normally should have been done in regard to the treatment and care of a particular patient. Examples of a breach of duty of care include misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose in a timely manner, errors in rendering care and treatment, surgical mistakes, and other negligent or reckless acts or inactions.
In order to prove medical malpractice, a person must sustain an actual injury. An injury cannot be something hypothetical or that might occur at some unknown time in the future.
Breach of duty caused the injury
Finally, a person pursuing a medical malpractice claim needs to demonstrate that the breach of duty owed is the actual cause of the injury. The injury suffered by a patient must be connected to the action or inaction of the medical provider. Moreover, the injury must be a reasonably foreseeable consequence of a doctor’s action or inaction.
If you believe that you are the victim of medical malpractice, you should consult with an attorney in a timely manner. There are specific deadlines that must be met when pursuing a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit. Missing these deadlines can prevent you from obtaining compensation in your case, so it’s critical to get legal representation as soon as possible.