Not only is it sometimes hard to know if you have been the victim of medical malpractice, it is often difficult to understand the in’s and out’s of a medical malpractice lawsuit. Clients are often confused about the basics of a medical malpractice claim, and this article attempts to erase some of the confusion about these types of lawsuits.
- Medical malpractice involves medical negligence. In order to pursue a medical malpractice claim, you must show the following:
- The defendant had a duty to provide you with appropriate medical care;
- The defendant failed to provide the appropriate medical care; and
- The defendant’s conduct caused you to sustain injuries or damages.
- The plaintiff must be injured as a result of the negligence. It is not enough that the patient was injured or that his or her medical condition worsened; rather, the plaintiff must show that the injury or worsened medical condition was the direct result of the doctor’s negligence or medical error.
- The medical treatment must be negligent, not just worse than you might have gotten elsewhere. In order to sustain a claim for medical malpractice, you must show that the doctor or health care provided deviated from the medically-accepted standards. It is not enough to show that another doctor had more experience or would have done something different.
- Medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within a specific period of time. In Illinois, a medical malpractice lawsuit without death must be filed within two years of the date of that the patient became aware of, or should have become aware of, the medical malpractice. If the patient dies, however, the wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the patient’s death.
- Medical malpractice lawsuits can take a significant amount of time to reach conclusion. Before a lawsuit can be filed, the circumstances of the case must be investigated, which can take a significant amount of time. Once the lawsuit is filed, the defendant then has the opportunity to file an answer, after which discovery will take place. Depending on the number of witnesses that are involved, discovery can sometimes take several months. Moreover, settlement negotiations may take place throughout the process which may result in delayed witness depositions during discovery. Once discovery is concluded, the case will then move on to trial if no settlement is reached.
Contact a Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer
While the process of pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be confusing and stressful, the Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are committed to guiding their clients through the entire process. If you have been the victim of medical negligence, contact the Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible medical malpractice claim. Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.