In the United States, we place a great deal of trust in medical professionals. We visit our doctors for births, colds, viruses and everything in between. We believe that our doctors always have our best interests in mind and will treat us to the best of their abilities.
In reality doctors make mistakes, just like the rest of us. Unfortunately, when a doctor makes a mistake with our treatment, it is our health that suffers. When a doctor makes an error that results in injury, patients may seek compensation under medical malpractice laws.
Making Your Case
Bringing a medical malpractice claim in Illinois consists of two main arguments. First, the injured patient, the plaintiff, must show that the doctor breached the standard of care in treating him. The standard of care is a legal term for the range of appropriate conduct a doctor may engage in when treating a patient. Pinpointing the correct standard is a daunting task for those who are inexperienced. In general, the standard will depend upon the modern day practice of the medical profession and the type of treatment accepted by the medical community. The standard differs depending on the type of doctor and the conduct in which they are engaging.
The second argument requires that the patient be injured as a result of the doctor’s conduct; this is referred to as causation. Essentially, if a physician operates on an injured patient outside of the standard of care and the patient was not injured as a result, there is no claim. If a medical professional acts outside of the standard of care and a patient is injured, however, the patient is entitled to compensation.
Understanding the Medicine
Medical malpractice claims are just as varied and scientific as the medical profession itself. It is important to recognize the innumerable list of factors that affect a plaintiff’s claim. The health history of a patient comes into play when evaluating the injury and the extent to which it was caused by the doctor. The information the patient had prior to the treatment plays a role in determining consent. Because laws are not intended to inhibit the development of the medical profession, it is acceptable to use experimental treatment if the patient is fully informed of the risks and consents. This is true even where the experimental treatment is not directly within the standard of care.
Having an experienced attorney walk you through the process of making a claim is invaluable. Your attorney will help you understand the legal process as well as the medical standards. This is why it is critical that your attorney understands the medical community and the medicine involved in your treatment.
At the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C., our team has over twenty years of experience in the medical community of Lake County. We have handled birth-related malpractice, wrongful and missed diagnosis, informed consent malpractice, and a variety of others. We will fight for your rights as a victim of medical malpractice. Contact our firm today to discuss your claim.