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Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Medical malpractice occurs whenever a doctor, hospital, nurse or other medical professional acts negligently during the administration of medical care. In order to make a medical malpractice claim against a doctor, hospital or other health care provider, the injured party must be able to show the four legal elements that define the negligence: duty, breach, causation and damages. An injured party must also bring the case within the statute of limitations.
Medical professionals are careless on occasion, or are sometimes hampered by medical bureaucracy or deliberate decisions that put profit before patient care. Medical malpractice can result either from an individual doctor’s error or by a systematic problem at a hospital, emergency room, or clinical facility. Research suggests that medical malpractice is one of the leading causes of death in the US, killing more than five times as many people as car accidents every year.
By taking a stance against the medical professional responsible for your malpractice case, you can both pursue the damages you need and deserve and work to see that future patients do not become victims of similar errors. Call the Chicago medical malpractice lawyers of Willens Law Offices today at to find out how we can help you. Don’t settle for less than the best medical malpractice lawyers, Chicago.
Medical Malpractice FAQs
- What should I do if I suspect my doctor committed medical malpractice?
- What is the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim?
- What should I do if I suspect my loved one is severely traumatized from anesthesia awareness?
- Additional medical malpractice FAQs
Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
The team of medical malpractice attorneys in Chicago that compose Willens Law Offices has experience dealing with a variety of malpractice cases, including:
- Birth Injury
- Brachial Plexus
- Cerebral Palsy
- Delayed Diagnosis
- Improper Treatment
- Medication Errors
- Professional Malpractice
- Shoulder Dystocia
- Surgical Errors
- Wrong Diagnosis
- Wrongful Death
The amount and type of compensation that may be available in your case depends on the exact circumstances of your case, but may include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, diminished quality of life, and pain and suffering.
Four Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim
1. The Doctor Has an Established Duty to the Injured Patient
The injured party must be able to show that a doctor-patient relationship existed at the time of the negligent act. This is usually demonstrated by the fact that the doctor was hired to perform a service and that the doctor agreed to perform that service. The relationship also likely exists if a doctor has undertaken the examination of a patient and has begun a course of treatment.
2. The Doctor Breached His or Her Duty by Acting Negligently
A misdiagnosis or a failure to be reasonably skilled or careful regarding the patient’s treatment is negligence. It is not necessary for a doctor to provide the best care possible, but rather that the care provided was reasonably careful and skillful. If it can be shown that a competent doctor under similar circumstances and conditions would not have caused the same injury to occur as the doctor who is being sued, then there has been negligence.
3. As a Result of the Doctor’s Negligence, the Patient Suffered an Injury
The doctor must actually, whether negligently or not, cause the harm. The burden of proof, or what the injured patient must show, is that it is more likely than not that the negligence of the doctor caused the injury to occur.
4. The Patient Must Suffer Some Sort of Harm
If a patient is not actually harmed in some way by the doctor’s negligence, there is no ground for a malpractice suit. An actual harm for which a patient can sue can include physical injury, mental anguish, and additional medical expenses to correct for the negligent treatment. An injured patient can also seek damages for lost wages and compensation for lost earning capacity due to the injury.
Statute of Limitations
Under Illinois law, there is a time limit within which a medical malpractice claim must be brought. As a general rule, a suit must be brought within two years from the time that the injured patient became aware of the injury, or should have become aware of the injury, and thus the malpractice. There is an upper limit on the window of time in which an injured patient may take to “discover” that they have been injured, and it is four years after the malpractice occurred. Even if evidence of the malpractice is not discovered until after the four-year window of opportunity closes, the case will still not be heard.
Will a Medical Malpractice Attorney Take my Case?
When an attorney is approached with a potential medical malpractice case, the attorney will perform an assessment of the case to determine whether or not he or she should take it. The attorney will consider whether the case has legal merit, meaning the legal elements required for a medical malpractice claim are present based on the facts. Next, the attorney will conduct an economic analysis of the case. Generally attorneys take medical malpractice cases on a contingency basis, meaning there are no fees to you, unless the attorney wins the case. Furthermore, if an attorney takes a case, he or she will likely expend a great amount of time and money to prosecute the case. Because of these economic considerations, the attorney will have to determine whether the case is worth the risk.
Contact a Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you believe that you have suffered an injury that supports a medical malpractice claim, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney with the experience to get you the compensation that you deserve. Contact the Willens Law Offices online or by telephone at for a free consultation.