Estimates of the frequency of injury by medical malpractice range from 5-14%.
Unfortunately, medical malpractice is common in the United States. Estimates of the frequency of injury by medical malpractice range from 5-14%. In other words, 5 to 14 out of every hundred people who enter the hospital for medical care suffer some kind of injury due to malpractice. However, if you suspect injury, you may be uncertain or timid about filing a medical malpractice case.
What You Have to Prove for Medical Malpractice Cases
Under Illinois law, you have to prove three basic things in a medical malpractice case. You have to show:
- The doctor in question had a duty to treat you;
- The doctor failed to apply the recognized standard of care; and
- You suffered injury as a result.
Showing a duty to treat means showing that you went to the doctor for treatment in a way that created such a duty under the standards of the medical profession. For example, if the doctor was working in the emergency room where you went to get treatment and he treats you, a duty has arisen. Once a doctor agrees to treat you, they cannot normally rescind that agreement.
Establishing that a doctor violated the standards of care in your case is one of the more difficult things to establish in a malpractice case. We will uniformly call medical experts who will discuss what is typical in your case, so you can show that you did not receive the appropriate treatment.
Documenting your injury (which also calls for the use of experts) generally means showing that you needed additional care beyond what was expected for your condition. This may include showing:
- You spent longer recovering from your procedure than usual;
- You were diagnosed with additional illness that can be linked to your original medical treatment;
- You required additional procedures not normally required for care in your case; and/or
- You suffer ongoing pain, disability, or other effects.