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What Are the Components of an Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Arlington Heights medical error attorney

If you believe you have suffered in some way due to the negligence of a medical professional, you might want to consider filing a medical malpractice claim. While these cases might be complex, especially depending on which types of accusations are being levied, the actual elements of a medical malpractice claim—the parties, the proof, and the process—are relatively straightforward. Below is a brief summary of each component.

The Parties

The parties involved in a medical practice claim and the terms used to describe these parties are as follows:

  • Plaintiff—This is the person bringing the medical malpractice claim against the defendant in court. In general, this could be:

    • The affected patient

    • A legal representative for the affected patient

    • The executor of the affected patient’s estate

  • Defendant—This is the medical professional who is being sued by the plaintiff for medical malpractice. This might include:

    • A doctor

    • A nurse

    • A therapist

    • Any other medical practitioner/provider

    • An entire medical organization

  • Prevailing Party—The judge or jury will find in this individual’s favor, either the plaintiff or defendant.

  • Losing Party—This is the person who loses the case, either the plaintiff or defendant, depending on the trial outcome.

  • Fact-Finder—This is the judge or the jury who is making the final determination as to whether the defendant is guilty of medical malpractice.

The Proof

As with most cases that go to trial, medical malpractice claims require evidence of wrongdoing. Overall, this “proof” of medical malpractice must show that:

  1. A healthcare provider or hospital was supposed to provide medical services to a patient

  2. The services provided to the patient did not meet the expected standard of care

  3. This failure to meet the expected standard of care resulted in an injury or harm to the patient

  4. The resulting damages caused to the plaintiff by the defendant’s negligence were substantial, be it physical, emotional, and/or financial

The Process

Typically, the process by which a medical malpractice claim is conducted and resolved occurs in the following order:

  1. The plaintiff files the medical malpractice claim in a court of law.

  2. The plaintiff and the defendant must share all relevant information through a process known as discovery. This could include documents, interrogatories, and depositions.

  3. The parties are permitted to settle out of court during the discovery process to avoid a trial; otherwise, if no settlement is reached, it will go to court for a trial.

  4. The burden is on the plaintiff to convincingly prove to the court that the defendant neglected to fulfill his or her duties to meet the expected standard of care for the patient.

  5. Both the defendant and the plaintiff can provide evidence and call witnesses, including medical experts, to support their arguments.

  6. The fact-finder must consider all evidence and expert testimony then deliver a verdict. If the plaintiff is the prevailing party, the judge or jury will determine the amount of damages that should be awarded.

Contact an Arlington Heights Medical Negligence Attorney

Although the inner workings of a medical malpractice claim may seem simple enough, there are numerous intricacies and nuances that must be taken into consideration if you are to win your case. That is why it is imperative that you hire a seasoned Palatine medical malpractice lawyer who has the knowledge and skill to secure the compensation you deserve. Call Newland & Newland, LLP, at 847-797-8000 for a free phone consultation.



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