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What is the Medical Standard of Care in Illinois and Why Does it Matter for My Medical Malpractice Case?

Posted on in Medical Malpractice
What is the Medical Standard of Care in Illinois and Why Does it Matter for My Medical Malpractice Case?

If you have suffered harm at the hands of a healthcare provider, be it a nurse, doctor, pharmacist, or another health professional, you may have a cause of action to file a medical malpractice suit against the healthcare professional and recoup damages for your losses. However, in order to win your lawsuit, you will have to prove that the professional in question breached the medical standard of care owed to you. Our lawyers at the office of Newland and Newland can assist you in understanding what the medical standard of care is and how to prove it.

What is the Medical Standard of Care?

In a standard personal injury claim, a plaintiff must prove negligence—the failure to exercise a reasonable degree of care—of the defendant in order to win their suit. In a medical malpractice suit, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached the medical standard of care.

As found in Illinois Jury Instructions Section 105.00 - Personal Negligence, the plaintiff must call upon an expert in a medical malpractice claim, and this expert must provide an opinion that the medical standard of care was breached by the defendant. The jury instructions continue to read that, “The same general standard of care applies to all professionals, that is, the same degree of knowledge, skill and ability as an ordinarily careful professional would exercise under similar circumstances.”

This definition means that in determining whether or not the medical standard of care was breached, the actions of the defendant must be compared with the actions of a similar doctor in a similar position. For example, if you are filing a lawsuit because your primary care doctor failed to refer you to a specialist after a month's-long bout with a serious cough, you must compare this action with that which another primary care doctor would do when presented with a patient suffering from a similar condition as yours.

Finding an Expert to Help You Prove a Violation of the Medical Standard of Care

As stated above, it is not enough just to assert that a doctor breached the medical standard of care owed to you; you must prove it. To do so, an expert must be called upon who can offer their opinion regarding the manner. Typically, said expert is a doctor of similar training, background, and education who can speak to the incident and state what they would do or would not do if confronted with a similar situation. In some cases, you may need to call upon more than one expert.

Our Lawyers can Help

At the law offices of Newland and Newland, we cover the costs of all experts' fees and other expenses associated with pursuing your medical malpractice claim. We never charge upfront legal fees, and instead work on a contingency fee basis.

To schedule a free phone consultation with our Illinois medical malpractice lawyers, please call our law office today or send us a message at your convenience. We are passionate about helping clients like you. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.

(image courtesy of Hush Naidoo)

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