Knowing whether you are the victim of medical malpractice is not always cut and dry. You may feel that you received subpar treatment when in fact the level of care provided was in alignment with medical industry standards.
In order to have a chance for a successful lawsuit against a practitioner of medicine for malpractice, certain elements must exist.
Elements of medical malpractice
Three basic elements must exist in order for a court to consider a malpractice claim. Those facets are:
- The defendant cared for the plaintiff
- The defendant deviated from the accepted benchmark for care
- The departure from the norm led to the plaintiff’s damages
Illinois law mandates that before filing a malpractice claim the injured party has the validity of the suit evaluated by a competent professional. Plaintiffs must make most claims within two years of the date that he or she became aware, or should have become aware, of the injury.
Damages you can seek
In addition to damages for medical costs such as hospital stays, doctors visits, therapy and prescription medications, you may seek damages for pain and suffering. This includes the loss of things such as companionship and life enjoyment in addition to anxiety and damage from disfigurement. There is no cap on the damages a plaintiff can seek in medical malpractice cases in Illinois.
Suffering harm at the hands of someone you thought would help you is disheartening, but remember that filing a malpractice lawsuit is no easy feat. Expect the process to be complex and potentially lengthy.