FAQ: What Is Medical Negligence?

Medical malpractice is negligence committed by doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, as well as the hospitals and clinics they work for. Not every bad outcome is medical malpractice, and not every incidence of negligence is actionable in Illinois courts.

At the Chicago law offices of Cirignani Heller & Harman, LLP, we help injured patients and their families by reviewing the facts when medical care leads to harm. Our goal is to help these patients determine whether actionable medical negligence occurred, and to take action if it did. As doctors as well as lawyers, we have the in-depth legal and medical knowledge needed to correctly and accurately make this determination.

Duty, Breach of Duty, Causation, Harm

We often tell our clients that in order for injured patients to recover compensation for their injuries, their lawyers must prove to the court that a medical professional owed a duty to the patient, but breached that duty. We must then show that the breach caused the patient harm. If any one of these elements is missing — duty, breach of duty, causation or harm — the case may not be successful.

Standard of Care

In medical negligence cases, the medical professional’s conduct is compared against the conduct of other medical professionals in similar situations. Medical professionals almost always owe a duty of care to their patents. In determining whether they breached this duty of care, we compare their actions to the action of other providers in the same or similar circumstances. Was the level of competency and professionalism consistent with the specialized training, experience and care a “reasonably prudent” physician would have provided?

This determination constitutes the “standard of care” that doctors owe to their patients. When doctors breach the standard of care and their patients are injured, it is possible for those patients to take successful legal action in Illinois courts.

The attorneys at Cirignani Heller & Harman, LLP, often partner with highly regarded experts who testify to the standard of care in medical malpractice cases. Using specialized knowledge in different areas of health care, they describe what a doctor should have done in the situation and how what the doctor actually did differed. Doctors are negligent in many different ways, and experts’ testimonies vary widely with the facts of the case.

Contact Us

To talk with us about the standard of care in your case, contact the lawyers at Cirignani Heller & Harman, LLP, for a free and confidential consultation. Some of our lawyers are also medical doctors, so they can help you understand both the law and the medicine that may affect you. Contact us at (312) 346-8700 anywhere in Chicagoland or the surrounding Illinois areas. You may also contact us online.

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At Cirignani Heller & Harman, LLP, we represent Illinois clients in Chicago and throughout Cook County, including the cities of Cicero, Elgin, Schaumburg, Oak Park, Maywood, Berwyn, Elmhurst, Evanston, Skokie, Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights, Palatine and Hoffman Estates. We also help clients in DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, McHenry County, Will County and Winnebago County. If you have been the victim of medical malpractice in Illinois, CHH Law is the law firm with attorneys that can help.

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