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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

What is Medical Negligence?

by Jared Staver in Medical Malpractice

Many people use the terms “medical negligence” and “medical malpractice” interchangeably. While medical negligence is an element of medical malpractice, they do not mean the same thing. In fact, not all incidents of medical negligence lead to medical malpractice.

If medical negligence has caused you harm, seek legal help from a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.. Call us today at (312) 236-2900 for a free, initial consultation.

Defining Medical Negligence

The term “negligence” is used commonly in the legal field to determine fault. In personal injury cases – such as medical malpractice – someone’s negligent actions caused the accident. Negligence does not always cause harm, but when it injures another person, the negligent driver may have to pay for damages.

Negligence is based on one’s duty to another. Duties vary from person to person and from one situation to another. In the medical field, doctors, nurses, and other medical staff have the duty to provide patients with a high level of care. This is called the medical standard of care, and while this term does not have a clear definition, it is referred to as a reasonably skilled level of care that a doctor in a similar situation would perform under the circumstances. If any medical professional performs a substandard level of care – dictated by the accepted medical standard – then that person is considered negligent.

How Does Medical Malpractice Occur?

When determining if a doctor committed medical malpractice, the concept of medical negligence comes into play. While malpractice requires the element of negligence, the patient must also be injured by the negligence in order to file a lawsuit. In addition, the injury must involve serious damage.

Therefore, it’s important to understand that not all negligence leads to injury. For example, if the doctor orders you the wrong prescription, but you notice the error before taking the pills, then you do not likely have damages that can be recovered in a lawsuit. While the doctor was negligent, you were not injured the negligence.

However, if you took the pills and suffered serious complications, then you may be able to file a lawsuit and recover compensation for your damages. A worsening health condition, serious complications, and additional treatment are all elements of a valid medical malpractice claim. In addition, failure to diagnose, unnecessary surgery, discharging a patient prematurely, bedsores, and the act of leaving items inside a patient’s body during surgery are situations in which medical malpractice would likely be present.

Getting Legal Help When Medical Negligence Occurs

While not all cases of medical negligence constitute injury to the patient, many do, and it’s important to preserve your legal rights. Medical negligence can lead to unnecessary surgical procedures and treatments, leading to stress and health complications. This can result in life-long conditions and even death.

If you have suffered due to medical negligence, it’s important to act quickly and hold the responsible parties liable. Let a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. handle your medical malpractice case. It’s possible to receive compensation for your damages.

Give Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. a call at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation.