Medical malpractice is conduct by a physician from a reasonable duty of care, either by negligence or omission that results in injury to a patient or possibly even death. Doctors commit over one million acts that could be considered medical malpractice each year and close to twenty thousand lawsuits are filed each year.
A person who has been injured while under the care of a doctor can consult a Chicago IL Elder Law to discuss whether the doctor’s conduct constituted medical malpractice. Most of the time, a lawyer will provide this consultation free of charge.
In order to prove a medical malpractice case, the testimony of experts is almost always needed. This is because a jury will be asked to evaluate whether a doctor acted in a reasonably prudent manner as an ordinary doctor of similar experience would have. Because a jury will consist of randomly selected citizens who likely have no medical training whatsoever, doctors will be called as expert witnesses to explain to the jury what doctors are trained to do and whether those steps were followed in the present case. An experienced Chicago IL Elder Law is usually familiar with several doctors who can serve as expert witnesses.
A person injured by a doctor can potentially recover both compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are meant to put them in the same position they would have been in but for the doctor’s malpractice. Compensatory damages cover things like medical treatment and lost work. They can also include payment for ongoing pain or long term disability. A jury will determine how much these non-dollar injuries are worth. Punitive damages are meant to punish doctors for serious misconduct. They are generally only awarded in the case of serious malpractice in order to serve as a deterrent to future doctors acting in a similar manner. Although they are not directly tied to the plaintiff’s losses, the plaintiff will also keep these damages.
A malpractice attorney usually does not ask for payment up front. The typical fee arrangement is that the attorney is paid on a contingency basis. If the client wins, the attorney takes a percentage of the award. If the client gets nothing, the attorney is not paid. Visit Law Offices of David Blocher for more information.