Understanding Negligence in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Illinois

 Posted on February 19, 2023 in Medical Malpractice

Chicago Medical Negligence Injury LawyerNegligence is a critical element that must be established for any medical malpractice lawsuit. In the state of Illinois, negligence occurs when healthcare professionals fail to uphold their duty of care toward their patients. This means that they do not provide treatment according to accepted standards of care leading to harm or injury.

Duty of Care

For a plaintiff to succeed in a medical malpractice lawsuit, they must first establish that there was a duty of care owed by the defendant. Medical professionals have an obligation to treat their patients with reasonable care and according to standards within their field. As such, if it can be proven that this duty was breached, the patient may have grounds for a successful negligence claim.

For example, if a doctor fails to diagnose a condition that any medical professional of the same specialty would have noticed, then they may be found negligent in court.

Breach of Duty

In the state of Illinois, it is possible to prove breach of duty in two different ways: either by showing direct evidence or circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence includes statements made by the defendant admitting fault or documents such as medical records detailing inadequate or improper treatment. Circumstantial evidence involves proving that the defendant did not act reasonably towards the plaintiff when making decisions related to diagnosis or treatment.


The final element necessary for a negligence claim is causation. This means proving that the breach of duty caused harm or injury to the plaintiff. In medical malpractice cases, this could mean showing how inadequate treatment resulted in further injury or illness for the patient.


If you have successfully shown that the doctor was negligent and caused harm or injury, then you may be entitled to certain damages. These could include compensation for:

  • Medical bills

  • Lost wages

  • Emotional distress

  • Pain and suffering

Negligence is essential in medical malpractice cases, and understanding how to prove it is key. By being aware of the duty of care that must be upheld, being able to demonstrate breach of duty, proving causation, and knowing the limitations on damages, you will be better prepared for a medical negligence claim in Illinois. 

Contact an Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

If you or someone you know has been injured due to medical malpractice, then it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. An experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer can help you understand the complexities of negligence and guide you through the process of filing a claim. Call Winters Salzetta O'Brien & Richardson, LLC at 312-236-6324 to get started with a no-obligation, free consultation.



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