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What are the different stages of a medical malpractice case?

Our readers in Illinois probably know that medical malpractice claims are some of the most difficult cases to pursue. These cases oftentimes involve highly complicated fact patterns and technical medical terms, which can make it hard non-medical professionals to understand what, in fact, occurred in the case. In order to attempt to be successful in these types of claims, Illinois residents need to know the various stages in these cases.

So, what are the different stages of a medical malpractice case? Well, for starters, in the aftermath of an alleged instance of medical malpractice, the potential claim will need to be thoroughly investigated to attempt to make sure that it is a valid claim. The victim will usually consult a lawyer who is well-versed in medical malpractice law, who will evaluate the available evidence, the potential evidence and whether or not any compensable damages may be pursued.

If the case moves beyond this initial step, the lawsuit can commence and the victim will be able to conduct "discovery," which means that the victim can request specific information and documents about the medical malpractice that occurred. The point of the case is to show that the healthcare professional was aware of his duty to the patient, breached that duty of care and that the breach of that duty led to the victim's injuries or worsened condition.

Next, most cases are either settled or go to a trial. During potential settlement negotiations, victims will need to weigh the compensation that is being offered against the potential risks of going to trial. But, if the case does need to be tried in court, victims will need to make sure that they have a strong advocate in their corner.

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