How to Prove Medical Malpractice

How to prove medical malpractice

When you go to a doctor, you trust them with your health. But sometimes, things go wrong, not because of a simple mistake or bad luck. Proving medical malpractice means showing that a healthcare professional did something wrong that caused harm. This can be a long and complicated process, but it’s essential for getting justice and compensation for your suffering.

At Conboy Law, we know the harm that medical negligence can cause. We have experience with numerous medical malpractice lawsuits and can see if you also have a valid medical malpractice suit. The doctor-patient relationship is sacred, and medical errors can lead to tremendous suffering. Learn more about medical malpractice law below. Then, contact our experienced medical malpractice lawyer to schedule a free consultation to discuss your medical malpractice lawsuit.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare professional fails to provide the expected standard of care and causes harm to a patient through their action or inaction. This is about something other than a treatment that didn’t work as hoped. It’s about negligence that leads to injury or illness that could have been avoided. Understanding this is the first step toward proving a case. Our medical malpractice attorney would be honored to help you.

Defining Negligence in Healthcare

Negligence in healthcare means a medical professional failed to do what a competent one would have done under the same circumstances. For example, if a doctor ignores your symptoms and you get sicker, that might be negligence. It’s not just about making a mistake; it’s about failing to do their duty by you, the patient.

Negligence can manifest in many ways, such as ignoring test results, not listening to a patient, or making a rash decision without considering all the facts. It’s about care that falls below the expected standard, leading to harm. This harm could be anything from a longer recovery time to more severe health issues or even death.

The Legal Foundation of Medical Malpractice Claims

The legal foundation of medical malpractice claims

To make a medical malpractice claim, you need a solid legal foundation. This means understanding the laws that define medical malpractice and what it isn’t. Every state has its rules, but they all require proving specific vital points.

These laws protect patients and families from substandard care while protecting healthcare providers from being unfairly sued. To win a malpractice case, you must clearly show that the healthcare provider’s actions were not just unsatisfactory but legally negligent. This involves understanding complex legal and medical standards, so having a skilled lawyer is crucial.

Key Elements in Proving Medical Malpractice

Proving medical malpractice hinges on four key elements: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Each of these elements forms the chain of a successful malpractice claim.

Duty of Care

Every healthcare provider must care for their patients according to the medical community’s standards. This duty begins the moment they agree to treat you. Considering your health needs, it’s a commitment to provide competent and thoughtful care.

Breach of Duty

A duty breach occurs when a healthcare provider falls short of the medical community’s standards. This is something other than minor errors but significant mistakes that a competent professional wouldn’t have made. Proving this breach means showing that the care you received was not up to par.


Causation is the link between the healthcare provider’s breach of duty and the harm you suffered. It’s not enough to show they made a mistake; you have to prove that this mistake directly led to your injury or illness. This can often be the most challenging part of a malpractice case.


Damages refer to the actual harm you suffered because of the malpractice. This can include physical pain, emotional distress, extra medical bills, and lost income. It would help if you showed that you were hurt and how deeply and in what ways.

Gathering the Evidence

Gathering evidence

Collecting the proper evidence is crucial for proving medical malpractice. This evidence can take many forms, from medical records to expert opinions.

Medical Records as the Cornerstone

Your medical records are the foundation of your malpractice case. They provide a detailed account of your treatment, showing what was done and when. These records can help prove the standard of care you should have received and how your care fell short.

Complete and accurate medical documentation is crucial. It documents not only your treatment but also any changes in your condition. This can be crucial for establishing the timeline and impact of the alleged malpractice.

The Power of Expert Testimony

Expert testimony often makes or breaks a medical malpractice case. Medical experts can explain complex medical issues in simple terms, clarifying how the standard of care was unmet. They can also directly link the breach of duty to the harm you suffered.

Finding the right expert is critical. This person should have deep knowledge of the specific medical issues in your case and be able to communicate clearly with a jury. Their credibility can significantly influence the outcome of your case.

Step-by-Step Guide to Filing Your Claim

  1. Consult a Lawyer: Start by talking to a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice. They can tell you if you have a case.
  2. Gather Evidence: Collect all your medical records and any other evidence of the harm you’ve suffered.
  3. Find an Expert: Your lawyer will help you find a medical expert to support your claim.
  4. File the Lawsuit: Once you have all your evidence, your attorney will file a lawsuit.
  5. Discovery Phase: Both parties swap information and evidence. This is where expert testimonies come in.
  6. Try to Settle: Many cases settle out of court. Your lawyer will negotiate for fair compensation.
  7. Go to Trial: Your claim will head to trial if you can’t settle. This is where a jury or judge will decide the validity of your claims.

Common Pitfalls in Medical Malpractice Cases and How to Avoid Them

Common pitfalls in medical malpractice cases and how to avoid them
  • Missing Deadlines: Every state has a time limit for filing malpractice claims. Know these deadlines and make sure you don’t miss them. Generally, you have two years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Illinois, starting from the time of the mistake. Exceptions do apply, such as when the patient is under 18. Reach out to us to learn more.
  • Incomplete Records: Make sure you have all your medical records. Missing information can weaken your case.
  • Choosing the Wrong Expert: Your expert witness must be credible and knowledgeable about your specific type of case.
  • Underestimating Damages: Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Consider all the ways the malpractice has affected your life.
  • Not Following Legal Advice: Trust your lawyer and follow their advice. They know how to navigate the legal system.
  • Going Public Too Soon: Talking about your case on social media or to the press can backfire. Keep details private until the case is over.
  • Ignoring Emotional Damages: Don’t forget to account for emotional distress and mental health impacts when calculating damages.

Why Expert Legal Representation Matters

Having a skilled lawyer is crucial for winning a medical malpractice case. They understand the legal system, know how to gather the proper evidence, and can navigate the complex medical issues at play. A good lawyer can make the difference between winning and losing your case.

How Conboy Law Can Support Your Case

  • Experience. Conboy Law has years of experience, and a proven track record of winning medical malpractice cases. Our seasoned attorneys use their deep understanding of malpractice law to build strong cases for our clients. This experience ensures we’re well-equipped to help you each step of the way.
  • Expertise. Our team at Conboy Law includes legal professionals and medical experts who are specialists in malpractice. This unique combination allows us to approach your case with a comprehensive understanding of the legal and medical aspects involved. Our expertise is critical in identifying negligence and building a compelling argument on your behalf.
  • Personal Attention. At Conboy Law, we believe that every case is unique and deserves personalized attention. We take the time to understand your situation, customize our approach to fit your goals, and ensure you’re supported and informed throughout the process. Our commitment to personal attention means you’ll never feel like just another case number.
  • Communication. Consistent communication is a cornerstone of our practice at Conboy Law. We keep you informed at every step of the legal process, breaking down complex legal and medical jargon into clear, understandable terms. We aim to ensure you’re entirely aware of your options and the status of your case, empowering you to make informed decisions.
  • Dedication. Our dedication to our clients is unwavering, from the initial consultation to the resolution of your case. We are dedicated to fighting for the compensation you deserve, whether that requires tough negotiations or taking your case to trial. At Conboy Law, your justice and satisfaction are our top priorities; we’ll go the extra mile to achieve them.

Contact Conboy Law for Your Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Contact Conboy Law for your Chicago medical malpractice lawyer

If you’ve suffered because of medical malpractice, you don’t have to face it alone. Conboy Law is here to help. Selecting the right lawyer is pivotal for your case. At Conboy Law, we combine legal expertise with a personal touch, ensuring you get the best possible outcome. We’re here to guide you through every step, from gathering evidence to presenting your case in court.

Don’t wait to seek justice. Contact us today for a free consultation. Let us use our knowledge and experience to help you move forward and get the compensation you deserve.

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I can't say enough about Joseph Conboy. He was a true asset during our personal injury claim and had such an amazing legal approach, which made me feel like his top priority from day one! I'm so grateful we were able to work together for this win/win outcome.
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