Being an Illinois medical malpractice attorney, it’s easy to assume that the general public knows things that we assume are basic. This is our mistake and something we shouldn’t do.
One that comes to mind which I hear a lot from people who contact us has to do with legal terms. It’s not uncommon for a caller to say something like, “I’m looking for a lawyer to sue a doctor. I don’t know if it would be for malpractice or for negligence. Can you tell me the difference?” Or others when we say that we don’t think they have a good medical malpractice case that they’d like to sue for negligence then.
The reality is that these are essentially the same things. Medical malpractice is negligence by a health care provider. So when we file a medical malpractice lawsuit, we are suing them for being negligent.
The confusion comes in because people hear the term negligence a lot and don’t understand it. Most injury lawsuits are negligence lawsuits. It could be medical negligence, product liability negligence, car accident negligence, etc.
Negligence means “failure to take proper care when doing something.” So when we say a doctor is negligent, it means they didn’t follow the proper standards of care. That is the same definition as medical malpractice.
The other one we hear a lot is that people want to sue for medical malpractice or wrongful death? A medical error that leads to a death is a wrongful death lawsuit, but is filed under medical malpractice laws. In other words, it’s again essentially the same thing. You can have wrongful death lawsuits from car accidents, a product malfunctioning or other reasons. But the laws and the standards needed to bring and win a case don’t change.
I hope that this brings some clarification. My advice to people is to not get caught up in legal mumbo jumbo and worry about the goal which is to find out if you might have a case and if so, how to bring it and which is the best law firm to hire for your case. That is our goal when we speak to you and what we’ve done for over a half a million people since 2001.
If you’d like to talk with an attorney for free, we are happy to speak with you any time at 312-346-5320. All calls are free and confidential and we cover all of Illinois.