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Information required in filing a medical malpractice claim

Few people who seek the services of a medical professional or facility expect things to go wrong, but sometimes they do because of practitioner carelessness or negligence that was entirely preventable. In those events, victims of medical malpractice in Illinois may have the right to file lawsuits against the offending medical professionals. Any lawsuit filed against a healthcare professional, however, must comply with certain requirements under state law.

If the plaintiff in a medical malpractice claim wants to establish that a provider was liable because of negligence, that plaintiff must satisfactorily prove that a standard of care exists in the medical field or specialty against which the defendant-the healthcare professional-can be measured. Second, it must be proven that the defendant did not meet this standard of care. Third, it must be proven that the deviation from the prevailing standard of care led to the injury.

An affidavit must be submitted along with an accompanying report that states that the healthcare professional was consulted and that the lawsuit has been filed for valid reasons. The report should also indicate that the medical professional did not inform the patient or family members about the potential liabilities of the medical procedure. The report should also include information about the healthcare professional's knowledge of relevant issues, details of practice, teaching assignments on relevant areas undertaken in the preceding six years and proof of competence in the subject of the lawsuit.

If the submitted report does not comply with these requirements, it may be dismissed by the court, although most courts typically offer the chance to amend any defects.

Source:, "Negligence: Professional-Medical Malpractice," Lawrence Kream, Accessed on May 22, 2015

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