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What is "Duty of Care" & How Does it Affect Your Medical Malpractice Case?


Duty of care refers to the standard that all medical or healthcare professionals are held to when they care for a patient. The individual must provide a reasonable standard of care when looking after a patient. If a doctor or another health care professional performed below this standard, and it resulted in a patient’s injury, illness, or death, then they can be held liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Many different laws will dictate how medical malpractice cases are handled, and our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys below analyze those various elements and how it might pertain to your claim.

Defining “Duty of Care”

Doctors owe their patients the duty of care for using his or her knowledge of medicine to provide a service to the patient appropriately. The doctor should have already demonstrated skill and competency to perform that work, and has agreed to treat the patient, and also takes on the burden of liability should the patient be injured or harmed in any way that occurs because of negligence.

In other words, a patient cannot sue a doctor unless the physician agrees to assist the patient. This prevents a frivolous lawsuit, such as if someone were to sue a doctor who happened to be in the room while the person is having a heart attack, as an example. The “doctor-patient” relationship must have been established, with the understanding that the doctor will be providing care or treatment.

Determining Liability

A doctor might not be the sole party responsible for a patient’s injuries or any factors related to negligence. In fact, if the doctor is an employee of a hospital (as opposed to a private practice), then the hospital might be considered liable. Your Chicago medical malpractice attorney would have to evaluate the situation depending on the circumstances involved and what events transpired that led to the incident. At Cavanagh Law Group, we have handled many different types of cases involving medical malpractice, and we understand the various factors involved.

If you believe that your doctor has violated the standard duty of care while you were under his or her care, we urge you to give us a call as soon as possible. Let us walk you through the claims process, discuss the legal options you might have, and hopefully help you find some peace of mind.

When Winning Is the Only Option, Contact CLG

To speak to a professional and find out if you have grounds to file an injury lawsuit, call our firm at (844) 515-2223 or fill out the form below.

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