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Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer | Panio Law Offices

Who is Liable in Emergency Situations if Something Goes Wrong?

Medical malpractice is never really a cut and dry legal matter. As discussed earlier on this blog, a variety of factors must co-exist for valid medical malpractice claim. First, a "medical standard of care" must be adhered to, and the patient must be injured if the care provided did indeed fall below that standard.

However, in situations where there is a medical emergency, circumstances are such that the standard of care has to be relaxed when compared with most controlled medical treatment settings. As such, there are actual strong protections from lawsuits in place for first responders (fire, police, EMT professionals, and others first responding to an emergency situation). Lawmakers also provide for these protections in an effort to preserve emergency services for the state. These protections do not typically extend to emergency room treating physicians, nurses and other medical staff.

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Medical Malpractice Damages

When a patient suffers harm or injury because a doctor or other medical professional did not provide medical care above acceptable standards, the patient is entitled to medical malpractice damages.

Examples of such harm include:

  • Failure to diagnose (or misdiagnosing) a medical condition
  • Failure to follow appropriate medical procedures when treating the patient
  • Failing to warn the patient of known risks of a medical procedure or prescribed medication


We discuss the burden of proof in medical malpractice cases in our February 13, 2014 post on the subject. However, one area of medical malpractice many have questions about is the amount of damages they owed in such cases.

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