Medical Malpractice cases arise when a physician or other health care professional acts improperly (or fails to act when action was appropriate) and causes injury to an individual. Although medical malpractice is still governed substantively by the common law (case law), most states have statutory procedural requirements that a plaintiff must be aware of. For instance, in Illinois, before filing a medical malpractice claim, a plaintiff must consult with a licensed physician who must attest in writing that there is a reasonable and meritorious cause for filing the lawsuit.

In order to win a case for medical malpractice, a plaintiff must establish:

1. The applicable standard of care in the community in which the defendant medical professional practiced. “Standard of care” has been interpreted to mean the type of care that a similarly situated patient would reasonably expect from a similarly situated medical professional.
2. That the physician deviated from this standard of care.
3. That a resulting injury was proximately caused by the deviation from that standard of care.