Medical negligence is the third-most common cause of death in America, with approximately 400,000 deaths annually, according to recent research. Doctors have gotten into trouble countless times for various reasons including: prescribing inadequate and/or excessive amounts of medicine, giving out the wrong type of medicine, operating on the wrong body part, failing to clean the area after realizing they’ve made a mistake, not properly observing heart rates while performing operations, and numerous other harmful mistakes.

Law firms in Chicago have helped collect hundreds of millions of dollars per year to compensate clients who have suffered this horror, indicating that physicians can be significantly penalized for it. Unfortunately, more often than not, it isn’t quite enough to suggest—even with thorough evidence—that your doctor swapped something, got something mixed up, or didn’t tell you what you needed to know. The court needs to see sufficient evidence that the doctor didn’t conduct themselves in an adequately professional manner, or that they did not go about a standard routine for examining or treating you according to your physical nature. Essentially, you must be able to prove that they seriously deviated from the normal or proper process of attending to a patient.

Your doctor may get real close to the bull’s eye each time, but there’s never a guarantee that they’ll get it perfectly right. In general, slight failure is not illegal. However, it is illegal for a doctor to do their work in such an unorthodox way that it can result in misinformation or increased physical problems for the patient.