Basics of Medical Malpractice in Illinois
To begin, medical malpractice cases arise when a patient was injured due to a medical professional or doctor. In other words, if you were injured or became ill due to doctor or medical professional, you may be entitled to compensation. It is important to keep the statute of limitations in mind when it comes to medical malpractice cases. Most importantly, you must file within the appropriate time limits. Knowing the basics that make up medical malpractice laws will have you better prepared to file your claim. The overall process surrounding medical malpractice can be complicated and we suggest contacting one of our attorneys to help you through the process.
"Standard of Care"
In Illinois and elsewhere all doctors and medical professionals alike are required a “duty” to their patients. This “duty” is known as the standard of care. In short, the standard of care can be described as an accepted set of standards which medical professionals are expected to uphold. There are certain aspects which play into the standard of care. For example, things like a patients age and the specifics of the patient’s condition are considered.
What is Illinois Medical Malpractice?
First, medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional breaches the standard of care owed to their patients. If your doctor or medical professional did fail to uphold their duty they owed you, it is known as medical negligence. Therefore, in order for you to win your medical malpractice case you must be able to prove medical negligence took place.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a time construct for how long you will be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. In Illinois, the statute of limitations in relation to medical malpractice is 2 years. In simpler terms, if you fail to file your medical malpractice claim within 2 years, it is likely you will not have a case. More specifically, you must file within 2 years of when you identified your injury. There are certain times when that 2-year window is expanded. With that being said, Illinois does not allow medical malpractice cases to be taken up 4 years after the injury was noticed. In addition, uniquely Illinois has special laws regarding the statute of limitations when it comes to minors. Individuals, 18 years old or younger in the state of Illinois have up to 8 years to file a medical malpractice claim. Most importantly, the claim must be made by the minor, prior to the age of 22.
Medical Malpractice Damages
When a person files a medical malpractice lawsuit, what it is they are seeking is known as damages. Damages depending on the specifics to a case can cover medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages to name a few. Illinois is unique in the sense that they have “no-cap” on compensatory damages. Therefore, bills relating to medical payments will be covered no matter the cost. On the other hand, when it comes to non-economic damages like pain and suffering, there is a cap on award amounts.