Illinois Medical Malpractice: Laws, Claims and Damages
UPDATED: August 7, 2012
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ILLINOIS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
When an Illinois health care provider injures a patient by giving substandard care, the patient can seek recovery for the injury through a lawsuit for medical malpractice. A health care provider commits medical negligence when they provide care that is considered to be below the industry standard for the medical profession. Illinois medical malpractice law allows a victim of medical negligence to become “whole” again by allowing for recovery of monetary damages for their economic and noneconomic losses. There are many situations in which a suit for Illinois medical malpractice can arise, including:
- Errors during surgery;
- Improper medication;
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose;
- Wrongful death;
- Failure to treat, or improper treatment.
Who Can Be Sued in an Illinois Medical Malpractice Case?
A victim of medical negligence can bring a medical malpractice action against any of the individuals or entities responsible. An injured party should contact an Illinois medical malpractice attorney to verify that the individual or entity can be held responsible as a medically negligent health care provider.
Illinois Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
A claim must be filed within the medical malpractice statute of limitations in Illinois, or it will be barred and the victim will forfeit the only means of recovery available against the negligent party. The statute of limitations in Illinois varies depending on whether the injured party is an adult or a minor. If the injured party is under the age of eighteen, the claim must be filed within eight years of the negligent act. However, if the injured party is eighteen or over, the claim must be filed within two years of when the injury was (or should have been) discovered. An adult can never file a medical malpractice claim more than four years after the negligent act. Because filing a claim within the statute of limitations is important to the viability of the suit, an injured party should contact an attorney as soon as they believe a health care provider in Illinois has negligently injured them.
Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims in Illinois
Until very recently, Illinois capped noneconomic damages at $500,000. However, the Illinois Supreme Court has found this limit unconstitutional, so there is no longer a maximum on the noneconomic damages that an injured party can receive from a defendant.
Filing an Illinois Medical Malpractice Claim
Filing a medical malpractice claim is a complex procedure, and an injured party should not attempt this without the help of a medical malpractice attorney. Before a claim is submitted to the court, it must be approved by a medical professional who can verify that the claim is legitimate. Furthermore, drafting a medical malpractice complaint, hiring and interviewing expert witnesses, and dealing with an experienced team of defense attorneys is not a simple task, and would be best left to an Illinois medical malpractice attorney to handle. Failure to handle a claim properly could result in a partial or total loss of rights for the victim, undermining their only chance of recovery.
Illinois Medical Malpractice Laws
- Civil Procedure: Code of Civil Procedure: Limitations: Chapter 735, Article XIII § 13-212.
- Civil Procedure: Code of Civil Procedure: Civil Practice – Trial: Limitations on Recovery of Noneconomic Damages: Chapter 735, Article II § 2-1115.1
- Civil Procedure: Code of Civil Procedure: Civil Practice – Pleadings: Healing Art Malpractice: Chapter 735, Article II § 2-622.