Illinois Medical Malpractice Laws

Anyone who has suffered illness or injury because of a medical treatment may wish to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit, if indeed there was legitimate negligence. States differ from one to the next with regard to lawsuit guidelines, and the amount of money for which one may sue.

Illinois medical malpractice laws dictate several aspects of the process, such as the length of time during which one must file the lawsuit and the exact definition of malpractice. Below are some additional facts prospective claimants may find helpful if they believe they have a case against an institution or medical professional:

Essential Facts About Medical Malpractice

In Illinois, medical malpractice occurs when a physician or other medical professional or facility breaches the established care standard when treating a patient, and this breach results in harm, additional illness, or death. The phrase “care standard” refers to the generally accepted practices and standards that other professionals in the medical field would take when treating a patient with the same problems or symptoms.

However, there are several variables that must be considered when the standard of care is assessed. These include the patient’s specific condition, the known risk associated with the course of treatment, and the patient’s age. Medical negligence is the term used to describe the violation of this standard of care.

To qualify for a legitimate medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the negligence directly caused his or her illness or injury.

Understanding Treatment

Individuals frequently think of treatment as medication used to treat an illness or disease. However, under Illinois medical malpractice laws, treatment also includes many other things, such as a misdiagnosis, failure to offer a helpful procedure thereby allowing the patient to grow worse, or prescribing the wrong medication or treatment.

In any of the aforementioned scenarios where the patient was harmed, he or she probably has an actionable grievance, which simply means that the person can sue for medical malpractice under Illinois law.

Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Illinois

Every state has a law designating a time frame concerning medical malpractice suits. This law specifies how long a person can wait before filing. This is called the statute of limitations, and if it runs out, the patient has forfeited his or her right to sue. In Illinois, patients have twenty-four months from the date they knew or should have known about the injury.

In certain cases, if extenuating circumstances are present, the patient is given additional time. However, under no circumstances does Illinois law allow a person to file a lawsuit more than four years after the act of medical negligence occurred.

There is also a special statute of limitations for minors: Those eighteen years of age or younger have up to eight years to take action for medical negligence, provided the suit is filed before the person turns twenty-two.

Because of these distinct limits, it is essential to contact a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer as quickly as possible after being injured through the negligence of a doctor or facility.

Malpractice Damages

The purpose of a medical malpractice suit is to collect what are called “damages.” This term refers to the money awarded to individuals who file legitimate claims to compensate them for pain-and-suffering, lost wages, medical bills and other damages that were direct results of the medical negligence.

Numerous states limit the amount injured patients can be awarded in malpractice suits. However, in Illinois, compensatory damages (money for medical bills) have no cap. Therefore, whatever legitimate amount of money the person had to spend on further medical care due to the negligence can be included in the suit.

Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, can also be sued for in the state of Illinois, but certain caps apply, depending on the circumstances. Finally, no punitive damages are available to victims of medical negligence according to Illinois medical malpractice laws.

Ultimately, anyone who was or believes he or she was a victim of medical malpractice should seek legal counsel (such as from this law firm: to ensure the appropriate facts are gathered and the proper advice obtained.