If you feel that you have a medical malpractice claim in the state of Illinois, it is probably a good idea for you to consult a medical malpractice lawyer who can offer you legal advice and guide you through the process so that you end up getting what you need and what you deserve.
The laws in Illinois regarding malpractice have changed over time and it is wise for you to speak with someone who can explain those changes to you and make sure that you understand how those changes might impact you.
Do I have a lot of time to think about filing a claim?
Just like most cases that you may wish to file, medical malpractice cases also have a statute of limitations and well as other rules that you will need to follow in order to avoid you missing the window in which you can file without losing the opportunity. According to a Forbes Magazine article, less than 20% of the people who have experienced medical malpractice in the country pursue medical malpractice claims. Additionally, less than 20% of those people who did file a claim received any compensation.
One possible reason for those statistics is that medical malpractice lawsuits are discouraged. That is true in Illinois as well as in the rest of the country. However, the truth is that if a person has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, they have every right to go after compensation for their injuries. It is important to understand exactly what the laws concerning medical malpractice are in Illinois.
What are the rules in Illinois?
Well, as you are starting to get acquainted with the applicable medical malpractice laws in Illinois, you may find that the cases that are presented as examples are confusing and difficult to understand. That is one of the many good reasons for you to consult a lawyer as you begin this process. Let’s look at some of the rules here:
- Statute of limitations: In Illinois, the person filing the lawsuit must do so within two years after the injury occurred during surgery. There are many different things that can possibly happen during surgery, including a sponge being left inside of the patient, for example. If the patient starts to develop pain because of that sort of malpractice, the date on which the patient first feels the pain is the first date on which the patient can file the lawsuit. If the injured patient is a minor, they have eight years to file or by their 22nd birthday, whichever comes first.
- Expert testimony: If a person is the victim of malpractice, either they or their attorney must file a certificate of merit within 90 days of the date that they files to prove the credibility of the malpractice claim. The certificate must document that an expert who has at least six years of experience as a medical professional has reviewed the complaint and can verify that it is valid. If the person filing the complaint doesn’t do so within the allotted amount of time, the statute of limitations of their case may be in danger, which means that their case may be dismissed.
Working with a lawyer from the beginning
Because of the possible complexity of the medical malpractice laws in Illinois, having a lawyer by your side from the beginning will probably really help your case. From some aspects of medical malpractice, the odds are not in favor of the injured person so it is all the more important to do everything right. Your attorney can help you to retain all of the critical facts as well as the evidence in your case so that you hopefully have a favorable outcome in the end.