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Illinois Medical Malpractice
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By Jane Mundy
Illinois medical malpractice claims are made against doctors or other healthcare professionals or organizations whose standard of care fails to meet an acceptable level. When the standard of care falls and a patient suffers harm as a result, an Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit may be filed against the doctor, health care provider, or institution whose actions caused the harm. Medical Malpractice lawyers typically include claims of medical negligence in hospital malpractice complaints.
Medical negligence involves any situation where a healthcare professional conducts his or her job duties in a way that fails to meet an accepted medical standard of care. It is not enough that the healthcare professional makes a simple error or that the patient is unhappy with the treatment provided. In the state of Illinois, medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other healthcare professional or institution breaches a standard of care when treating a patient, which results in an injury or death.
Illinois Medical Malpractice Claims
Patients who wish to make a medical malpractice claim must show:
Patients will likely be required to provide medical reports and diagnoses, testimony from experts, medical files and other related documents, and physical evidence to support their medical malpractice claims. Illinois Medical Malpractice lawsuits can be filed for a number of reasons, including:
Less than 20 percent of the two hundred thousand victims injured by medical malpractice in the US pursue claims for their injuries. And less than 20 percent of those victims who did file a claim received any compensation for their injuries. In Illinois, however, changes to the state’s medical malpractice laws have made it easier for injured patients to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against a negligent doctor.
Illinois Medical Malpractice Laws
Before 2010 Illinois had a 500,000 cap on non-economic (pain and suffering) damages for cases against a negligent doctor or other health care professional, and a $1 million cap for lawsuits against a hospital or other health care facility. In 2010, after the case of LeBron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, the Supreme Court ruled that damage caps in such cases was unconstitutional. Now there is no cap whatsoever on damages in medical malpractice cases.
Besides pain and suffering, non-economic damages can also include loss of enjoyment, anxiety, lost companionship, scarring, disfigurement, and other negative effects of the plaintiff’s injuries. There are no caps on compensatory damages, which includes money for medical bills and wages lost due to work days missed. Illinois does not allow punitive damages in medical malpractice cases.
Under Illinois laws, a victim of medical malpractice or their attorney must file a “certificate of merit” within 90 days of the filing date, along with the initial complaint, to verify the validity of the malpractice claims. The complaint requires that an expert with at least six years of experience verify the complaint to confirm its validity. Failure to file this certificate could result in a dismissal of the case. But a plaintiff can also file a complaint with an affidavit saying that there was not enough time to fulfill the other requirements if the statute of limitations was close to expiring.
A medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed no later than two years from the date of an incident causing injury or two years from the date on which the patient should have reasonably discovered the harms caused by medical care.
Illinois Statute of Limitations
If an injury occurs during surgery (an instrument is left in a surgical cavity, for example) but the patient doesn’t experience any discomfort or pain until three years after that surgery, the statute of limitations begins from the date you first notice any symptoms. However, a four-year deadline runs for all medical malpractice injuries, regardless of when the injury was first discovered.
Ilinois has a special statute of limitations for persons who are minors at the time the medical malpractice occurred. Anyone under the age of 18 has up to eight (8) years to file a lawsuit after the injury occurs, as long as the suit is filed before the patient turns 22.
Here are the basic laws for Illinois Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations.
In 2015 the family of an 84-year-old woman was awarded more than $1.1 million dollars after she sustained a broken ankle and underwent surgery. After surgery her doctor took her off Coumadin but failed to place her back on the drug thinner. The negligent action caused her to be at an increased risk of embolic stroke.
Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawsuits and Settlements
In 2014 a family won a $3 million settlement in a negligence lawsuit. Their mother died from respiratory failure, allegedly after a nurse improperly turned their mother for her bath and failed to properly secure and protect their mother’s airway.
!n 2009 a wrongful death suit was settled for $1.25 million. The family of the deceased man claimed that a radiologist treated the man negligently and failed to identify a hemorrhage and immediately notify the man’s primary treating physician. Missed diagnosis is the most common type of Medical Malpractice Claim.
Illinois Medical Malpractice Legal HelpIf you or a loved one has suffered similar damages or injuries, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
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