Chicago has great emergency rooms that usually provide excellent care to those in need, but mistakes can still happen, especially in high-stress environment like ERs. When they do occur, emergency room errors such as misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and misreading of medical tests can have disastrous results.
In these unfortunate circumstances, the affected patient can often hold the hospital or healthcare workers legally liable. Specifically, they may be able to file a lawsuit against doctors, nurses, and any other healthcare providers responsible for their injury in pursuit of compensation for damages resulting from their negligence.
Emergency room error lawsuits fall under the medical malpractice area of law, a complicated area of law that generally requires assistance from a personal injury attorney to interpret. If you suffered injury due to a mistake made in the emergency room, consider speaking to a Chicago emergency room errors lawyer or medical malpractice lawyer about your legal options.
The Affidavit of Merit Requirement
Courts in Chicago abide by the strict Affidavit of Merit requirement established by the State of Illinois for all medical malpractice cases. This law states that any time a medical malpractice lawsuit is filed, the injured patient must also submit an affidavit stating that an affiant has been assigned, which in most cases is the plaintiff’s Chicago emergency room errors attorney.
The affiant must have reviewed the facts of the case with a healthcare professional who has knowledge about related medical facts. That healthcare worker must have also recently practiced or taught in the same field of medicine that is outlined in the lawsuit and be experienced and competent as a healthcare worker.
After reviewing the facts of the case, the affiant must state that the healthcare worker believes there is a valid case for filing the medical malpractice lawsuit in order for the case to proceed. This can be one of the most difficult aspects of any emergency room error case and can take a great deal of time to execute upon. However, experienced emergency room errors lawyers in Chicago may already have a network of healthcare professionals they could speak to, so getting in touch with one is often a good first move.
Limitations on Chicago Emergency Room Errors Cases
The statute of limitations, or time limit, on emergency room errors cases can also be somewhat complicated in Chicago. Like most personal injury cases, cases based on emergency room injuries have a statute of limitations of two years from the date of injury. Depending on the circumstances, the statute may alternatively allow for two years from the date the injured patient discovered—or should have discovered—the injury.
However, any emergency room errors lawsuit filed four years after the injury occurs may be barred from civil court. This means that if a patient becomes injured and does not discover that injury until four years or more after they were treated at the emergency room, they could be unable to file a lawsuit against the healthcare professionals who harmed them.
Prior to 2010, there was a cap, or limit, placed on the amount of compensation a Chicago resident could receive through an emergency room errors lawsuit. However, in 2010 the Illinois Supreme Court found this law to be unconstitutional and struck it down. Those that want to file a lawsuit today do not face any caps on the amount of compensation they may receive.
Let a Chicago Emergency Room Errors Attorney Help
If you were injured in the emergency room due to errors made by the healthcare workers who were supposed to help you, speak to a Chicago emergency room errors lawyer or medical malpractice lawyer today. You could be entitled to compensation, and an attorney could help you pursue the full amount you deserve. Between the statute of limitations and affidavit of merit requirement, there is no time to waste, so call today to get started.