Whether you are visiting a doctor for new symptoms you are experiencing, undergoing a major surgery, or being prescribed a medication, your doctor and their medical team should provide you with the best medical care possible. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that medical errors stemming from negligence are the third leading cause of death in the United States. It is estimated that medical errors kill approximately 200,000 patients in this country annually.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury or illness due to medical malpractice, a seasoned personal injury attorney could help you explore whether you may be eligible to seek damages in civil court. If so, a skilled Cook County medical malpractice lawyer could represent you and advocate on your behalf both in and out of court. Contact an accomplished attorney today and know that you are in capable hands.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in Cook County?
Doctors—as well as all other medical professionals—are held to a certain standard of care. The recognized standard of care can be defined as what a reasonably prudent health care provider would or would not have done under the same or a similar situation.
When a medical provider fails to take an appropriate action or gives substandard treatment that causes harm, injury, or death to a patient, medical malpractice may have occurred. To serve as valid grounds for a lawsuit, though, their actions or inactions must qualify as legal negligence, and they must have directly caused damage to the patient.
Types of Medical Malpractice a Person Can Sue For
Common examples of medical malpractice that a Cook County medical malpractice lawyer could help a victim file suit for include:
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Unnecessary or incorrect surgery
- Failure to order appropriate tests or to act on results
- Failing to follow up with patients after treatment
- Prescribing the wrong dosage or the wrong medication
- Leaving objects or instruments inside the patient’s body during surgery
- Operating on the wrong part of the body
- Potentially fatal infections acquired in the hospital
Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Cases
A statute of limitations is a mandated amount of time that plaintiffs in a medical malpractice case have to formally file their complaint with the local courts. The Illinois statute of limitations for medical malpractice injuries is two years, as per 735 ILCS 5/13-201.
The proverbial clock starts when the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered their injury. For some plaintiffs, this may start on the day their injury was caused. For others, it could be weeks or months later when they discover they have suffered harm.
Illinois also has a statute of repose. Under this law, no matter when a plaintiff discovers their injuries, no more than four years can elapse since the date that the malpractice occurred and the filing of the lawsuit.
An experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Cook County could advise plaintiffs as to how much compensation they may be able to seek in their case. However, some states place limitations on how much money a plaintiff in a medical malpractice suit can recover.
Fortunately, Illinois is not one of those states. Following a 2010 Illinois Supreme Court decision that found such limits to be unconstitutional, there are no caps on medical malpractice claims in Cook County.
Talking to a Cook County Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you are a medical malpractice victim, you may have had your life turned upside down. A medical mistake could cause you to need additional time in the hospital, additional medical care, incur additional medical expenses, endure pain and suffering, and possibly miss time at work causing you to lose wages.
Many medical malpractice victims are entitled to fair compensation for all their damages. Call today to find out how a seasoned Cook County medical malpractice lawyer could help you effectively seek recovery in your case.