Americans trust medical professionals to provide the most skilled, competent, and up-to-date care possible. They also trust that the healthcare facilities they frequent will provide the equipment and training necessary for professionals to do their jobs.
However, thousands of patients still die each year from negligent medical care and millions more suffer injuries. These medical errors and mistakes can cause pain and suffering, increased hospital stays, additional medical expenses, and sometimes drastic life changes.
While you cannot change the past, you can take steps towards a better future by hiring an accomplished DuPage County medical malpractice lawyer. A skilled personal injury attorney with experience in medical settings may be able to help you seek compensation for your damages if you recently became the victim of a doctor’s negligent mistake.
When a medical professional acts in a manner that is not in accordance with the standard of care for their field, medical negligence may have occurred. Common examples of medical negligence include:
- A delay or failure in diagnosing a disease
- A surgical or anesthesia-related mistake during an operation
- Failure to obtain an informed consent for an operation or surgical procedure
- Failure to provide proper treatment
- Wrongful amputation
- Birth injuries
However, negligence alone is not enough reason to file a lawsuit. The negligence must have specifically caused an injury which resulted in damages to the patient.
DuPage County Filing Requirements
An Illinois medical malpractice plaintiff must file an affidavit of merit along with their civil claim, in accordance with 735 ILCS 5/2-622. This affidavit must state that the plaintiff’s DuPage County medical malpractice attorney has reviewed the facts of the claim with a medical professional—or made three good-faith attempts to review it with such a professional but failed—who:
- Possesses knowledge about the medical issues related to the case
- Practices or teaches in the same practice of medicine that pertains to the medical malpractice case
- Has the experience and competence to speak to the details of the case
The affidavit must go on to state that this medical professional believes there is valid cause for filing the medical malpractice lawsuit. This requirement reduces the number of frivolous and invalid medical malpractice claims that may drain the Illinois court system of its resources and time.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is the amount of time the law provides potential plaintiffs and their attorneys in civil cases to file their lawsuit. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Illinois is two years, as established in 735 ILCS 5/13-212. The proverbial clock starts ticking from the day the plaintiff became aware or should have become aware of the negligent action that caused their damages.
However, the law also states that potential plaintiffs may have no more than four years after the malpractice event occurred to file their lawsuit. This is known as the statute of repose. When the medical malpractice case involves patients under the age of 18 or ones with a legal disability, more complex rules come into play which should be discussed with a knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer in DuPage County.
Let a DuPage County Medical Malpractice Attorney Help
Hiring a skilled DuPage County medical malpractice lawyer may increase the chances that you can recover damages for your injuries and losses. In fact, as of 2010, there is no legal limit in Illinois on the amount of compensation medical malpractice plaintiffs can recover in such a case. As such, a dedicated legal team may be able to get you appropriate compensation for all your medical malpractice injuries.
Your potential settlement or damage award may include compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, and lost future earning ability. To learn more about your potential to recover damages in a medical malpractice case and for your free case evaluation, call today.