Every day, thousands of people throughout the State of Illinois seek medical attention of some sort, whether from a doctor, nurse, therapist, psychiatrist, or other medical professional or facility. Most of those people receive care that meets or exceeds the standards that apply to the specific type of care that was obtained. However, many people are the victims of a preventable medical mistake that was made by the person in whom they placed their trust.
The error that was made could be an action or a failure to act. While it might have no real impact on the health of the patient in some cases, for those where the negligence resulted in serious negative consequences, it often is necessary to bring a legal claim to obtain the monetary compensation imperative to receiving ongoing medical care, replacing lost wages, and in some small way making up for the pain and suffering. Unfortunately, some people do not realize that there is a strict limit on how long a person has to file that case. Once the clock has run out, there is no longer a way to get redress for the wrong that was done.
Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Illinois
Every state has a statute of limitations that applies to different types of civil cases. This statute determines the time in which a person who has been harmed may commence a lawsuit. It is critical to understand that this strict time period will lead to a case being dismissed if the clock has run. The judge has no discretion in this matter, regardless of the egregiousness of the harm that was done.
In the State of Illinois, medical malpractice cases must be brought within two (2) years from the date that the victim learned of the injury, or should have discovered it through the application of reasonable diligence. See Illinois Compiled Statutes § 5/13-212(a). Although the statute is drafted to provide some flexibility for the person to discover the injury, unlike other statutes that start the clock running on the date that the negligent act or omission occurred, there is a cap of four years from the date on which the preventable error occurred. The placing of an absolute bar on the commencement of the malpractice case, regardless of when the injury was discovered, is known as a statute of repose. This means that a person who discovers that he suffered an injury two and a half years earlier because a doctor or other medical professional made a preventable error only has eighteen months to get the case filed. This may seem like ample time, but it does take time to build a strong case and it is crucial to start gathering evidence as soon as possible.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in Illinois
The statute of limitations are strictly enforced, but there is an exception made for minors who are injured as a result of medical malpractice. When a person is harmed as the result of a preventable error on the part of a medical professional before the age of 18 years, there is a longer period of time in which a case may be filed. The victim, or his parent or guardian, has eight years to commence a medical malpractice case. However, the action must be filed by the time the person who was harmed turns 22 years of age. Although there is an exception made because of the special circumstances of a young victim, there still is an absolute limit.
Stern Law, PLLC Advocates for Those Injured by Medical Malpractice in Illinois
There are medical mistakes made every day in the State of Illinois. Some of these errors result in little or no harm, but when a person is severely injured because someone was negligent, it is crucial to get the right attorneys fighting for your rights as soon as possible. At Stern Law, PLLC, our attorney has striven to get monetary damages for victims of medical malpractice for more than 30 years. A person who has suffered from medical negligence may require many years of rehabilitation and therapy, he may not be able to work, and he may in in constant, debilitating pain. Getting compensation for all of this only goes a small way to make up for the harm that was done.
In addition to working to get our clients the results that they deserve, we also provide information and answers for anyone who has been injured, or believes he or she may have been harmed, as the result of a medical professional’s negligence. We have knowledgeable representatives available to respond to questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of whether or not you are a client. Call us at 1-844-808-7529 or fill out an online contact form in order to learn how we can help you get through this difficult time.