In Illinois, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is typically two years from the date that the patient knew, or should have known, about his or her injury stemming from an act of medical negligence. Sometimes, the statute of limitations begins on the day the victim is injured – in cases of egregious acts of negligence, it is immediately obvious that something is wrong. In other cases, it can be weeks, months, or even years before the patient begins to suffer from symptoms of an injury caused by a physician’s error. This is why the law specifically refers to the point when the patient “should have known” about his or her injury. But this is not an unlimited time frame. In Illinois, a medical malpractice claim may not be filed more than four years following the negligent act that caused the victim’s injury.
Individuals who suffered injuries resulting from malpractice before they became adults are subject to a slightly different statute of limitations. For an individual who was injured as a child, the statute of limitations is eight years following the date the patient knew or should have known about the injury. In this type of case, the claim must be filed by the victim’s 22nd birthday.
But what happens if the statute of limitations expires? Can a victim still file a medical malpractice claim?
Usually, There is Not Much you Can Do
There are a few other exceptions to the standard statute of limitations. One of these is if the patient has a legal disability, such as as a cognitive disability. In this type of case, the standard statute of limitations does not begin until the disability is removed, which could be never. In cases where the negligent physician actively acted to conceal his or her error, the statute of limitations cannot be applied.
If you were not a minor when your injury occurred or if you do not have a legal disability, it could be impossible for you to recover compensation for your damages once the statute of limitations expires. Remember, this is the date by which you need to file your claim – medical malpractice claims can take months or in some cases, even years to resolve. Talk to your lawyer about any special circumstances that apply to your claim to determine if it is bound to the state’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claim. If it is, be proactive and file your claim as soon as you can.
Work with an Experienced Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer
The best way to ensure that you can receive the monetary compensation you need to cover your damages resulting from an act of medical malpractice is to be proactive and start working with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible after you have received corrective treatment. Contact our team at Baizer Kolar, P.C. to set up your free consultation in our office. We are a tight-knit, small firm dedicated to helping patients like you seek the compensation they deserve.