Medical malpractice claims are a type of personal injury claim that an individual can file against a healthcare provider if he or she suffered an injury due to that healthcare provider’s negligence. In a medical malpractice case, an injury can be anything from physical damage to the victim’s body due to an incorrect dosage of medication or misuse of medical equipment to an illness that was diagnosed incorrectly or not at all to a child suffering a permanent disability because of the physician’s failure to identify a birth defect. In some cases, a healthcare provider’s error results in the victim’s death.
In most cases, the victim is the one to file his or her own medical malpractice claim. However, there are circumstances under which another party may file the claim on the victim’s behalf. These circumstances include the following:
If the Victim is a Minor
If the victim of medical malpractice is a minor, his or her parent may file a claim on his or her behalf. With minors, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim is longer than it is for adult victims. It is eight years from the date that the patient and/or his or her parent discovered the injury, but it must be filed before the victim’s 22nd birthday.
If the Malpractice Results in Death
When medical malpractice causes a victim to die, his or her loved ones may file a wrongful death claim. The following individuals may file a wrongful death claim:
The victim’s spouse;
The victim’s adult child;
The victim’s parent, either a dependent elderly parent or the parent of a minor victim; and
A personal representative of the victim’s estate.
Wrongful death claims may be used to seek compensation for the victim’s medical care following his or her injury, his or her funeral expenses, the loss of his or her income, employment benefits, and future income, and the mental anguish suffered by his or her survivors.
If the Victim is Incapacitated
If the victim is unable to make legal or healthcare-related decisions for him- or herself, as may be the case with an individual with dementia or a cognitive disability, the party designated as having power of attorney for him or her may file a medical malpractice claim on his or her behalf. Generally, if the individual has a legal guardian, the guardian also has power of attorney for him or her.
Work with an Experienced Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you or your loved one have been injured or suffered a worsened condition because of a physician or other healthcare professional’s negligence, you could be entitled to receive compensation for your damages through a medical malpractice claim. To learn more, contact our team at Baizer Kolar P.C. We are a boutique medical malpractice law firm that makes it a priority to give every case the time and attention to detail it deserves. Contact our firm today to set up your free legal consultation with us.