Flu season is peaking in Illinois. People are hearing reports of overcrowded emergency rooms, people suffering from complications such as pneumonia and even of people dying from the flu. Unfortunately, when it comes to any injury or illness, a doctor may misdiagnose it or believe it is not too serious, leading to a worsened condition. Or, a doctor can make a mistake during the scope of treatment that causes a person to suffer further complications. When this happens, patients may want to learn more about pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, they should not wait too long to do so.
This is because in Illinois there is a time limit on how long a person has to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. This is known as the statute of limitations, and once it has passed a person is no longer permitted to file a lawsuit based on the physician’s malpractice, even if their case would otherwise have been valid.
In Illinois the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is two years from of the discovery of the harm (or within two years in which the patient should have discovered the harm.) That being said, any medical malpractice case must be filed within four years of when the negligent act took place. This is true even if the patient didn’t know of the mistake until after that four-year time period has passed.
However, it may be possible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit despite the statute of limitation if the patient was prevented from filing a lawsuit for certain reasons. For example, if the physician committed some sort of fraud that kept a patient from filing a claim, or if a person is so disabled that they could not file a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations, they may still have a chance to pursue a lawsuit. In addition, for minors the statute of limitations may be extended.
So, when it comes to pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit, patients will want to do so in a timely manner. The failure to do so could keep them from ever being able to file a claim based on the damages they suffered. Since this post is only a basic overview of the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Illinois, and cannot guarantee any particular outcome in one’s case, those interested in learning more about this subject are encouraged to seek professional help.
Source: FindLaw, “Illinois Medical Malpractice: Statute of Limitations,” accessed Jan. 29, 2018