Medical care professionals are only human and errors are always possible. Medical malpractice occurs when a negligent act or omission by a medical care professional results in damage or harm to a patient. If an error in diagnosing, treating or managing an illness or condition leads to injury in a patient, a patient or loved one has the right to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medical malpractice can also occur during a pregnancy or birth of a child. When complications arise in a pregnancy or delivery of a child, it may result in a permanent or temporary injury. If the harm was avoidable, it is important to protect the legal rights of both the child and parents.

An action for personal injury or death against a physician, dentist, nurse, or hospital must be filed within two years from the date the claimant knew or reasonably should have known of the injury. 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. § 5/13-212(a) (Westlaw 2010). In no event may a claimant bring an action more than four years after the date on which the alleged act or omission occurred. Id. This statute of repose is constitutional. Mega v. Holy Cross Hospital, 111 Ill. 2d 416, 490 N.E.2d 665 (1986).

If the claimant was under the age of eighteen when the cause of action accrued, the limitation period is eight years from the date of the alleged act or omission, except that in no event may such an action be filed after the minor claimant's 22nd birthday. § 5/13-212(b). If the claimant is mentally incompetent, the period of limitations does not begin to run until the disability is removed. § 5/13-212(c).

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury caused by negligent health care or medical malpractice, you may be eligible to file a claim and seek compensation for your losses.