Like any legal situation, medical malpractice law in Illinois can be complex and difficult to understand. While no article can cover everything involved, this will provide some basic information to help make the laws more understandable.
Introduction to Statute of Limitations:
The statute of limitations is the amount of time an injured party has to file a suit. For medical malpractice law in Illinois the standard malpractice statute of limitations is within two years of when the injured party became aware of, or 'should have known of' the injury. There are three exceptions to this law. If the injured party is under 18 years old when the injury occurs, the limitation period is 8 years from the date of injury, or until the minor turns 22, which ever comes first. Also, if the patient is mentally incompetent, the period of limitations does not begin to run until the disability is removed. Finally, an act of medical malpractice that results in death has a two year statute of limitations from the date of the death, as long as the original two year period based on date of injury has not run out at the time of death.
Illinois State Malpractice Laws at a Glance:
Illinois State Tort Law Statute of Limitations Two years from date of discovery. In the case of wrongful death there is an additional two years if personal injury limit has not been reached at time of death. Damage Award Limits No limits but punitive damages not applicable
Joint Defendant Liability There is no separation of liability Expert Witness The expert witness must be licensed in same field as defendant, 75% of time in preceeding 10 years must have involved dealing with treatment that is at issue.
Attorney FeesLimit on attorneys fees is on a sliding scale based on awarded damages.
Medical malpractice law in Illinois recommends but does not require mediation prior to bringing suit.
Guide to Comparative Negligence
In Illinois an injured party barred from bringing suit his contributory fault is more than 50 percent of the injury or damage for which recovery is sought. Additionally, a hospital may be help responsible for the acts of doctors on contract if the hospital acts in a fashion that leads the reasonable conclusion that the contractor in question is an agent of the hospital.
The Requirement of Expert Testimony
When filing a law suit concerning medical malpractice law in Illinois, the injured party's attorney must provide an affidavit that an expert who has practiced or taught within the last six years in a relevant area of medicine, and is experienced in the issue at hand, has reviewed the medical record of the injured party, and any other relevant material, and concluded that there is reasonable and just cause for the suit to be brought. The expert's report must be attached to the filing and affidavit, but the expert may, if he or she chooses, remain anonymous. Any inquiry into a case of medical malpractice in Illinois will require far more information and detail then can be easily included here, but this introduction should provide a solid basis for learning more about the law and its applications.