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What Constitutes as Medical Malpractice in Illinois?

Posted on February 28, 2022 in

We trust medical professionals to deliver a certain quality of treatment while we are under their care. Unfortunately, some healthcare providers commit dangerous and negligent errors while on the job, causing serious harm to patients.

If you are injured due to a medical provider’s negligence, you may be eligible for a medical malpractice claim. However, it is important to understand Illinois medical malpractice laws before you decide to pursue a lawsuit.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical providers across the United States are expected to uphold a certain standard of care while treating patients. In simple terms, these providers’ actions must not deviate from what a similarly trained and reasonable healthcare professional would do under the same circumstances.

If a patient suffers harm as a result of negligent medical care in Illinois, the at-fault provider (and in some cases, the hospital or medical facility) would be liable for medical malpractice.

Common examples of medical negligence include the following:

  • Misreading or ignoring results from laboratory tests
  • Discharging a patient prematurely
  • Failure to provide proper aftercare or follow-up instructions
  • Prescription errors, such as prescribing the wrong medication or an unsafe dosage
  • Failure to diagnose a condition or misdiagnosing a condition as another injury or illness
  • Surgical errors, like performing the wrong surgery or leaving a foreign object inside of a patient

Requirements for Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Illinois

If you plan on filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Illinois, you will need to meet certain court rules and requirements.

First, you must file your lawsuit within two years of when you discovered or should have discovered the at-fault provider’s negligence. You may not file your lawsuit within four years of the date of the malpractice.

Second, you must file an affidavit alongside your lawsuit that states that an affiant—usually your medical malpractice attorney—has reviewed your claim alongside a qualified medical professional. According to 735 ILCS 5/2-622, this medical professional must meet the following requirements:

  • The provider is knowledgeable about the medical issues relevant to your case.
  • The provider practices, teaches, or has recently practiced or taught in the same area of medicine related to your case.
  • The provider is properly qualified in terms of his or her experience and competence.

Finally, when you file your lawsuit, you will need to prove that the at-fault provider’s actions deviated from the accepted medical standard of care and caused your injuries. You will also need to calculate the extent of your damages and supply evidence showing that you qualify for the compensation that you are claiming.

Speak to an Attorney

Navigating a medical malpractice lawsuit can be challenging, especially after a recent injury or worsening illness. In these situations, you need someone who can advocate for your best interests and guide you through the litigation process. For these reasons, it is important to consult with a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer.

Your attorney can help you assess your case eligibility, identify your statute of limitations, and enlist the support of a qualified medical professional who can testify on your behalf. A lawyer can also gather the evidence necessary to prove the at-fault party’s liability and your right to compensation.

As soon as possible following the malpractice, speak to a medical malpractice lawyer about your next steps.