Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, other healthcare professional, or institution does not use reasonable care while treating a patient, causing him or her to be injured or killed. The term “standard of care” is used when talking about what type of behavior is expected of medical professionals. Put simply, the standard of care refers to the actions any other healthcare professional in a similar situation would have taken. Breaching the standard of care is called medical negligence. If you or a loved one have suffered due to medical negligence, you may be eligible for filing a medical malpractice suit.
What Types of Actions Can Be Considered Negligent?
In order to successfully bring a medical malpractice suit against a person or institution, the claimant, or person filing the suit, must prove that the medical negligence resulted in some type of injury or illness. Common examples of medical negligence include:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis;
- Childbirth injuries;
- Medication errors;
- Anesthesia mistakes; and
- Surgery errors.
Medical Malpractice Damages
The goal of any medical malpractice suit is to collect damages. Damages include compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, future medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Some states have limits on how much money a claimant can receive for a medical malpractice suit. However, Illinois does not have such a limit for compensatory damages such as hospital bills. There are technically limits on what a claimant can receive for non-financial damages such as pain and suffering, but these limits are often not upheld in court. Some states allow medical malpractice claimants to seek punitive damages, but Illinois is not one of them.
Do Not Hesitate If You Have Been Hurt Due to Medical Negligence
Each state has its own laws about how long a person has to bring a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent party. This time constraint is called the statute of limitations. For Illinois, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is two years from the time the patient was injured. The two-year limit begins counting down as soon as the patient knew (or should have known) that he or she was injured. Someone bringing a personal injury lawsuit for medical malpractice after two years may have his or her suit thrown out. Those under age 18 have up to eight years to file a medical malpractice suit but must do so before they turn 22 years old.
Representing Chicago-Area Victims of Medical Malpractice
If you or a loved one has suffered due to medical negligence, do not wait to get the legal assistance you need. Our dedicated Wheaton medical malpractice attorneys can help you and your family recover the compensation you deserve. Call 630-462-1980 to schedule your free confidential consultation at Walsh, Knippen & Cetina, Chartered today.