What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Medical Malpractice Claim?
What is the Time Frame For Bringing a Claim?
Under Illinois state law, there is a time limit within which a medical malpractice claim must be brought before a court. The exact time frame depends on the facts of the case, but as a general rule, a medical malpractice suit must be brought within two years from the time that the injured patient became aware of the injury, or should have become aware of the injury, and thus the malpractice. There is an upper limit on the window of opportunity in which an injured patient may “discover” that they have been injured and bring a medical malpractice claim. All claims must be brought within four years of when the malpractice occurred. No claims will be heard if they are brought after the four-year period has run out, regardless of whether evidence of the malpractice is not discovered until after the four-year window closes.
What Types of Medical Errors Support Medical Malpractice Claims?
Medical malpractice arises when a medical professional acts negligently while providing care. When a doctor is negligent, he or she often commits medical errors. There are many types of medical errors that may support a medical malpractice claim.
- Delayed Diagnosis and Misdiagnosis are Diagnosis Errors. Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis are two major causes of action that produce a large number of medical malpractice claims each year. When a physician improperly diagnoses a medical condition, the condition can convert into a high-risk situation for the affected patient. When an illness, condition or injury is not properly diagnosed as soon as possible, the damage from that condition has time to become considerably worse, causing more harm to the patient, or even death.
- Medical Mistakes Happen During Anesthesia. There are many medical mistakes that can lead to complications during anesthesia. For example, an improperly trained anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist could administer too much anesthesia, or a medical professional could fail to read the patient’s chart properly, or may be unable to read the chart due to poor handwriting. There could be a communication issue, either a miscommunication between the anesthesiologist and the nurse anesthetist or a lack of informed consent from the patient to do something while the patient is under anesthesia. There could be an assortment of medical device malfunctions, from the improper placement of breathing tubes to a malfunctioning oxygen monitor.
- Birth-Related Medical Malpractice Claims. When negligence occurs during or around the time of pregnancy or birth of a baby, it may be grounds for a birth-related medical malpractice claim. Wrongful birth, negligent prenatal care and injuries to the mother or child during childbirth that result from negligence are all medical malpractice.
- Errors that Occur During and After Surgery. Surgery that is conducted on an incorrect body part, injuries inadvertently sustained during an operation, and leaving surgical instruments or tools inside of a patient are all examples of errors that can occur during surgery. Negligent care provided post-operation can also be grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
Contacting a Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you believe that you have suffered from a medical error due to the negligence of an anesthesiologist, nurse anesthetist, surgeon, doctor, physician, obstetrician or any other medical care provider, you need to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to help you determine the appropriate statute of limitations that applies to you. A medical malpractice attorney will also help you formulate your claim. Contact Willens & Baez today for your free consultation. We can be reached online or by telephone at 312-957-4166.