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Medical Malpractice

Understanding Illinois Medical Malpractice Statutory Limits and Caps

April 07, 2017

Patients and their loved ones are required to file their medical malpractice suit against the person or persons considered to have been negligent or taken unnecessary risks within two years of when they became aware of the malpractice. The amount of time a person has to file varies based on several different factors, including when the issue was discovered and the age of the patient at the time of the procedure.

To ensure that proper procedure is followed in the right amount of time, it is best to contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible to determine the path forward. In addition to statutory rules and limits, they can help review other aspects of the case to capture necessary data and details of the case.

Illinois Statute of Limitations to File

The limitation on a filing has several additional considerations beyond when the malpractice was discovered. No suit may be filed after four years, regardless of when the malpractice was discovered. Should the malpractice be discovered after four years, the suit will not move forward.

The exception to this limitation is if the patient was a minor (under 18 years old). The plaintiff then has either eight years or until the patient turns 22 years old, whichever occurs first.

Results of Missing the Filing

It is important to begin filing the lawsuit as quickly and accurately as possible to ensure that the deadline is not missed. Plaintiffs must follow set standards and regulations to file such a complaint. In the event that the filing is not done in time, Illinois does not allow for an extension if the refilling takes the case beyond the two or four year periods.

Award Caps

Some states have caps on how much a plaintiff can be awarded in a medical malpractice suit for non-economic damages. This is meant as a way to keep liability insurance costs lower. The Illinois Legislature has passed such caps on non-Economic damages three times in the last 30 years and each time the Illinois Supreme Court has removed such caps as being unconstitutional.

Medical malpractice cases can be particularly difficult because of the rules and regulations governing these types of cases. To ensure that all requirements are met prior to the end of the statutory limit being reached, it is important to consult with an injury lawyer. This ensures that the case may proceed within the time constraints.

If you have been injured in a personal injury or medical malpractice accident, do not hesitate to contact the Chicago accident and injury law firm of Cogan & Power at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free case consultation, so that we can help you begin the process of recovery as soon as possible. If you cannot come to our offices in downtown Chicago, we will come to you. And because we take cases on a contingency basis, you will not pay any fee unless we get you compensation.