In order to receive a license to practice, a doctor must spend years in school and in residency, becoming an expert in their field.
Which is why when you see your doctor, a surgeon, or another medical professional, you trust them to provide you with high-quality care.
So, few of us ever question our doctors’ recommendations or opinions.
But doctors make mistakes and, sometimes, they commit malpractice. If you have been harmed by a doctor’s malpractice and think that you may have a claim, here’s what you need to know about filing a medical malpractice case in Illinois.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is not merely an event where a medical error is committed that leads to patient harm; instead, malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to exercise the same degree of care that another provider of similar education and background, in the same locality, would exercise in the same situation. Common examples of medical malpractice include:
- Surgical errors, such as performing surgery on the wrong patient, leaving an object within the patient, or making an anesthesia error;
- Medication errors, such as giving the patient the wrong medication, the wrong dosage of medication, or giving a medication in combination with another medication wrongfully;
- Diagnosis errors, including failing to diagnose the patient or misdiagnosing the patient; and
- Treatment errors
The above acts of malpractice are examples. There are other ways in which medical malpractice can occur.
Affidavit of Merit in Medical Malpractice Cases
If you think that you have a medical malpractice case, you will need to prove that the healthcare provider in question breached the medical standard of care owed to you and that this breach was the proximate cause of your harm.
In order to prove this, and to file a lawsuit, the state of Illinois requires that a plaintiff in a medical malpractice suit submit an “Affidavit of Merit.”
This affidavit states that the plaintiff has reviewed the case with a qualified medical professional who is trained in and practices in the same area of medicine as the defendant, is properly qualified, and is knowledgeable about medical standards in the locality where the medical malpractice occurred, and the medical issues in the plaintiff’s case.
Then, the healthcare professional must state in the Affidavit of Merit that the plaintiff indeed has cause, based on the facts of the case and their opinion as an expert, to bring forth the claim.
Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice
In addition to filing an Affidavit of Merit, a plaintiff who is filing a medical malpractice case in Illinois must also be aware of the state’s statute of limitations.
This is the limit on the amount of time one must file their claim after the malpractice has occurred. In Illinois, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of malpractice.
Call Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
If you have been harmed at a doctor’s hands, you may maintain the right to bring forth a medical malpractice claim for damages.
To learn more about medical malpractice suits in our state and why working with a skilled medical malpractice attorney is a must, call the office of VanderGinst Law today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We are here to serve you!