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What is the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Illinois?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Illinois Law

Any time you go to a medical facility, you hope your treatment will leave you feeling better, at least at some point. It is beyond frustrating to visit a doctor and end up getting worse. However, what if your condition deteriorates because of negligent care?

Under those circumstances, you have the right to bring a medical malpractice case. However, you do not have an indefinite amount of time to do so. Illinois limits how long you have to file with a statute of limitations.

The reasoning behind statutes of limitations

A statute of limitations is a time limit for filing certain cases, including medical malpractice claims. These laws exist to make sure plaintiffs bring such cases in a reasonable amount of time after something wrong happens.

This helps keep evidence fresh and makes sure people do not wait too long to take legal action. It also helps courts manage their workload better. Therefore, if you sustain injuries because of poor medical treatment in Illinois, you have a specific time window to start legal proceedings.

Illinois’ statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases

Illinois residents have two years to file a medical malpractice claim after they know or should have known about the medical error. If you wait longer than four years from when the error happened, you might not be able to file at all, no matter when you found out about it. For that reason, it is a good idea to closely monitor your medical condition after treatment and promptly act if you suspect you were subject to malpractice.

Exceptions to the typical time limit

The state does have some exceptions to the usual time limits for medical malpractice cases. Injured minor children can file a claim up to eight years after the incident. Also, if the defendant acted fraudulently, you might have extra time to file. Other wrongful acts that correspond to medical abuse might also have separate time limits, giving you additional time to file against those actions.

The only feeling that might be worse than realizing you have experienced medical negligence is discovering you missed your chance to get justice. Once you become aware of such a situation, you can take quick action to hold the liable parties accountable.