We trust medical professionals to handle various aspects of our lives. Whether there is a birth, illness, cold, virus, flu, sprain, strain, or break, we turn to our doctors to put our lives back on track. Just as our health affects all levels of our well being, so too do the doctors we turn to for healthcare. We place a great deal of trust in the recommendations of our doctors, from the prescriptions we take to the treatment we undergo. Unfortunately, sometimes doctors violate this trust.
When this happens, we can seek solace in the protections provided by the laws of Illinois. Illinois law requires that doctors act responsibly and professionally when providing care to patients. In other words, healthcare providers must always conform their treatment of patients to the standard of care; it is a patient’s right to receive such care. When a doctor acts outside of the standard of care, or too differently from the professionally accepted conduct in their field, a patient may be injured. Where a patient is injured from this type of negligence they are allowed to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit. Here are a few FAQs regarding this type of suit:
Is there a limit to the damages I can receive in this type of suit?
No. This is somewhat of a recent development in the legal field. As of 2010 the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that placing a cap, or limit, on the amount of damages a plaintiff can receive in a medical malpractice suit is unconstitutional. Prior to 2010 a plaintiff could only receive up to $500,000.00 in non-economic damages.
What types of damages are recoverable?
Depending on your situation, there is a wide array of damages available to plaintiffs who have been injured as a result of professional negligence. Monetary damages are those that are easily calculated and often come in the form of bills. This can include medical bills and treatment, but also extends to missed paychecks from work or diminished ability to earn a living. Non-economic damages are those that are not as easy to quantify. This may be pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment but can also include anxiety, scarring, or loss of companionship.
What if I was injured a long time ago?
Illinois medical malpractice claims have a very short and a very strict statute of limitations. The statute of limitations refers to the length of time after the incident occurs that you can are legally permitted to bring suit. Illinois law requires that a plaintiff bring suit two years from the time they were aware of, or should have been aware of, the medical malpractice. However, regardless of when a patient becomes aware of the malpractice, there is an absolute limit of four years. This means that if a patient becomes aware of the malpractice more than four years from the incident that caused the injury, the suit is barred by the statute of limitations.
Ultimately, Illinois medical malpractice suits can be quite complicated. Each suit and every injury is as unique as the patients themselves. You are in a much more secure position where you have an experienced attorney on your side. If you have suffered at the hands of a negligent doctor contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. for a free consultation.