Healy Scanlon Law Firm

Is there any time limit on filing a medical malpractice case?


Many people, including residents of Illinois, go to the hospital, even when they have a minor injury or a high fever. In some cases, however, the visit may cause additional injuries due to medical negligence or some other type of medical malpractice.

After some time, the person may determine that something went wrong during the medical procedure and that the recovery may take a long time or even that full recovery may not be possible. Sometimes, the wrong medical procedure also may result in death of the patient. Also, in certain cases, the health of the person may continue to deteriorate. While there may be many possible reasons to consider filing a medical malpractice claim, it is important to understand that Illinois law imposes a time limit on the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The statute of limitations imposes a time limit on filing most lawsuits and after the applicable time limit has passed, the person may not be allowed to pursue the case. In order to calculate the time limit, the court may take into account the date on which the malpractice incident occurred, the date on which the malpractice incident resulted in the injury, the date on which the person discovered the injury and the date of the patient's final treatment.

In Illinois, an injured person must file a medical malpractice lawsuit within two years of discovering the injury, but if the person finds out about the injury and pursues some legal action no later than four years from the date of the occurrence, the filing may be allowed. However, minors are allowed a longer statute of limitations to file the lawsuit under Illinois law.

In considering the time limit, the court also may take into account the age of the person, a disability that stopped the person from pursuing the claim or the fraudulent behavior of the medical provider. Illinois personal injury laws may help the person to understand the various exceptions available to the victim when it comes to pursuing a medical malpractice claim after the time limit has passed. This may allow the victim to file a lawsuit and hold the wrongdoer liable for the losses that he or she has suffered.

Source: FindLaw, "Illinois Medical Malpractice: Statute of Limitations," accessed on Aug. 19, 2014

Source: FindLaw, "Illinois Medical Malpractice: Statute of Limitations," accessed on Aug. 19, 2014

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