No one expects to be a victim of hospital negligence, but it happens more than you would think. Patients are injured or even killed due to the mistakes made by their Chicago medical professionals. If you or someone you love has suffered from hospital negligence, it’s important to understand your legal options.
This blog post will discuss some common examples of Illinois hospital negligence and help you determine if you have a case under Illinois law. Remember that these are just general examples. Every case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits.
Illinois Hospital Negligence Cases Are a Complex Situation
Unfortunately, hospital negligence and medical malpractice are more common than you think. According to Medical News Today, there are approximately 15,000 to 19,000 medical malpractice suits against doctors every year in the United States. You may wonder what to do next if you’ve been injured due to Illinois hospital negligence. You may be able to file a personal injury/ medical malpractice lawsuit and receive compensation. However, it is essential to understand the difference between hospital and physician negligence claims.
- Hospital Negligence – It alleges that the hospital’s policies or procedures led to your injuries. For example, the hospital may be liable if they failed to sterilize equipment properly and you contracted an infection. It can also allege that the doctor was an agent and/or apparent agent of the hospital and try to hold the hospital accountable for the actions of the doctor.
- Physician Negligence – It alleges that the doctor made a mistake in your care. For example, the doctor may be liable if they misdiagnose your condition.
Both Illinois hospital negligence cases and physician negligence are complex, and you may need an experienced lawyer on your side to help you navigate the legal system. Before you can file a lawsuit, you need to understand the complexities of the law and what applies to your situation.
Statute of Limitations
Medical malpractice lawsuits in Illinois are subject to what is known as a statute of limitations. In terms of medical malpractice, or hospital negligence, the law enforces a strict time limit on the filing of your case in the state’s civil court system. The statute of limitations is two years from the date of your injury.
There are exceptions to this rule; if the plaintiff’s injury wasn’t discovered immediately following their incident, they may have up to four years to file a lawsuit depending on their circumstances. If you were injured as a minor under the age of 18, the time to file a lawsuit is further extended due to them being a minor. Adhering to this guideline is crucial to starting your Illinois hospital negligence case on the right foot.
In some circumstances, the statute of limitations can be as short as one year where the hospital and/or physician is part of a municipal or governmental hospital. It is important that you seek legal advice early if you suspect there was medical malpractice to assure that your rights are corrected.
The Role of an Affidavit of Merit in Illinois Hospital Negligence Cases
Before an Illinois resident can file a medical malpractice lawsuit, they or their lawyer must talk to and get the professional opinion of another health care provider affirming that the other health care professional:
- Is knowledgeable regarding the medical issues of the case
- Has the experience and comprehends the case’s subject matter
- Currently practices or teaches in medicine related to the patient’s case
If the plaintiff cannot obtain a required consultation with a certified health care professional due to the approaching statute of limitations, they must submit the affidavit and related materials within 90 days after filing the lawsuit.
At the same time, the affidavit must also include a signed medical statement from the same provider that states that the plaintiff has a reasonable cause for filing the lawsuit. All plaintiffs must follow the affidavit requirements, or the judge will generally dismiss their Chicago personal injury case.
Examples of Illinois Hospital Negligence
Illinois hospital negligence can take on different forms, and it usually comes at a time when you or a family member is vulnerable. Illinois hospitals have a duty to provide adequate and reasonable care to patients. When they breach that duty, it can result in severe injuries or even death.
Some common examples of Illinois hospital negligence include:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis: This can happen when a doctor or hospital staff fails to diagnose a condition, resulting in delayed proper treatment.
- Surgical errors: This can occur when a surgeon makes a mistake during an operation, which can cause serious injuries or even death.
- Anesthesia errors: This can happen when a doctor or anesthesiologist doesn’t properly administer anesthesia, which can lead to severe complications.
- Birth injuries: This can occur when a doctor or hospital staff member fails to properly monitor the mother and baby during labor and delivery, resulting in injuries to the baby.
- Hospital-acquired infections: This can occur when a hospital doesn’t follow proper sterilization procedures, resulting in patients getting sick.
- Medication errors: This can happen when a doctor or hospital staff member prescribes the wrong medication or gives the wrong dosage, which can cause serious side effects.
- Negligent hiring: This can occur when a hospital hires staff members without properly vetting them, resulting in patient harm by incompetent or dangerous employees.
Due to the complex nature of the medical field and human error, Illinois hospital negligence cases are not always black and white. Therefore, speaking to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer like a member of our legal team at Krzak Rundio Gorman, Injury Attorneys may help you better understand if you can seek damages for your injuries, pain, and suffering.
Is There a Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages in Illinois?
When our clients ask us how much their hospital negligence claim might be worth, one of the first questions they ask is whether Illinois has a medical malpractice damages cap. In 2018, the total amount paid to plaintiffs for medical malpractice suits was $4,031,987,700.00, approximately a 3% increase over the previous year.
Before 2010, Illinois had a medical malpractice damages cap, but it only applied to non-economic damages. It was $500,000 for non-economic damages per individual plaintiff, with a maximum of $700,000 for cases with multiple plaintiffs. Economic damages were never capped. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled the state’s medical malpractice damages cap unconstitutional in 2010 when ruling in the case Lebron v. Gottlieb. So, now, Illinois does not have a medical malpractice damages cap.
Why You Should Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been injured due to an Illinois hospital’s negligence, you may be able to seek total and fair compensation for your damages. Contact one of our Chicago area medical malpractice lawyers when you’re ready to take legal action. Our legal team will investigate the reasons you suffered harm and who at the hospital was responsible for your adverse outcome. We’ll then fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Reach out to schedule a free consultation to discuss your Illinois hospital negligence situation today with an Illinois personal injury lawyer.
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