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Illinois Medical Malpractice
When someone in Illinois is injured or dies in a medical setting--either because of a medical professional's actions or because of their inaction--a patient or his or her family will often consider an Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit.
What Is Medical Malpractice in Illinois?
According to Wikipedia's definition of medical malpractice:
Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the care provided deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient. Standards and regulations for medical malpractice vary by country and jurisdiction within countries. Medical professionals are required to maintain professional liability insurance to offset the risk and costs of lawsuits based on medical malpractice.
Do You Have an Illinois Medical Malpractice Case?
At a basic level, you must prove two things to be successful in an Illinois medical malpractice case:
- The doctor or medical professional treating you made a mistake
- You were harmed as a result of that mistake
In determining whether the Illinois medical professional made a mistake, the Illinois court will look at the medical standard of care. In other words, what is the generally accepted method of treating patients in your area with similar medical problems? For example, the standard of care for a 90-year-old diabetes patient in Illinois would not necessarily be the same as the standard of care for a 45-year-old diabetes patient in Florida.
Not only must you show that the Illinois doctor's act or omission was a mistake, but you must also prove that this mistake injured you.
In other words, you probably do not have a valid Illinois medical malpractice claim if your doctor treated you according to the medical standard of care in your area in Illinois. And you probably would not have a valid medical malpractice claim if you were not harmed by the doctor's treatment, even if it did violate the standard of care in Illinois.
Who Can Commit Medical Malpractice?
Doctors, nurses, dentists, technicians, hospitals, and hospital workers can all commit medical malpractice, according to the American Bar Association.
Your Illinois medical malpractice attorney can advise you whether you have a valid Illinois medical malpractice claim and against whom you have a potential claim.
How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Every state has a statute of limitations, or time period in which you can file a civil lawsuit against another party, such as a doctor or nurse. The Illinois medical malpractice statute of limitations is two years.
If you and your Illinois medical malpractice lawyer are unable to negotiate a settlement with the person at fault in your medical malpractice case, you should consider filing a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out.
Additional Illinois Medical Malpractice Resources
American Bar Association's medical malpractice resources
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation's report on Medical Malpractice Law in the United States