Request a Free Consultation

How to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in Illinois

Request a Free Consultation
Posted on May 27, 2024

Medical care is necessary at some point in almost everyone’s life, often putting your well-being in the hands of medical practitioners. While you would like to hope that your trust and faith are well-placed, this is not always the case. Sometimes, the people you entrusted your life to are negligent, failing to help you and even worsening your condition.

In these situations, you can seek legal action against those responsible. While this may not fix your health problems, it does provide valuable financial compensation and closure to help you recover. Understanding medical malpractice laws in Illinois is your best defense as you navigate a Springfield medical malpractice claim.

What is a Medical Malpractice Claim?

A medical malpractice claim is a personal injury claim made against a medical provider or facility stating that they acted negligently and eitherinjurede you orworsenedn your condition. Medical professionals have a duty of care they are expected to uphold, and if they breach it, they can be held responsible for any damage caused. Some examples include the following:

  • Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
  • Unnecessary treatment or tests
  • Surgical and anesthesia mistakes
  • Medication errors
  • Inadequate follow-up treatments

If you have experienced any of these, you could have a solid medical malpractice case. There is a fairly high burden of proof, but as long as you keep careful records, you can receive a settlement for your claim. Depending on the severity, medical malpractice claims can cover extensive damages.

How Do You Know If You Have Experienced Malpractice?

It is important to remember that just because a medical procedure did not have the desired effects does not mean it is malpractice under 735 ILCS 5/2-622. Malpractice only applies when a care provider does not live up to their duty of care, acting negligently and causing damage. To have a successful case, you must prove that:

  • You had some relationship with the medical provider
  • The provider was negligent in the care they provided
  • This negligence caused your injury
  • This injury led to specific damages

Essentially, you have to prove that they were your doctor, that they neglected their duty of care, that this hurt you, and that suffering has negatively affected your life, whether that be due to a brain injury or other catastrophic injury. For example, if a doctor performing surgery left an instrument in your body during surgery, and this instrument has harmed you, that would be malpractice. Even then, filing and managing a claim can be complex, especially on your own.

How Do I File My Claim?

To file your claim, you must first inform the medical facility, carefully laying out when, where, and who was involved, among other pertinent details. They will likely assign an insurance adjuster to review the details, offering a settlement or denying your claim. You can accept this, appeal, negotiate, or send a demand letter.

During this process, be sure that you correctly file your complaint with the Department of Insurance. Failure to file this complaint can lead to a claim dismissal. Fortunately, acting quickly and keeping diligent records of this process can help your claim succeed.

In some cases, this may go as far as the courtroom. Whether they will cooperate or try to fight you depends on the facility and personnel involved. You may want to consider the help of a lawyer to make things run smoothly.

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Malpractice?

Each state has its own rules on how long you have to file a personal injury claim, such as medical malpractice, before the statute of limitations is up. Indiana gives malpractice victims up to 2 years to file their claim, or 4 years after the date of discovery, under 735 ILCS 5/13-212. With few exceptions, you cannot seek compensation if you wait longer than 4 years after the damage is discovered.

Fortunately, acting now can help preserve your grounds for compensation and evidence. Evidence can be lost or destroyed over time, leaving you without the necessary tools for your claim. Taking the right steps now can help your medical malpractice claim succeed.