Under Illinois law, there are very strict rules that you need to follow to pursue compensation in a medical malpractice case. Your Chicago medical malpractice claim requires you to navigate several steps before you can file a lawsuit; including obtaining an affidavit of merit, analyzing evidence, and ensuring you have the documentation necessary to prove your case.
In many cases, medical malpractice claims become extremely complex. Through this process, you may be able to reach a fair out-of-court settlement with the doctor’s medical malpractice insurance company, or your case may go to trial. In the event that this happens, your attorney will fight for an award in court on your behalf.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Chicago Require an Affidavit of Merit
Illinois’ medical malpractice laws require victims of medical malpractice to provide an affidavit of merit if they want to file a lawsuit. This affidavit declares that an “affiant” sat down with a qualified medical care provider and discussed the case to determine if it has merit. The “affiant” is generally your attorney, and the qualified medical professional will have similar training and experience as your doctor.
This affidavit needs to confirm that the medical professional:
- Looked over the facts of your case.
- Practices the type of medicine in question.
- Is well-qualified to identify the applicable standard of care, violation of the standard of care, and medical negligence.
In addition, the affidavit and other required materials need to confirm a “reasonable and meritorious” cause for pursuing compensation through legal action. The medical expert witness will have to document this cause, and your attorney will submit it along with the lawsuit when they file it.
Your case cannot begin moving forward until you have this documentation. Your attorney will represent you through this process, including discovery, pretrial conferences, and more. They will fight for your best interests, working to secure a fair out-of-court settlement or award from the court.
There Are Time Limits for Taking Legal Action After Chicago Medical Malpractice Injuries
Illinois law limits how long you can wait to take legal action against a doctor, medical care provider, hospital, or clinic who caused you to suffer preventable injuries or advancing illness because of medical malpractice. In general, you have:
- Two years from the date you became aware of (or could have become aware of) medical negligence and malpractice.
- Four years from the date the negligent act occurred, regardless of your date of discovery.
If you miss these deadlines, the court will likely bar you from pursuing legal action to hold the doctor liable. However, other statutes may apply in some cases. Your attorney can help you understand the time constraints that apply in your case during your free case review.
These cases also take time to build and prepare before filing. For this reason, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after you discover the possible malpractice. This gives your lawyer the opportunity to identify the best medical expert witness, to work with them to complete the necessary affidavit, and begin to build a case to support legal action.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 794-0444
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help You Understand Your Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Chicago
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our medical malpractice attorneys understand Illinois medical malpractice laws and how they apply to your medical malpractice lawsuit in Chicago. We can review the facts of your case and, if you qualify, help you navigate the process to file a lawsuit against the doctor, hospital, clinic, or other medical professionals.
We believe you should not have to suffer further damages by being forced to pay for the expenses that occurred because of a doctor’s medical negligence. The doctor or hospital should cover these costs, not you. We will take on even the toughest cases, and fight for the settlement or court award you deserve.
We always handle these cases based on a contingency fee. You pay nothing upfront. We only get our fee if we recover compensation for you.
Talk to a Medical Malpractice Attorney Serving Chicago
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our medical malpractice attorneys service Chicago, its suburbs, and other locations throughout greater Chicagoland. We offer free initial consultations and case evaluations. We can help you understand the strength of your case and navigate the process if you qualify to take legal action.
Call (800) 794-0444 to get started. We can meet you in your home or an area hospital if necessary, because of your treatment and medical condition.