Filing a Medical Malpractice Suit in Chicago: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Medical Malpractice
  2. Filing a Medical Malpractice Suit in Chicago: A Step-by-Step Guide
Medical malpractice in Chicago

You see it on television and hear about it on the news all the time, but it’s no joke. Medical malpractice is a serious issue that can have devastating consequences for patients and their families. Here at Crone Law Firm, we’re especially dedicated to helping our community find justice right here in Chicago.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice in Chicago, you may be wondering what steps you should take to seek compensation. Let’s start by talking about the process of filing a medical malpractice suit in Chicago, including what you need to know about the statute of limitations, the elements of a medical malpractice claim, and how to find the right attorney.

What is medical malpractice?

If you’re unfamiliar, we get it. It’s probably the last thing on your mind. 

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide a patient with the appropriate standard of care, resulting in injury or harm in any capacity.

In Illinois, medical malpractice claims can be filed against a variety of healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, dentists, hospitals and more. Some of the most common medical mistakes that occur include the following:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Failure to diagnose
  • Unnecessary tests or treatment
  • Errors with medication
  • Delayed treatment
  • Inadequate follow up after treatments
  • Surgical and anesthesia mistakes
  • Uncoordinated care
  • Healthcare-acquired infections

What are the requirements for filing a medical malpractice suit in Chicago?

Again, probably something that’s in the back of your mind. But don’t wait! In order to file a successful medical malpractice suit in Chicago, you must meet the following requirements:

  • A provider-patient relationship has existed. This means the person who was injured had an established relationship with the provider in question. In general, anytime a patient is under a health care provider’s care, whether for an appointment or a procedure, this relationship will be established.
  • The medical provider was negligent. This means the doctor or other provider failed to act in a way that a competent and similarly trained provider under similar circumstances would have acted. 
  • The negligence caused the injury. This means the patient suffered harm as a direct result of the provider’s negligence. For example, if a patient developed an infection due to a surgical mistake, the infection was caused by negligence.
  • The injury resulted in damages. This means the patient incurred losses or expenses due to the injury, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or reduced quality of life. We don’t take this one lightly. We know how much medical bills can rack up, but it’s not just in the hospital or doctors room. Work with us to determine what damages may have been caused. They aren’t easy conversations, but they are important.

Now, let’s talk about timing. What is the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice suit in Chicago?

The statute of limitations is the time limit for filing a legal claim. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice suit is generally two years from when the injury happened or was discovered. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as cases involving minors or cases where the injury was not discovered until later. 

How do you file a medical malpractice suit in Chicago or anywhere else in Illinois?

  • Consultation with an attorney. The first step is to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can evaluate your case, advise you on your legal options, and represent you throughout the process. You should look for an attorney who has a track record of success in handling similar cases, who is familiar with the local courts and laws, and who is willing to work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay if you win.
  • Notice of intent. The next step is to send a notice of intent to the medical provider or their insurance company, informing them of your intention to file a lawsuit. This notice must include a brief summary of the facts of your case, the nature and extent of your injuries, and the amount of damages you are seeking. The notice of intent must be sent at least 60 days before filing the lawsuit.
  • Filing the lawsuit. The final step is to file the lawsuit in the appropriate court, which is usually the circuit court of the county where the malpractice occurred. The lawsuit must include a complaint, which is a document that states the facts of your case, the legal basis for your claim, and the relief you are seeking. The lawsuit must also include an affidavit, which is a sworn statement by a qualified medical expert who supports your claim of negligence. The lawsuit must be filed within the statute of limitations, or you will lose your right to sue.
  • Settlement negotiations. After filing the lawsuit, you and your attorney will engage in settlement negotiations with the medical provider or their insurance company, in an attempt to reach a fair and reasonable resolution of your case without going to trial. Most medical malpractice cases are settled out of court, as trials are costly, time-consuming, and unpredictable. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, your case will proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will decide the outcome.

We can help make the whole process as easy and seamless as possible, so you can focus on your loved ones and a quick recovery. If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice in Chicago, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. You are not alone, and we’re here at Crone Law Firm.

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