Every state, including Illinois, has deadlines—or statute of limitations—for filing medical malpractice lawsuits. In Illinois, the standard deadline is two years. An action for personal injury or death against a physician, dentist, nurse, or hospital must be filed within two years from the date the claimant knew or reasonably should have known of the injury. If the claimant was under the age of eighteen when the cause of action accrued, the limitation period is eight years from the date of the alleged act or omission. Claimants can not file after the 22nd birthday.
The plaintiff’s attorney must provide an affidavit stating that an expert who has practiced or taught within the last six years in a relevant area of medicine, and has experience with the medical issue cited in the complaint, has reviewed the medical record of the injured party. The affidavit must also state that the expert has reviewed any additional materials relevant to the case, and concluded that there is reasonable and just cause for the suit to be brought.
Under Illinois’ modified “comparative negligence” doctrine, a claimant’s action is barred only if the contributory fault is more than 50 percent of the proximate cause of the injury or damage for which recovery is sought. Otherwise, the claimant’s recovery is diminished in proportion to his percentage of fault.
In 2016, Illinois had 49,513 licensed physicians within a population of 12,801,539
residents, equaling 387 physicians for every 100,000 people. Medical malpractice suits in 2015 were 14.3 per 100,000 residents, with a total payout of $282.2 million. This represents a 23.81% increase from 2014. In 2015, Illinois ranked 45th in medical malpractice lawsuits. The most common three types of medicine practiced as of 2012 were family medicine/general practice, internal medicine, and pediatrics. According to Medscape, Illinois is the 17th best state in which to practice medicine.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are most often filed due to: surgical errors, misdiagnosis, alleged prescription drug mistakes, failure to diagnose, failure to treat a medical condition, and an unreasonable delay in treatment for a disease or condition that has been previously diagnosed, among other reasons.
• Industry Average Cost of an Illinois Medical Malpractice Insurance Policy: $14,501
• Is Medical Malpractice Insurance Required in Illinois? No, but protecting assets is recommended.
• Minimum Carrying Requirements in Illinois: None, but as mentioned it is highly recommended.
• What are the medical malpractice damage caps in Illinois?None, which means plaintiffs can pursue larger totals of compensation than in other states.
• What is the “statute of limitations” for a medical malpractice complaint? 2 years, Illinois Comp. Statutes section 5/13-212(a)