Plaintiff’s Claim Against Paramedic Driver Not Subject to Medical Malpractice Rules

In a recent case out of California, a man was injured in an accident with another car, driven by a paramedic supervisor. The paramedic was driving his employer’s truck on the way to the location of an injured victim when the accident occurred. The injured driver subsequently filed a negligence lawsuit against the paramedic. The state’s laws required that lawsuits against health care providers for “professional negligence” be filed within one year of the injury date. In this case, the man’s case was filed past the one-year filing date. As a result, the court found that the claim was time-barred.

HourglassHowever, a case from that state’s supreme court found that the time period applied only to negligence actions that resulted from services provided by virtue of being health care professionals—or in rendering medical care to patients. Thus, in this case, while the paramedic was a medical professional, the accident did not result from negligent medical care. The paramedic was required to drive the car with reasonable care because he was driving a car, not because he was providing health care to a patient because he was a paramedic. Thus, the decision was reversed, and the case was able to proceed.

Medical Malpractice Statutes of Limitations in Illinois

Every individual who files a claim has to consider the relevant statute of limitations. The statute of limitations refers to the time during which a claim must be filed. The time varies for different claims and depending on where the claims are filed.

In Illinois, medical malpractice claims are generally subject to a two-year statute of limitations. This means that most medical malpractice claims are required to be brought within two years of the day that the plaintiff knew or should have known of the injury or death resulting from the negligent conduct. In addition, the maximum time to bring a claim is four years after the negligent medical treatment. It is important to note that there are exceptions to the rule. For example, a minor plaintiff can have the statute of limitations extended, although it generally must be brought within eight years of the incident or before turning 22 years old. The time period can also be less than two years in some cases. For example, medical malpractice claims against a county hospital are subject to a one-year statute of limitations. Of course, the relevant statute of limitations and exceptions depend on the specifics of each case.

In general, if the statute of limitations has passed, that lawsuit can no longer be filed. This means that your case may be rejected by a court even if the plaintiff has a very strong case. Knowing which kind of case is being brought and all of the applicable time limits is essential to a case’s success.

Have You Received Negligent Medical Care?

If you believe you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, you need to act quickly. A failure to file your claim within the required time period could result in a dismissal of the claim, leaving you without any means of compensation. An experienced attorney understands the different procedural requirements for claims, whether arising under a medical malpractice theory or a general negligence theory. At Moll Law Group, our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys can advise people who have suffered from a misdiagnosis, a birth injury, a surgical error, or any other form of medical malpractice. Fill out our online form or call us at 312-462-1700 to set up a free consultation.

See More Posts:

Automated Driving Presents New Risks for Drivers, Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, August 16, 2016.

Woman Fails to Provide Required Notice in Medical Malpractice Claim, Resulting in Dismissal, Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, July 23, 2016.

Court Hold Adults Who Serve Alcohol to Minors May Be Liable for Related Injuries, Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, August 9, 2016.