In a recent case, a plaintiff who was receiving treatment at a hospital was injured as he was being moved on a gurney within the hospital by medical personnel. While the plaintiff was being transferred, the gurney tipped over, and he suffered fractures as a result. The plaintiff filed a claim against the hospital. The complaint was filed more than a year but less than two years after the injury.
In the plaintiff’s jurisdiction, general negligence cases were subject to a two-year statute of limitations, whereas medical malpractice cases were subject to a one-year statute of limitations. The defendants argued that the claim was filed too late, since there was a one-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases. The trial court agreed and dismissed the case.
After the case was decided, the state’s supreme court then decided that in negligence cases involving the use of medical equipment, a specific section of the state’s code applied. The case was reconsidered in light of the supreme court’s holding. The court found that since in this case the negligence was related to the plaintiff’s medical diagnosis and treatment, the negligence occurred “in the rendering of professional services,” and his case was subject to the one-year statute of limitations.
Illinois Statutes of Limitations
Whenever someone wants to file a lawsuit, the first question one should consider is what is the applicable statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the time period in which a plaintiff has to file the claim after the incident occurs. The statute of limitations varies depending on the type of claim. For example, generally negligence claims in Illinois have a two-year statute of limitations for claims involving a personal injury. Medical malpractice claims are also normally subject to a two-year statute of limitations. However, the time period may be even shorter in some circumstances.
If the statute of limitations has passed, a claim can no longer be filed, as in the case above. But there are exceptions in some cases. In medical malpractice cases, for example, the statute of limitations may be extended if the injured person was a minor. It could also be extended if the plaintiff did not know about the injury or did not understand the defendant was at fault. For these reasons, seeking professional guidance as soon as possible is the best course of action.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney
As a patient at a hospital, you are in the hands of not only doctors but also nurses and other staff members. Even if you suffer an injury at the hands of people other than the doctors themselves, your claim may still be qualified as a “medical malpractice” claim, subjecting the case to additional requirements. Regardless, knowing the applicable statute of limitations is essential to a case’s success because a failure to file the case in a timely manner can result in delay or dismissal. The Chicago attorneys at Moll Law Group can advise people who have suffered from medical malpractice. We represent individuals and families in Naperville, Wheaton, Schaumburg, and communities throughout Cook County. Contact us through our online form or call us at 312-462-1700 to set up a free initial consultation.
See More Posts:
State Court Adopts Continuing Course of Treatment Doctrine, Potentially Extending Statute of Limitations in Some Medical Malpractice Cases, Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, October 5, 2016.
Property Owners May Be Held Responsible for Negligent Acts of Others on Premises, Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, October 31, 2016.
Court Determines that Land Surveyors Are Considered “Professionals” for Negligence Claims, Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog, September 30, 2016.