Medical Malpractice

Injury Attorneys Committed to Helping Residents of Chicago

Undergoing medical treatment often requires placing trust in doctors and other health care providers to perform procedures that are too complicated for most patients to fully understand. When you or a family member is hurt as the result of a faulty procedure or treatment, you may not realize it until well after the harm has been caused. An experienced attorney can help you determine whether you have a viable claim and guide you through the legal process. The injury lawyers at Leopold & Associates have three decades of experience helping Chicago residents seek the compensation that they deserve from those who were responsible for their harm.

Pursuing Compensation through a Medical Malpractice Claim

Physicians, nurses, and other health care providers are held to a professional standard of care when treating patients. Medical malpractice incorporates many categories, including diagnosis, prescribing medications, surgery, and other procedures, as well as the failure to perform these acts when appropriate.

In an action for malpractice, an injured patient must establish by expert testimony that the health care provider failed to conform to the applicable standard of care. In order to file a lawsuit, an affidavit must be attached to the civil complaint stating that the plaintiff’s attorney consulted with a qualified medical expert who has determined that there is reasonable cause for the lawsuit to be filed. A copy of the medical expert’s report must be attached, although the expert need not be identified. 735 ILCS 5/2-622.

There are four requirements that must be proven in order to succeed in a malpractice claim. First, the health care provider must have owed the patient a duty or obligation. In doctor-patient relationships, the physician has a duty to act in accordance with the standard of care that a similarly trained doctor in the same geographic area would have used in similar circumstances. The health care provider must have breached that duty, or failed to act according to the appropriate standard. Also, the defendant’s actions must have directly caused the injury to the patient. Finally, because of the negligent conduct of the health care provider, the victim must have incurred damages. These may include medical expenses, lost wages, future medical expenses, disability, disfigurement, loss of normal life, and pain and suffering, among others. Ill. Pattern Jury Instr.-Civ. Damages 30.00-35.00 and comments.

It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an injury because of the strict deadlines by which your lawsuit must be filed. In general, a medical malpractice claim against any physician, dentist, nurse, or hospital must be filed within two years of when the plaintiff knew or should have known of the injury or death giving rise to the claim, and no more than four years after the date of the act that caused the harm. 735 ILCS 5/13-212.

However, Illinois law prescribes several exceptions to this time period based on specific circumstances. If the patient was a minor at the time, the claim must be filed within eight years of the date of the negligent act, or when the minor is 22, whichever is sooner. There may also be other exceptions to this rule if the patient was under a legal disability when the act occurred. To determine whether your claim is within the applicable statute of limitations, you will need to discuss the circumstances of your case with an experienced attorney. 735 ILCS 5/13-212.

Protect Your Rights by Enlisting a Chicago Lawyer

If you are seeking experienced legal counsel to represent you in a claim based on medical malpractice, such as a failed diagnosis, the Chicago attorneys at Leopold & Associates can help. Many of our clients have come from Des Plaines, Evanston, Skokie, and other communities across Cook County. To discuss your case with a skilled legal professional, contact us by phone at (312) 781-6212 or online.