If you experience an injury as a result of a physician’s negligence, your first concern will likely be recovering from the injury rather than contacting a medical malpractice attorney. In almost every case, your instincts are correct. Yet you should be careful not to neglect a legal consultation because your delay in initiating a malpractice lawsuit can preclude your ability to recover compensation for your injuries and damages.
Every state has adopted “statutes of limitations” that impose strict deadlines for filing malpractice cases. In Illinois, for example, a party that suffered an injury as a result of a caregiver’s negligence must file his lawsuit no later than two years after he discovers or should have discovered the injury. Also in Illinois, you must file your lawsuit no later than four years after the malpractice occurred. How this works is best illustrated with an example.
Assume that a surgeon leaves a small sponge in your abdomen after a surgery. You may experience some discomfort several weeks or months after the surgery, but if you decide that the discomfort is normal and you do nothing, you may be limiting your ability to file a lawsuit. Assume further in this case that during another medical examination that you have two and a half years after the surgery, you discover the sponge. You might file a lawsuit then against the original surgeon, but his lawyer will inquire about your post-surgical pain and discomfort. He can argue that your earlier pain should have led you to discover the sponge and the surgeon’s error two or three months after the surgery. Because you did not file your lawsuit for more than two years after that date, your lawsuit is subject to dismissal under the deadlines established by the statute of limitations.
The attorneys at the Perica Law Firm, located in Southern Illinois, have extensive experience in medical malpractice cases and with filing those cases well before the deadlines in the state’s statute of limitations will prevent those cases from being filed. If you suspect that you are the victim of a medical caregiver’s negligence, please contact us to schedule a consultation at your earliest opportunity.