Can You File a Claim for Medical Negligence After 3 Years?

Friday, April 14, 2023

Can You File a Claim for Medical Negligence After 3 Years?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Those who have been injured in a potential medical malpractice situation might not initially realize that they can initiate a lawsuit. So how long does someone have to file a claim? An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help outline your options. In most cases, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits in the state of Illinois is typically two years from the date that the injury occurred. That said, if your injury presents later, as many injuries do, you might have up to four years to file a lawsuit. The discovery rule outlines this exception.

You should discuss the time limits for your case with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. A legal professional who handles these cases in Illinois will understand how the complicated statute of limitations works. They can ensure you do not miss the window to pursue your medical negligence claim.

Understanding the Discovery Rule

After a medical procedure is completed, it can take months or even years for an injury to be noticeable enough to be discovered or might result in a different injury. There are many scenarios in which someone might not realize they have been a victim of medical malpractice for quite some time. For example, during surgery, if a small piece of gauze or other object is left behind and not cleared away, infection or discovery of the issue might not occur until months later.

For situations like this, where the injury is not recognized immediately, the discovery rule allows the statute of limitations to begin on the date that the object is discovered instead of the date when the initial surgery was performed.

When Should You Have Recognized the Injury?

In a medical malpractice suit that extends beyond the standard statute of limitations, the defendant might argue that you should have recognized the injury much earlier. This is one reason that it is important to seek medical attention as soon as you discover the injury; this can help show the discovery date. There are two different ways that you can claim your discovery date, it is either:

  1. The date that a standard person would recognize the injury.
  2. The date that you were notified of the injury with written notification.

The important thing is that you never ignore signs of a possible medical complication. Doing so can cause issues when you try to claim a discovery date. Get a medical evaluation as soon as you suspect something is wrong.

Contact an Experienced Chicago Medical Negligence Lawyer Today

Many people who have experienced medical negligence suffer in silence because they are too uncomfortable or unsure of how to ask for help.  At Malman Law, we understand how difficult it is to try to manage the aftermath of a botched medical procedure that leaves you with a painful injury.  Contact us today to speak with someone from our team to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more about your options. We are here and ready to help.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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