Does Illinois Have a Cap on Medical Malpractice?

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Does Illinois Have a Cap on Medical Malpractice?

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

Medical malpractice cases involve individuals taking legal action against negligent medical professionals. Victims have many questions about the process, but the biggest question is often about how much monetary compensation they can receive.

There is no easy answer to this question. Many factors will determine how much you can pursue and recover. One contributing factor is damage caps in Illinois.

Below is some information regarding caps on malpractice damages. Consult with our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys from Malman Law to discuss your specific case.

Damages available in medical malpractice cases

Usually, you might be able to recover two types of damages in Illinois for medical malpractice cases. The two types are economic and non-economic damages. Case details will determine the worth of the damages and which apply. Monetary damages often apply to most cases and involve tangible losses. Examples of financial losses include:

  • Medical care expenses
  • Lost future earnings
  • Past lost wages
  • Property damages you suffer
  • Physical therapy
  • Specialized treatments
  • Disability accommodations

Non-economic damages are subjective, especially since they do not have receipts. They deal with the emotional pain and suffering you endure. These damages are often sought when there are life-altering conditions. Some common types include:

  • Disfigurement
  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Permanent disability
  • PTSD
  • Emotional distress
  • Lower quality of life

In Illinois, you can pursue compensation for the total value of your economic and non-economic losses. You should work with a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer to assess your damages.

One other category we should mention is punitive damages. They are used as a way to punish the defendant for their actions. However, punitive damages are not available for medical malpractice lawsuits.

Laws about damage caps for medical malpractice

Prior to 2010, there were caps on how much you could recover from a medical malpractice case. The cap was $500,000 when a doctor or medical professional was involved and $1 million for medical facility cases. What changed this law was the Illinois Supreme Court ruling on LeBron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital.

The result is that any cases filed after that ruling no longer had damage caps. The new law applies to non-economic and economic damages. Medical malpractice cases are incredibly complex. There are procedural rules, extensive medical records to sift through, and a substantial burden of proof on the plaintiff. You should speak with a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer for assistance.

Illinois statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases

One law that dramatically impacts your medical malpractice case is the statute of limitations. These Laws limit when you can file a medical malpractice claim. When you pass the deadline, Illinois bars you from taking legal action. Remember, it is the time you have to start a claim, not how long it will take to resolve your legal matter. Regarding medical malpractice cases, you have two years from the date you knew about the negligence. It also includes verbiage for a reasonable amount of time you should have known about the injury caused by the negligent individual.

There is another deadline that could apply. According to 735 ILCS section 5/13-212(a), you shall not bring a medical malpractice lawsuit more than four years after your underlying medical error occurred. This deadline applies to plaintiffs that do not discover their injury right away.

There is one more deadline that might apply to your medical malpractice case. If a plaintiff is under 18 when they suffer an injury, the deadline for filing is substantially longer. In these cases, the statute is eight years from when the malpractice occurred. However, a claim cannot be started after the injured party’s twenty-second birthday.

Determining which statute applies to your case can be difficult. Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyer is familiar with these laws. Once we review your case facts, we will know which deadline applies and work quickly to meet it.

Affidavit of Merit in Illinois

When you file a medical malpractice complaint, you must include an affidavit. Failure to file this affidavit with your complaint is grounds for your lawsuit dismissal. Within this document, it will state that the plaintiff(s) has consulted a medical professional with:

  • Knowledge about the medical issues pertinent to the case
  • Is currently practicing or teaching in the field related to the case
  • Is competent in the lawsuit’s topic

You will also have to include a written report from a different medical professional who can attest to there being a reasonable cause for the lawsuit. If the statute of limitations is looming, plaintiffs might be able to get an extension for the healthcare consultation giving them 90 days after the filing to provide the documentation.

Work with a trusted Chicago medical malpractice lawyer

You can hold negligent medical personnel or facilities responsible for their negligence by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. You can pursue emotional, physical, and financial losses. You may get settlement offers from the defendant, but you must consider them thoroughly before accepting them. The best chance of accurately calculating your damages is working with a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer.

Call the office of Malman Law at (888) 746-5015 for a consultation today.

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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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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