Statute of Limitations
In general, a medical malpractice lawsuit in Illinois must be filed:
- Within two years of the date when one knows or through the use of reasonable diligence should have known of the injury or death for which damages are sought
- No later than four years after the act, omission or occurrence alleged to have caused the injury
The statute of limitations is different for minors (those under 18) and people who are under a legal disability (generally meaning they are incapable of making decisions on their own) at the time the cause of action accrued (generally meaning that it came into being). For minors, a medical malpractice lawsuit generally must be filed:
- Within eight years of the act, omission or occurrence alleged to have caused the injury or death
- In no event, not after the injured person’s 22nd birthday
For people who are under a legal disability the statute of limitations time period is tolled, meaning that the statute of limitations time clock does not run, during the period in which the legal disability exists. Once the legal disability is removed, the lawsuit must be filed within the remaining time left within the applicable statute of limitations period.
There are numerous other caveats and exceptions that may substantially impact the legal analysis as to whether a statute of limitations has begun to run, is running, is tolled and/or has expired, as well as whether a claim has accrued. This analysis and any legal determination depends upon the facts of each case. The above content is provided solely for informational purposes. If you have questions about the statute of limitations or whether it could have any impact on your case, you should contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the applicable jurisdiction.