Is there a statute of limitations on a medical lawsuit?

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Is there a statute of limitations on a medical lawsuit?

My father had squamous cell carcinoma on his eyelid and during his
first surgery around mid-September of 2015, the doctor doing the
reconstructive surgery cut his retina we think- something that
wasn’t to be touched because the cancer was only on his eyelid, and
they were stretching the skin back in place during this procedure.
For over a year now, he has had serious pain and light sensitivity
and will forever have to have prescription eyedrops. Recently, he
went to a second opinion doctor in Madison, Wisconsin and the doctor
did a biopsy on the growth on his retina. It is not cancerous –
however, the doctor believes it is scar tissue growing from the
unnecessary cut done to his eye during said surgery, mentioned
above. How long do we have to file a lawsuit? My father will be 65
years old in March and was denied disability although he is
currently collecting Social Security Income. More than 1 doctor has
confirmed he is disabled, will have driving restrictions, and this
does affect him working and SEEING. He is probably considered
legally blind at this point.

Asked on November 22, 2016 under Malpractice Law, Illinois

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In Illinois, there is a two year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in a medical malpractice case.
The two years is two years from the date of discovery which means two years from the date the patient discovers or should have discovered the injury or two years from the date the patient discovers or should have discovered that the injury was the result of medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
If the case is NOT settled with the doctor's malpractice insurance carrier, the lawsuit for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your father will lose his rights forever in the matter.


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