A recent incident urged a mother to consider filing a medical lawsuit. Her son was born with cerebral palsy and brain impairment. However, the mother found that Kentucky, where she lived, required medical malpractice lawsuits first go through a review panel of doctors before they reach the courts.
The panel reviews all medical malpractice claims for a period up to nine months before moving it forward to court. Yet section 14 under Kentucky’s constitution gives every resident a right to access the court without any delay. The baby's parents came forward to challenge Kentucky’s medical review panel in court. The circuit judge gave his consent for the Medical Review Panel to continue.
Since the beginning of Kentucky’s medical review panel system, close to 530 lawsuits have been filed, of which 11 % were assigned to the review panel. 3% of the total lawsuits passed the review. 17 states and the Virgin Islands have the mandate that medical malpractice cases go through the screening panel before going to court.
After much disagreement from the public on the medical review panel mandate, the Supreme Court is looking into this matter and reevaluating if the state legislature should have the freedom to set such parameters on the malpractice lawsuit proceedings. The decision is yet to be confirmed.
What if I am Considering a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
A plaintiff (you) of medical malpractice in Illinois must attach an affidavit to the complaint document, which states the reason for the lawsuit that declares that you have consulted a health care professional who:
- Has knowledge about the medical issues related to the case;
- Is currently practicing or teaching (or has practiced or taught within the past six years) in the medical field relevant to your case; and
- Has experience and competency in the matter of the lawsuit.
The affidavit must have a written report attached by the consulted health professional, stating that "there is a reasonable and meritorious cause" for the lawsuit. The other requirements on the Illinois “Affidavit of Merit” are as follows:
If the looming statute of limitations filing deadline creates problems for the plaintiff to get the required consultation with a qualified health care professional, the affidavit should be filed within 90 days along with the accompanying documentation after filing the lawsuit; and
If the plaintiff does not file complaint affidavit, it will be considered as grounds for the dismissal of the medical malpractice lawsuit.
To put it simply, there are a lot of complicated requirements and regulations involved in filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Check out the full details in the official Illinois code (the "Illinois Compiled Statutes") at 735 ILCS section 5/2-622. Reach out to an experiences Illinois personal injury attorney today to ensure you achieve the compensation you deserve.
If you are experiencing injuries due to the negligence of a medical professional the Arlington Heights, Libertyville, Chicago, Fox River Grove, or Itasca areas, Newland & Newland, LLP at today at (847) 797-8000, or a fill out our online contact form for a complimentary evaluation of your situation.
We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Luis Melendez)