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Important Prerequisites to Filing Your Medical Malpractice Case

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a doctor or other healthcare provider, you may deserve compensation. However, under Illinois law, there are certain conditions that must be met before a plaintiff is able to file suit against a doctor, hospital, or other healthcare provider. If these prerequisites are not met, your medical malpractice case could face dismissal by the court. Two such crucial conditions in Illinois are the plaintiff’s 735 ILCS 5/2-622 affidavit of merit and the report of the reviewing healthcare provider.

Affidavit of Merit for a Medical Malpractice Case

Under the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, 735 ILCS 5/2-622, a plaintiff alleging medical malpractice seeking “damages for injuries or death by reason of medical, hospital, or other healing arts malpractice,” the plaintiff must file an affidavit declaring that he or she has “consulted with a health professional who the affiant reasonably believes (a) is knowledgeable in the relevant issues involved in the particular action; (b) practices or has practiced within the last 6 years or teaches or has taught within the last 6 years in the same area of health care or medicine that is at issue in the particular action; and (c) meets the expert witness standards set forth in 735 ILCS 5/8-2501.”

medical malpractice case

Written Report from a Healthcare Professional

In addition to such affidavit, the plaintiff must include a written report from the healthcare professional he or she has consulted with, detailing the reviewing healthcare professional’s opinion that there is a meritorious and reasonable cause for the filing of such action. A single written report must be filed for EACH defendant. Thus, if a plaintiff wants to sue both a hospital and an individual doctor, a report must be filed for each. As to defendants who are individuals, the report must come from a professional licensed in the same area. Regarding hospitals, the report must come from a physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches who is qualified by experience. However, the report does NOT need to identify or be signed by the reviewing professional. Failure to include this report can be grounds for dismissal of your case. As such, it is crucial to include at the time of filing any medical malpractice action.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a doctor or hospital through negligent treatment, you may be eligible to pursue compensation. The lawyers at Steigmann Law, P.C., can discuss your case with you and help determine the recovery options available.