You can sue a doctor without malpractice insurance. Even though Illinois does not require physicians to carry insurance, if they work for a hospital or healthcare facility, they could be covered under its insurance policy. However, things can get complicated if this isn’t an option.
If you are not familiar with filing an injury lawsuit against a medical entity, a medical malpractice lawyer can be there to assist you throughout the entire process.
Understanding “the Four D’s” of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
To sue a doctor, you must establish the “four Ds” of medical malpractice cases. Compared to traditional personal injury lawsuits (like car accident cases, for example), medical malpractice cases tend to be a bit more complicated because healthcare providers are protected by numerous laws and guidelines around the country.
Specific medical malpractice laws change from state to state, but the basic legal concepts remain the same. Per Clinical Orthopaedics and Research, you must prove:
Duty of Care
If you are under the care of a medical professional, they owe you something known as a “duty of care.” Basically, a duty of care means the medical professional is responsible for treating your ailments to the best of their abilities.
To successfully file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit, you will need to prove that there was a doctor-patient relationship with the medical professional in question. Therefore, they knowingly cared for you in a medical setting.
Deviation From the Duty of Care
Once you have established that the doctor owed you a duty of care, you will need to prove that they breached their responsibilities. This could be due to misdiagnosing your condition, prescribing the wrong medication, or making an error during surgery.
The Doctor Directly Caused Your Injuries
Now, you need to show that the doctor deviated from their duty of care, and your injuries were caused by this deviation.
Lastly, you need to prove that the doctor’s wrongdoing caused you to suffer physical, emotional, or financial hardships––otherwise known as “damages.”
While this may seem easy enough, proving these elements can be challenging. Not to mention, most medical professionals will be represented by legal counsel to defend them from any accusations in a court of law.
If you retain a medical malpractice lawyer from our firm, we can build your case and fight for your rights in civil court.
The Types of Damages You Can Seek when You Sue a Doctor
You are within your rights to seek damages related to your economic (monetary) losses and non-economic (physical and emotional) losses when you file a lawsuit against a medical professional.
There are many types of damages you can seek in a medical malpractice case, which include, but may not be limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income and benefits, including long-term loss of income due to serious injuries
- Future loss of earning capacity
- Vocational training programs and other forms of rehabilitative services
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disabilities
- Physical disfigurements
- Loss of quality of life
- Psychological suffering, including mental health conditions like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Funeral expenses (if you lost a loved one due to medical negligence)
Your medical malpractice attorney can use a variety of methods to determine the appropriate value of your damages. They can even contact expert witnesses, like economists and other healthcare providers, to calculate your losses appropriately.
The Deadline for Suing a Doctor in the State of Illinois
According to 735 ILCS 5/13-212(a), you have two years to file a medical malpractice case in Illinois. This time limit starts ticking:
- From the date you discovered the error
- The date of the actual error itself
If the statute of limitations expires before you file your case, the court may automatically deny your request for compensation through litigation.
Further, if an act of medical malpractice led to the death of a loved one, 740 ILCS 180/2 establishes a similar two-year statute of limitations, which begins on the day of their passing. Your attorney can keep an eye on these deadlines while you focus on rebuilding your life.
How Our Attorneys Can Assist You During Litigation
To better understand the role of a medical malpractice lawyer, here are some of the ways in which our team can help you:
- Evaluating whether the doctor was covered under a healthcare facility’s insurance plan
- Determining who was liable for your injuries
- Establishing monetary values for your physical, emotional, and financial traumas
- Studying the unique laws that apply to your fight for justice
- Protecting your legal rights both inside and outside of civil court
- Collecting evidence and building your case
- Negotiating settlements
- Contacting expert witnesses to testify about your case
- Handling communications with the involved parties
Explore Your Medical Malpractice Litigation Options with Our Team
If you are still wondering if you can sue a doctor without malpractice insurance, our medical malpractice lawyers at The Kryder Law Group, LLC can help you understand your legal options. At the end of the day, our law firm is here to help protect your right to compensation.
Contact one of our team members today at (312) 598-0982 to get started with your free consultation.