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Time Limits for Filing a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

Medical professionals can be held liable if their negligence causes a child to develop cerebral palsy (CP). It is up to injured victims or their family members to take legal action by pursuing compensation in trial or by reaching an out-of-court settlement.

Injured victims and those whose loved ones are affected by medical malpractice must comply with many legal requirements in taking action to hold doctors and care providers responsible. One of the most essential requirements is making a claim within the designated time limit, or statute of limitations.

In Illinois, the following rules apply when determining the time limits for filing a birth injury lawsuit involving cerebral palsy:

General Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

Lawsuits against healthcare providers such as doctors and hospitals must be filed within two years from the time when the injury happened or from the time when the injury became apparent enough that you reasonably should have been aware of it.

Statute of Limitations for Cases Involving Minors

There are special rules that apply when a victim is under the age of 18 at the time when he or she sustained harm. Since children generally develop CP during the birthing process or shortly after birth, the special rules for minors can apply to cerebral palsy lawsuits against care providers.

Under these rules, medical malpractice claims can be brought within eight years if the medical error or medical negligence that caused the injury happened to an underage child. All claims, however, must be brought before the child turns age 22 even if the eight years have not yet passed.

Statute of Limitations for Those with Disabilities

When a victim has a disability, the statute of limitations may not begin running until the disability is removed. Once the plaintiff is no longer considered disabled, then the clock begins to run on the statute of limitations.

The most favorable of these laws for cerebral palsy patients is the statute of limitations for those with disabilities. Since CP often causes mental impairment that constitutes a disability, it is possible that the clock may never run out on a medical negligence claim against a healthcare provider who caused the child to develop the disorder.