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The Statute of Limitations for Children Who Are the Victim of Medical Malpractice Is Incredibly Unfair

Woodruff Johnson & Evans Law Offices

Illinois law allows minors who are the victim of someone else’s negligence to reach their 18th birthday before the statute of limitations begins to toll, with one notable exception, medical malpractice. If a doctor or hospital commits malpractice and injures a child, the statute of limitations for that child is, at most, eight years! Thus, if an infant is severely injured at birth due to medical malpractice and her parents do not want to pursue a medical malpractice case, the child is powerless to do anything on her own behalf after she reaches the age of 8.

One can speculate as to why doctors and medical institutions are afforded this special protection when they negligently injure children while all others are not. On the other hand, what can an attorney say to a 16-year old girl whose life has been profoundly affected by a doctor’s negligence, is now old enough to realize it, and wants to hold the doctor responsible? The reality is that under Illinois law, an attorney must advise the young woman that any rights she had are forever lost.

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