Statute of limitations for birth injuries in Illinois

It is often the case that birth injuries could have been prevented if the treating physician had followed generally accepted medical practices. Such negligence on the part of doctors may lead some parents to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the physician and hospital. There is a statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim, and for filing a claim involving birth injuries.

Under Illinois law, any claim filed against a physician, dentist, nurse or hospital is required to be filed within two years from the date the injury occurred, or from the date on which the injured individual should have been aware of the injury. However, a medical malpractice lawsuit cannot be filed more than four years following the date on which the act or omission that allegedly caused the injury or death occurred.

But in the event of a birth injury, the plaintiff has eight years within which to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. According to Illinois law, the person entitled to file the claim must have been under the age of 18 at the time the cause of action accrued. However, under no circumstances may the action be brought after the person attains the age of 22. Whenever a minor suffers an injury due to medical malpractice, the minor has a minimum of eight years within which to file a claim. Thus, a child who is injured because of complications during labor or delivery has a minimum of eight years to bring a lawsuit.

In addition to causing physical injury, birth injuries, including cerebral palsy, frequently give rise to mental disabilities. If someone under age 18 is also physically or mentally disabled, then the period of limitations does not start to run until the disability is removed. If a minor is mentally incapacitated, the minor’s claim cannot be denied by the statute of limitations unless the disability is corrected.

Paul Greenberg is a Chicago birth injury lawyer with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit

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