Please note that this article is exclusive to Illinois as all 50 states have different laws on medical malpractice including damage caps and limits on attorney’s fees.
Every Illinois medical negligence case is different. Depending on the facts of your case, you can be compensated for pain and suffering, economic damages, such as loss of income as well as loss of consortium. Loss of consortium refers to the loss of a family relationship and usually relates to married couples, where the injury causes decreased sexual activity or diminished care, companionship and/or affection.
In addition, your age, health, type of injury, amount of suffering and economic losses will each contribute to what you may be able to recover.
Another factor is location of the case. Cases in Cook County, Illinois will more likely yield a higher reward for a plaintiff than cases in smaller southern counties in the state. There are some rural counties in Illinois that haven’t had a successful medical malpractice case in several years. In many of those areas, it is difficult to find an impartial jury. Someone usually knows the defendant doctor or nurse.
Most medical malpractice cases settle out of the court and the ones that do go to trial, usually find in favor of the doctor. Even in Cook County, which is the most favorable toward plaintiffs compared to other counties in the state, has only about a 20% success rate for cases that go to trial.
Choosing the right attorney will also greatly influence the value of your case. There are certain law firms that have the track record as well as the resources to maximize the presentation of your case. For example, depending on the facts of your case, the right attorney will know which expert witnesses to retain or where to file your case to maximize your chances of getting the best result.
Certain law firms also have the respect – and even sometimes fear – of the insurance companies. Hiring the wrong firm cannot only be the difference between winning and losing but also between hundreds of thousands of dollars if you win and millions. We recommend hiring a medical malpractice attorney with a solid reputation and proven track record. It can make all the difference.
Most medical malpractice attorneys’ work on a contingency basis, meaning you do not pay unless you “win.” In Illinois, attorneys’ fees are limited to 33-1/3% of the first $ 150,000.00 recovered, 25% of the next $ 850,000.00 recovered, and 20% of any amount recovered over $ 1 million. Still, the amount is subject to review by the court, and may be increased in certain cases where the attorneys’ work involved more than the usual time and effort.
To learn more visit http://www.findgreatlawyers.com/MedicalMalpractice.htm
Michael Helfand has been an Illinois attorney since 1997 and is founder of http://www.findgreatlawyers.com/0Examples.htm the leading resource for Illinois lawyer referrals and legal guidance.