It’s a question most clients ask when they are in the beginning stages of deciding whether to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Chicago. How easy will it be to win the case? The answer is simple, it is not easy at all. Cook County, Illinois has a reputation of being Plaintiff friendly, which means the person filing the case, would be predisposed to winning. However, the doctors who are being sued win 80% of the cases that make it to trial.
Don’t get us wrong. We investigate over 100 cases every month and LOVE to help people who have been injured due to medical negligence. We’d love to help you and we have a great track record of success. We are also honest and want to be clear that these cases are not easy.
Bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit to trial is a very expensive undertaking. In most situations, if an attorney decides to take on a case he or she will incur all of the costs during the trial, and receive payment from an award given to the patient. Some cases cost over $100 thousand dollars to litigate after investigators and specialists prove the malpractice. Hundreds of hours of work go into the beginning stages of any medical malpractice case and attorneys typically don’t work for free.
Other big issues in winning medical malpractice cases are sometimes people confuse a customer service issue with a malpractice issue, and sometimes the end result is simply a risk taken for medical services. For instance, if someone is in an emergency situation and needs to be intubated on the spot, one risk is damage to the vocal cords. The person may have permanent damage, or may just have difficulties talking for the next few days. This person typically would not have a case for medical malpractice simply because the doctor intubated him or her because of the basic risks of the procedure. If a doctor is unkind during an exam with regards to prescription meds, and refuses to refill the prescription typically the patient would not have a medical malpractice case because no catastrophic and life changing effects would come from not refilling the prescription.
The burden of proof falls into the standard of care given to the patient. Sometimes people feel as though the doctor could have done more, or should have known circumstances; that doesn’t mean the standard of care was less than acceptable.
The other burden of proof is catastrophic injury or even death. What could of happened doesn’t count in a medical malpractice case. Take for instance a patient who went in to have her gall bladder removed. The surgeon missed a few gallstones that passed into the bile duct and later blocked the bile duct. This can cause extreme pain, and could even be life threatening. If the doctor caught the issue and treated it, and she made a full and complete recovery, there is no catastrophic damage – there is no medical malpractice case.
Attorneys will take great care in assessing your personal situation before taking on any medical malpractice case for all of these reasons. No one wants a patient to be injured or things made to be worse than they are in any medical situation, no one wants to have the consequences needed to be successful with a medical malpractice lawsuit.
For more information on medical malpractice and your personal situation, please call us for a free consultation.