Despite what insurance companies and some politicians like to tell people, it’s very hard to win a medical malpractice lawsuit in Illinois. You need to show that the medical provider screwed up, that without their error you wouldn’t have suffered your harm and in most cases, that your damages are really significant. In other words, saying “I could have died” isn’t enough, even when their mistake was terrible. You don’t have to die, but do need to show some harm.
In my opinion, there are about ten really good Illinois medical malpractice law firms. They have the track record of winning cases, have many lawyers and a large support staff often consisting of doctors and/or nurses and can afford the risk of bringing these very expensive cases without cutting corners to do so. They take cases that they think they can win and also recover enough to justify their time, expense and risk. In other words, if it typically costs $100,000.00 to go to trial in a malpractice lawsuit, you aren’t going to spend that money if you think the case is only worth $200,000.00.
As a result, most people who want to sue a doctor or hospital can’t find an attorney to bring a case for them. This can, understandably, be really frustrating for the people who call us looking for an attorney referral. We get that, but are always honest. We love to make money and do so by taking on cases, but we always tell the truth. And if the truth is that we don’t think you have a case or don’t have enough of an injury, we will tell you.
Being wronged by a medical provider can be emotional. So callers will often say to us, “Well, if it’s not medical malpractice, can I sue for negligence?” Unfortunately those two terms mean the exact same thing. Medical malpractice lawsuits are when doctors, nurses, etc are negligent. So there aren’t different standards or time limits for bringing these claims.
So if you can’t find an Illinois medical malpractice attorney, what can you do?
- You can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulations (“IDFPR”). The license and discipline doctors and nurses. In some cases you might not be able to get money from suing, but the IDFPR might be able to take away their license.
- In some cases you can get results from the risk management department at a hospital. That could mean them reducing or eliminating your bill and in some cases it could mean them offering you a small amount of money.
- I’m not a fan of Yelp or those types of places, but I get that doing so could be therapeutic.
- Be mad, but realize you’ll probably have to get over it. That sucks to hear, but if five lawyers who have a great track record tell you there’s no case, at some point you have to move on. It’s a product of how hard and expensive it is win these cases.
Is it weird for an attorney to tell you to move on? Again, we always tell the truth, even if we know it’s not what you want to hear. The bottom line is that if you have been wronged and want to know if you have a case, we are happy to speak with you for free and offer an honest opinion and if needed, recommend a law firm that has a great track record. Call us for free any time at 312-346-5320. We cover all of Illinois.