Most Illinois attorneys would love to get a good medical malpractice case.  If they are successful, they can be worth millions, and the lawyer will get paid very well for all of their hard work.

Just because a lawyer wants a case doesn’t mean they are the best choice for you.  Simply put, there are about 7-10 firms in Illinois that have a real track record of success. Medical malpractice cases are worth more in their hands than they are with others that are less experienced or don’t have the same track record of having handled hundreds of these cases successfully.

The medical malpractice law firms we know and recommend don’t win every case, but they give you the best chance of success.  When cases go to trial in Chicago for malpractice, doctors win about 80% of the time.  That means most law firms have a losing record.  But if you look at that elite list of 7-10 firms, their success rate at trial will be between 70-90%.  So not only are cases worth more in their hands, going with them can be the difference between winning and losing.

A recent caller to my office asked me my opinion about two firms that he had spoken to.  One of them was an elite firm and would be a great choice as they really have a track record and if you look at their website, you will see how many great results they have. The other one though on their “record of success” page only listed one medical malpractice result and that was for less than a million dollars.  Every other case they discuss is a car accident.

It’s not to say that the second lawyer couldn’t do a good job.  They might.  But when comparing the two, there is no comparison.  The first firm has over 50-million-dollar malpractice results.  They have doctors and nurses on their staff.  They won’t be learning on the job.

These are things that people don’t think about sometimes. Even with some firms that look like they have a great track record, there are things that you should know.  Some firms that look really good on their website might not be doing things in a way that’s best for you.  Here are some examples:

  1. They list a bunch of great results, but the reality is that they came at their old law firm and they weren’t the main reason they happened.  Yes, they got good experience assisting their boss, but the reality is that their involvement didn’t really make a difference in the end result.
  2. The law firm lists a bunch of attorneys and the firm name lists a bunch of people.  You think you are hiring some big group, but in reality, each lawyer works for themselves and they are motivated to not collaborate with their partners because if they do they have to split their fee with them. You want a lawyer who puts your best interests above all else.
  3. The big-name attorney you talk to when you sign up isn’t going to be there every step of the way.  There are a couple of malpractice law firms in Chicago that have achieved some amazing results.  When you talk to them, the main partner will be on the call and will meet with you.  They will also be the one in court if the case goes to trial.  Sounds good, right?  The problem is that they won’t be the one working up the case.  They won’t do the investigation.  They won’t be taking depositions.  They won’t be the one you talk to as the years go on.  That to me is a problem. There is nothing wrong with having an associate or partner help you.  But if it’s my case, I want the best lawyer at the firm involved every step of the way.
  4. The big-name partner handles everything, but they are older.  Does the firm have a succession plan in place if something happens to them? If that person dies will all the lawyers go their own way and start new firms or will the firm continue? You don’t want to have one lawyer handling your case and then have someone who knows nothing about it take over two years later.

Those are things that aren’t going to be on their website, but are questions you should be asking before you hire a firm.  If you want our guidance or have any questions, you can call us for free to speak with a lawyer any time at 312-346-5320.