I recently had an hour long conversation with a woman who was looking for an Illinois medical malpractice attorney to pursue a case involving the tragic death of her husband.
At first it seemed like it would be a quick conversation because she just asked “Who is the best Illinois malpractice attorney?” Usually I can explain this away quickly, but she asked me so many good questions about hiring a lawyer that I thought it would be a good blog post.
What I told her is that there isn’t a “best” law firm, but what we can do is help her find the best one for her possible case. To do that though, we need to know what happened with the treatment and about the patient.
I say that because there are some Illinois malpractice firms that are extremely selective with the cases they take. They have amazing track records of success and it would be great if you can get them to take your case. But because time is of the essence, you don’t want to waste your time with them if it’s clear you won’t meet their standard.
In other words, for some firms, if there isn’t an economic loss or millions of dollars in medical bills for past and future treatment, they won’t consider the case. Some firms are only interested in cases that could be worth potentially in the mid to high seven figures at worst.
Other firms won’t take cases that have obvious defenses right away. For example, if you have co-morbidities such as diabetes, extreme obesity, etc., they won’t even consider your case.
There’s of course no way for you to know this about various firms which is one reason we started our lawyer referral service. We know the selection criteria each firm has and can match you up with the best one for your case facts.
You also want to hire someone who has experience with your type of case. Having won similar cases in the past can increase the chances of success as well as speed up the process. If they know which experts to consult with, it can significantly cut down on the investigation time. These are also things we are familiar with and can help you with.
Some things you can do on your own when looking for an Illinois medical malpractice attorney include:
- Make sure they can demonstrate a track record of settlements and trial verdicts in many cases. How many? There’s no magic number, but it should be at least somewhere above 25.
- Verify that they can fund these very expensive cases. If you have a young or one person firm, they might not be able to.
- Know that just because a lawyer says they do medical malpractice cases in Illinois doesn’t mean they really do. A lot of lawyers just list it in order to refer the cases on to other firms.
- Be aware of the time limits for suing. It can be as little as two years from when the incident happened. So don’t delay looking for a law firm as it takes more than six months on average and often more than a year to properly investigate a case.
- Avoid lawyers that also do defense work. You don’t want to have to worry that they will have a conflict of interest or be more loyal to their insurance company clients.
If you have any questions or want our opinion as to if you have a case and if so who you should hire, call us any time to speak with a lawyer for free at 312-346-5320.