I was contacted by a woman who was curious about Illinois medical malpractice laws. The father of her two children had died from what may have been a medical malpractice situation and she was hoping to talk about the process.

Before we could get going though, she told me something I hear a lot. She said:

I don’t even know if I want to do this. My kids are grieving and I’m not sure I want to put them through this.

That is a common thought process and makes sense. This is a great mom who is trying to protect her kids.

All of that said, she is over analyzing things right now. Illinois medical malpractice lawsuits are very hard cases to win. Talking to a lawyer about a possible case doesn’t mean you are going to sue. It means you are having a discussion about having someone investigate a case.

Unlike a car accident where we can usually tell you from your own statements and/or a police report if you have a case, nobody can tell you that you definitely have a medical malpractice case over the phone.

To determine if you have a case not only requires to hear your version of events, but much more importantly, requires us to review the relevant medical records of the person who was harmed. That is an involved process that often requires a review of thousands of pages of medical records.

These reviews are first done internally and then if it appears there might be something wrong, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer will contact an expert in the relevant field to arrange to send the records to them for their review and opinion. In some cases multiple physicians need to be involved.

The whole investigation process commonly take 6-12 months. So by contacting a lawyer, even while grieving, you are not committing to anything other than the chance to find out if you might have a case. If the answer is yes, then you can decide if you want the attorney to file a lawsuit or not.

Even once the lawsuit has been filed, it doesn’t mean that your family will have to go through a trial. While that is definitely a possibility, many cases settle long before that has to happen.

All of these situations come down to case facts. Just know that time is of the essence. Usually once two years has passed it’s too late (there are exceptions, call us any time to discuss your time limits). So know that if you are really “just thinking about it” that means you should have an attorney review the case with you and go from there.