If you have a work-related injury in Illinois, you may consider seeking out legal help. First thing, you should consider what kind of attorney would best fit your criteria and interview them. This first meeting is an initial consultation and is your chance to really dig in and ask some important questions, make observations and evaluate to determine if they would be a good fit for you and your case.

You’ll want to have a list of questions in mind to ask relating to the lawyer’s expertise, experience, fees, special knowledge and management of the case. Listed here are seven questions to help guide you in your consultation.

Q: Will you be handling my case personally? Who will be doing the bulk of the work?
A: It is common for lawyers to delegate appropriate tasks to associates and/or paralegals. One Chicago work comp firm is famous for hiring really young lawyers and giving them tons of cases without much training or supervision. Chances are you spent some time finding this experienced workers compensation lawyer, and the last thing you’d want is for him/her to pass off your case to another attorney. You will want to make sure your hired lawyer is the one overseeing everything in your case and doing the high-level work involved.

Q: How much of your practice is devoted to workers’ compensation?
A: You are looking for a specialist in workers’ compensation, so ideally the lawyer should devote a significant portion of his/her practice to representing injured workers, if not 100%.  Most of the attorneys we recommend only handle work comp cases.  If they are doing any non-injury related cases it’s a bad sign.

Q: What are your fees and how is litigation costs handled?
A: This is obviously an important question to ask upfront. It is important to understand all fees associated with your case before retaining their services. All workers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they receive a percentage of your settlement. By State law, the fees are capped at 20% of what they recover for you.  But there will be expenses and if they ask you to give them money to cover that you should walk away.

Q: How will I know how my case is doing?
A: Communication is the key when working with a lawyer and this question should give you some insight into the attorney’s communication style. Ask the lawyer how often and under what circumstances you can expect to hear from him/her and to be sure you would be receiving periodic status updates. Also, find out if you can expect to hear from them via phone or email.

Q: How many cases have you represented that were similar to mine?
A. Experience matters, so now is the time to make sure they have experience in producing results in similar cases. Feel free to ask about their record of accomplishment, such as the number of cases won or settled. You can even go a step further and ask for references.  It’s not always enough that they only do work comp. You want them to understand your injury too if it’s unique.

Q: What is the best strategy for my case?

A. Once you have explained your situation to them, you should get a better idea of how the lawyer values your case and the steps he/she can take in favor of your case. No attorney can ever guarantee a recovery; but an experienced attorney should be able to give you a general assessment of your case, including strategy and possible outcomes.

Q: Is there anything I can do that can help my case?
A: For any successful case, you and your attorney should work as a team. An experienced attorney will understand this and will appreciate your willingness as a resource You may be asked to help answer questions on your case, gather medical records and documents, and to explain details of your injury. Make sure your conversation is thorough and that you know what may be expected of you moving forward.

The director of public affairs for Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Kate Ellis, said in a statement “The safety and security of our patients and team members is our top priority.” However, after a Cook County jury awarded more than $10 million to former AIMMC employees this week for two (2) separate incidents in a 2014 lawsuit, it seems doubtful they are truly concerned for anyone’s safety and security.

Dr. Caroline Ryan, a former anesthesiologist at AIMMC, and six (6) former nurses, brought a lawsuit against Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in the Illinois Circuit Court for two (2) separate incidents of misconduct.

The first incident gives allowance for a culture of tolerating misconduct. Dr. Stephen Laga has been accused of physically attacking Dr. Ryan. When Ryan immediately reported the incident to Advocate’s vice president of medical staff management, she was encouraged to drop her report “for the sake of the hospital.” According to the complaint, Laga had a long and documented history of violent conduct that the hospital has chosen to ignore continuously.

Workers have the right, among other rights, to working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm. Yet workers in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings face significant risks of workplace violence. Violent incidents can come from a variety of sources with many going unreported. Doctors are more often protected as they bring in a considerable amount of profit to their healthcare organization. Clearly, this just isn’t right or legal.

At trial, Advocate claimed the hospital leadership had discretion when handling doctor misconduct and they acted reasonably in this instance. The jury disagreed and awarded Ryan $50,000 in compensatory damages and $7 million in punitive damages. It’s clear the jury was sending a message that just because doctors do generate significant revenues for hospitals, the culture of tolerating misconduct by them is not okay.

The second incident, occurring less than a year later, involved a prominent eye surgeon secretly videotaping women at the hospital and a medical clinic. Robert Weiss was an eye doctor at the Chicago Eye Institute at the 3000 block of Milwaukee Avenue. It was here that another employee found a camera inside a toilet in the women’s facilities. Recordings on the memory card showed Weiss in the recordings as well as other illegal and secret recordings in the locker room at Chicago Eye Institute maintained at AIMMC, where Weiss also held employment.

Weiss was arrested when the secret camera was discovered in April 2014 and charged with felony criminal conduct. Yet, this wasn’t Weiss’ first offense. Advocate knew or should have known that Weiss had a history of similar inappropriate conduct while working for the hospital. One instance includes complaints of him using his mobile phone to photograph female clients and employees without their consent. What is further bothersome is that Advocate delayed in his suspension, despite the history and criminal charges.

Filming someone in a private place without the consent of those present is illegal. To compensate the plaintiffs for the invasion of their privacy, the jury awarded each of the women amounts ranging from $50,000 to $275,000, totaling $1.175 million. In addition, the jury awarded $2 million in punitive damages. These awards made against Weiss and the jury found Advocate liable for the invasion of privacy, but did not hold Advocate accountable when asked if Weiss misconduct was reasonably foreseeable.

That may have relieved the hospital of further liability for now, but it seems apparent that the hospital is failing to act when violations of its own written policies are being reported.

We have a lot of experience helping people who have been abused by doctors both physically and through invasion of privacy.  If you would like our help please call us at 312-346-5320 for a free consultation.

Worker Compensation claims can difficult, exhausting and just plain complicated. If you’ve found yourself suffering from a work injury, here is a list of our favorite 33 tid-bits that you might find helpful.

1. With the exception of Federal workers, Chicago cops/firemen, some farm workers, and truly independent contractors, all employees, including employees through a temp-agency, are covered under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act.
2. If you don’t have health insurance this doesn’t stop you from making a claim if injured. Workers compensation is there to pay you for all of your related medical bills.
3. All businesses, including non-profits, are required to have workers compensation Insurance. It’s a felony not to have it.
4. In Illinois alone, there are more than 40,000 work comp claims filed every year.
5. Workers hired in Illinois, but injured while working in another state are still covered under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act.
6. There is a Statute of Limitations to file for any work injury. You have the longer of two years from the last payment of compensation from your job, or three years from the date of your injury.
7. From the moment you begin work, you’re covered under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. This includes during training.
8. Pre-existing conditions will not exclude you from receiving benefits.
9. Filing a case isn’t a lawsuit. They are claims for entitled benefits.
10. All injury claims are processed through the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. Every case starts with filing an Application for an Adjustment of Claim.
11. Once you have an active case, no doctor or hospital can legally send your bills to collections or report negatively to your credit report.
12. If you are injured while on company property before clocking in, you still may have grounds for a case. The same goes if you are injured after clocking out and leaving the office or are on company grounds for company business.
13. In a case where you may be injured and unable to go back to work, the insurance company will pay you for your retraining or for you to go back to school. This is known as vocational rehabilitation.
14. Pain medication has been known to cause addiction. When this occurs because of a work inury, drug rehabilitation to stop the addiction could be covered.
15. Mental stress will also be considered for workers compensation if the stress occurs from a shocking situation, such as being robbed at gunpoint, or from a physical situation, such as back surgery causing depression from the pain.
16. Cancer can come from extreme exposure to radiation on the job. Workers compensation may cover this.
17. If found necessary by your doctor, victims of catastrophic injuries may be entitled to benefits such as modified vehicles and home repairs.
18. It is typically not a good idea to quit your job in the middle of a case. Be sure to talk to your lawyer before taking any such actions.
19. If you are pursuing a claim, your company cannot fire you for doing so.
20. If you have a work accident that causes you to miss work, your employer can’t force you to use your sick or vacation days.
21. The insurance company has every legal right to hire a surveillance company to follow and film you as part of their investigation into your claim.
22. Be mindful about your social media. Your posts may negatively affect your case. Never post about your case, but it is also best to keep your profiles private and do not accept unknown friend requests.
23. The cause of a work related accident is never assigned to a fault, unless you were engaging in horseplay or taking unnecessary risks. Work comp will cover medical costs related to the job injury, regardless of who caused the accident.
24. While almost every case has a settlement value, there is no set value for what any one case is ‘worth’ because every case has different circumstances.
25. The money you can receive for a settlement is tax-free.
26. If a work accident causes you to be unable to work your second job, wages for both jobs are typically considered when calculating benefits.
27. When filing a claim for a work injury, pain and suffering is not considered in the recovered amount.
28. The amount of medical care and attention you need determines the time it takes for a case to settle. Some cases are settled in weeks, months or even years. On average, most cases are resolved within 12 – 18 months.
29. Insurance companies are not mandated to make a settlement offer, but you can ensure a settlement by formally filing a case and getting ready for trial.
30. Illinois workers compensation laws change constantly due to law interpretation by judges. This is why it is your best interest to hire a lawyer for your claim.
31. Switching attorneys is allowed.
32. Workman compensation lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no fee unless your case wins.
33. The best chance for success with your case is to hire an attorney who only handles work injury cases.

If you have any questions or want a referral to a top work comp attorney in Illinois, call us at 312-346-5320.

Even if you’ve never been in a car accident, you’re probably familiar with police reports. But, do you really know what these reports are and what they entail? Basically, a responding officer to a scene of a car accident generates these police reports. It is a summary of information regarding motor vehicle collisions, including your personal information.

Okay, so now let’s say you have been in a car accident. You may be in a delicate situation, physically, mentally, emotionally and then shortly after out of the blue you receive a mailer or a call from an attorney’s office soliciting their services. You’d probably wonder: How did this attorney even get my information and so quickly?

In a situation like this, chances are you were a part of a pretty sleazy and gross practice adopted by law firms. These offices ‘chase’ people who are injured for profits. They will pay off police officers, paramedics, hospital staff and nurses to obtain any and all information regarding your situation. They obtain the accident report, how the accident happened, your personal information and they will solicit you, whether you wanted them to or not.

For example: Just a couple of months ago, an owner of an attorney referral service in suburban Chicago has been accused of bribery for paying two (2) Chicago police officers for reports on vehicle crashes before they were available to the public and then using the information to solicit accident victims as clients for lawyers.

The thing is traffic crash reports aren’t made public until after a processing period that ranges from a day to several weeks. Only then, once made public, can the public request these records for a fee. Officers can access these reports before being publicized, but only for law enforcement purposes. This is a classless and illegal way to get clients!

Paying for reports happens too often. Call them what you want: “ambulance chasers,” “cappers,” “steerers,” or “case runners,” they are the bottom feeders of the legal profession. Their job is to swoop into some tragic situation to find victims, survivors and their families and to sign them up for legal representation. It is sleazy work preying on the people in shock and not in a position to make a rational decision when deciding on legal representation.

This type of attorney conduct violates the law, impairs victim rights and harasses those suffering from the shock and pain of an auto collision, giving the public another reason to look with skepticism at the legal profession.

Most good lawyers who have good reputations don’t need to do this type of activity to get cases or clients. This type of ‘marketing’ is intrusive, inappropriate, unethical and makes good lawyers look bad. So, ask yourself; how did you find your attorney? If your attorney’s office contacted you without your request, you might want to reconsider who you have representing you.

If you have any questions about a case, call us any time for a free consult at 800-517-1614.

Have you been injured at work in Illinois and been waiting for a settlement offer?  I have potentially good news for you. There is no better time of year than right now to get an offer.

While there’s no law that requires an insurance company to make an offer when you are hurt in Illinois and if you don’t have a lawyer there is a much higher chance that they’ll never make an offer or will low ball you, insurance companies are looking to settle this time of year.

Most insurance companies work on a calendar year and adjusters and supervisors are paid bonuses based on how many files they close.  So if they can get your case settled, approved and paid by the end of the year, it could result in a bonus to them.

In fact, many insurance adjusters will call up law firms and ask to have “settlement days” where they can meet about a lot of cases and get as many resolved as possible.

It’s a big advantage you have as an injured worker.  The person making the decision on your case isn’t worried about what’s in their company’s best interests as much as they are their own.  So you might get more than your case is worth and certainly more than what you can get in January by being aggressive now.

So if you have a lawyer for your work injury and your case is ready to settle, call them now and tell them to be aggressive.  If you don’t have a lawyer but want to speak to one for free, fill out our contact form or call us at 800-517-1614 and we will talk to you for free.

In general it takes 30-45 days to get a settlement processed, so the sooner you act the better it is for your case. Once Thanksgiving passes it’s not impossible to settle, but some of the motivation the insurance adjuster has disappears as every day passes.  In fact I’ve seen cases where offers were made and the adjuster said they’d only do it if the lawyer would guarantee to get it done before December 15th so they had time to pay out and close the file.

If you want help we are here for you when you are ready.

Lawyers can be known for many things, and many times these things aren’t always good. There are the attorneys that have a know-it-all arrogant vibe. Or the attorneys that come off as unethical, money hungry sharks. Others just seem to slimy or dishonest.

For Personal Injury Lawyers, the worst kind of a reputation to have is that of an ambulance chaser. These types of lawyers are mostly known for their unethical practices in obtaining clients. Okay, so maybe they don’t chase down your ambulance and show up in your hospital room, as the name implies, but if they make an unsolicited call to you or a family member offering legal counsel: that’s illegal.

Ambulance chasing is considered to be one of the oldest and most unethical practices and some attorneys still engage in it. Sure, lawyers need to stay competitive to get good cases, but preying upon victims of accidents is unlawful and makes honest lawyers look bad.

Undoubtedly, ambulance chasing still occurs. Every week calls come in from confused clients telling me they were in a car accident. Whether it was a big or small accident, police report was filed or not, or if injuries were sustained or not, victims find themselves receiving numerous calls, texts, emails and visits by lawyers and their investigators offering their services.

The Illinois Supreme Court forbids soliciting in this way, and that includes using a third party. These third-party investigators, or “case runners”, often will pay off cops, paramedics, hospital staff, nurses and others to provide contact information from the injury victim. Sometimes, these case runners will make the initial contact with the victims, confusing the situation even more.

Countless firms are still engaging in this illegal practice, knowing that they can be disbarred for it. So why do they do it? It doesn’t make much sense, but it seems most prevalent in two types of law firms.

First, you have the young, aggressive, go-getter law firms who seem to lack any moral foundation and are just after the quick buck. Their motivation is strictly the dollar sign. Pushing clients into unnecessary claims or settling when there is a serious case needing honest representation.

Secondly, is quite the opposite: It’s the older attorneys, in their 60’s and 70’s, engaging in ambulance chasing. Surely, they know better, but their way of marketing has long gone with the Yellow Pages as everyone relies on the internet. Their unwillingness or inability to adapt and learn with internet marketing has ambulance chasing the only way they feel comfortable obtaining clients. Ethically speaking, if they were to be caught and lose their license to practice, no harm since they were likely going to retire soon anyways.

The ARDC is in place to promote and protect the integrity of the legal profession as well as investigating and prosecuting unlawful practices. Overall, they do a great job, but ambulance chasing is still a problem and will continue to be unless action is taken.

Ambulance chasing is a disservice to the public and honest lawyers. Ask yourself, if your lawyer would break the law just to represent you, what other illegal activities would s/he do with your case and settlement?

Part of my job allows me to educate people in all areas of the Illinois law. Medical malpractice seems to be the trickiest to grasp, so here is a list of 39 great tidbits, in no particular order, on the law specifically for Illinois Medical Malpractice. Of course, every case is different and this is not legal advice. Always consult an attorney before making any decisions.

1. Medical Malpractice is the third leading cause of death, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
2. Just because you had a bad medical experience doesn’t mean there is a case. Many procedures are very risky in nature.
3. To win a malpractice lawsuit, you will need to be able to show negligence, resulting in further injury.
4. Symptoms of medical malpractice do not always appear right away.
5. Medical malpractice covers a wide range of medical errors. This could be in diagnosis, medication dosage, health management, treatment, surgery or aftercare.
6. In Illinois, a medical malpractice case is typically filed in the same county that the malpractice occurred in.
7. Illinois doctors are not required to carry malpractice insurance. However, most do. Those that do not carry medical malpractice insurance are required to post a sign informing patients that the doctor or doctors have no malpractice insurance.
8. Every medical malpractice case has a statute of limitations. According to Illinois malpractice law, the patient has up to two (2) years from the date they knew or should have known of the injury to file a lawsuit no more than four years from when it happened.  The time limits are longer for minors.
9. On average, it will take six months for a lawyer to investigate a case. This starts from your first call. Your lawyer and you can then decide to move forward with a lawsuit or not.
10. If you feel you might have a case, it is important to document everything. Every appointment, conversation, procedure, diagnosis, and test completed should be properly documented.
11. There must be a direct link between an alleged negligence and the injuries claimed to be from the negligence.
12. The plaintiff, the person filing, has the burden of proof. This means it is their responsibility to prove there was negligence by the defending party.
13. Unfortunately, in most cases, when medical negligence suffered it is too minor and is not worth pursuing a lawsuit.
14. Birth injuries are one of the most devastating cases and, naturally, require some of the highest damage amounts.
15. Most infection cases are a result from having a medical procedure.
16. It is always a good idea to order your medical records as soon as possible.
17. Even if you signed a consent form, you might still have a case.
18. Medical malpractice cases are rarely quick cases. There is usually a delay by the insurance companies in hopes they can fight the case. Stay calm and fight the good fight.
19. With that being said, good lawyers will be aggressive to get you what you deserve in the quickest time possible. Remember, patience pays off. A case that gets you a $2 million settlement may take 18 mos. That same case could get you a settlement of $10 million settlement, but may take up to 4 years. Embrace patience.
20. Medical malpractices trials can easily last for 2-3 weeks.
21. The standard of care, or the level of care by a competent health care professional with a similar background would have provided under the same circumstances, can be very subjective and differs from location to location.
22. To have a strong medical malpractice case, you will need to have a doctor in the same area of practice certify with an affidavit that in their medical opinion malpractice did occur.
23. It’s a conflict of interest for doctors to speak ill about other doctors in their office. It is often best to seek an expert opinion from doctors out of their network.
24. Good lawyers will spend 1,000+ hours working on a medical malpractice case.
25. In medical malpractice cases, it could be doctors, nurses, hospitals, facilities and the like that are being sued. Each of these identities would need their own lawyers. Coordinating so many schedules can be a challenge so cases are often scheduled months down the road. This is often a reason for why a case may take longer than expected.
26. Young and eager attorneys, having less than ten (10) years’ experience, will gladly accept a medical malpractice case, but it is most beneficial to seek an experienced attorney.
27. Many law firms already have hired relationships with doctors and nurses to help perform initial reviews of cases.
28. While medical malpractice lawyers often handle personal injury cases, the reverse is not the same. Personal injury lawyers usually don’t handle medical malpractice cases.
29. There are very few firms that have a track-record of winning medical malpractice cases. Hiring inexperienced firms can ruin your chance of winning your case.
30. There is no legal published list stating how many times a doctor has been sued in the past or was a part of a medical malpractice settlement.
31. Veterans Administration hospitals is held liable for medical malpractice under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Still, their rules and procedures will be handled differently.
32. Cook County is known to be the most supportive in Illinois for plaintiffs to file, but the success rate for cases that go to trial is still only around 20%
33. The success for plaintiffs in smaller downstate regional counties is very low.
34. Sadly, medical malpractice cases for the elderly are hard cases to win. No matter how bad the care was their case damages are limited as their life expectancy is already short.
35. In a winning case, there is no cap as to how much can be won, but there are usually no punitive damages towards the defendant.
36. Medical malpractice attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means they can only be paid if your case wins. Under Illinois Law, lawyer fees are capped at 1/3 of the money recovered.
37. Medical malpractice cases are very expensive to bring to trial. Many attorneys will have to pay, out-of-pocket, over $100,000 in expenses for expert and court fees.
38. You hold responsibility for your own treatment. Failing to do so can be comparative negligence. This means if you found to be 50% responsible, then you may only recover 50% of the associated damages in an injury claim. If found more than 50% at fault, you will get nothing.
39. Every case is different and there is no way of outlining how much a case is worth if winning or settling.

If you have any questions or want our recommendation as to who the best Illinois malpractice attorney is for your case, please fill out our contact form or call us at 312-346-5320.

Many preexisting injuries, such as arthritis and degenerative disc disease, often get aggravated by a work injury. A workers’ right to file for worker’s compensation in Illinois for these preexisting injuries is often misunderstood. You do have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits if an injury causes, aggravates or accelerates your arthritis or degenerative disc disease.

Arthritis is very common, but is not well understood. With over 100 different types of arthritis, it is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. With degenerative disc disease, changes in the disks in your back cause pain.

Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go, they can be mild, moderate or severe and may stay about the same for years, but may progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs.

Degenerative disc disease is one of the most common causes of low back and neck pain and a form of arthritis. Despite what the name suggests, degenerative disc disease is not a disease, but a condition in which natural, age-related wear-and-tear on a disc causes pain, instability, and other symptoms. An injury to the disc can activate and accelerate degenerative disc disease often causing chronic neck and back pain.

Plenty of job requirements create an environment to make a person more likely to aggravate these pre-existing conditions. Jobs requiring repetitive motion, such as typing and assembly line work, high impact activities, such as manual labor and construction, or remaining sedentary for too long can all lead to aggravating arthritis or degenerative disc disease.

Repetitive motion work injuries can be a serious detriment to your health. It is important to understand that these pre-existing conditions, when aggravated, are covered by Illinois Workman’s Compensation and a pre-existing condition does not disqualify an injury as a work injury. When claiming compensation for an aggravation of a pre-existing condition, you must be able to show that the aggravation of the injury was a result of work.  A good attorney can help you talk to your doctor about this.

Employers are required under Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law to carry insurance covering work-related injuries. Injuries that aggravate or accelerate a work injury are compensable under workers’ compensation, regardless of an employer’s culpability or the employee’s prior physical condition. The basic eligibility requirements for a claim must show that an employee suffered a work-related physical injury.  Any medical care would be 100% paid for, lost time would be compensated and you’d be owed a settlement when all is said and done.

Workers’ compensation is a complicated system. Many injured workers do not get the benefit settlements they deserve. We are experienced attorneys and can help you find the best Illinois workers’ compensation law firm for your case.   If you would like our help, fill out our contact form or call us at 800-517-1614 for a free consultation.  We cover all of Illinois.

Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! Don’t worry!!! Help is on the way! But before you get ready to look into a slip and fall legal action, or a lawsuit against the establishment where you fell, one part of the fall is very important. Why did you fall?

Take this situation into consideration. You are at a restaurant in Chicago and need to go to the bathroom which is located downstairs at the restaurant.  You are a few stairs from the bottom and you fall, badly breaking your ankle.  You scream in pain and are rushed to the closest hospital where you have surgery with pins and a metal plate put in to your ankle to hold it in place.

Do you have a good slip and fall lawsuit?

While it seems like a great case, we need to figure out why you fell.  Did you just miss a step?  If so, that’s a bad case.  Were the stairs wet?  It could be a case.  It depends on why they were wet.  If you can’t prove why, you probably lose.  If it’s from a customer who spilled a drink a few minutes ago, you probably lose.  Restaurants don’t have to monitor the stairs 24/7.  If it’s from a leaky pipe then it’s probably a great case.  If a waiter spilled a tray of drinks on the stairs you’d likely win too.

Maybe you fell because the stairs were poorly lit and you couldn’t see where you were stepping. That’s likely a strong case.  Same if the handrail broke or there was a tear in the carpet that caused you to trip.  In some places not having a handrail could be enough to win the case.

 

When you are laying on the ground in tremendous pain you of course aren’t thinking of anything other than how bad it hurts. Unfortunately this causes many people to lose their slip and fall case because if you can’t prove that you fell because of negligence, you can’t win.  So if you did have an accident and didn’t have a chance to inspect the property, send a friend back ASAP or even better yet, go back yourself and take pictures.  If there were witnesses try to get their information.

In general, Illinois slip and fall lawsuits are challenging and many personal injury lawyers don’t take them.  We know the ones that do and they get great results for their clients.  If you’d like to speak with one of our lawyers for free and find out if you have a case and/or get an attorney referral, call us for a free consultation at (312) 346-5320.  We cover all of Illinois.

Although they are very hard cases, we have had tremendous success over the last 17 years with Illinois medical malpractice lawsuits. To win these cases you must show that the doctor was negligent. As it costs a ton of money to pursue these cases (on average it’s around $100,000.00 to go to trial in expenses) you also need big damages to make it worth pursuing.

A caller to my office thought she had a great case. She went through a surgery where her bladder was cut.  When she woke and found out what happened the doctor apologized profusely to her and said that it was his fault.

So in her mind this was a slam dunk and I get why she feels that way.  The doctor said he screwed up so he’s in the wrong, correct? Unfortunately this is wrong for two reasons.

First, even if a doctor says sorry, if the error is considered an acceptable risk of a surgery then it’s not negligence.  In this case, when you have a hysterectomy, it’s a risk that the doctor could nick your bladder.  If that happens and it’s caught in a timely manner it’s not negligence in most cases.

Second, as part of their risk management practices, insurance companies have been advising doctors to apologize to patients who get injured under their care.  It’s a strategy done to prevent you from looking for a lawyer.  Essentially insurance companies want you to feel that the doctor is a good person who just made a mistake and not sue them as a result even if they hurt you really badly.  So if push came to shove and this went to trial, a doctor could simply say that they only apologized because the insurance company recommended it.

Does this sound fishy?  Welcome to the world of dealing with insurance companies.  They’ll do whatever they can not to compensate you with money you are entitled to.

None of this is to say that a doctor apologizing is a bad thing.  I’ve actually seen doctors admit they messed up and encourage their patients to get a lawyer.  But in general, while the apology can be helpful, it doesn’t guarantee anything.

Bottom line is that if a doctor apologizes you should write down what they said to you and definitely call an attorney right away, but it’s not a slam dunk win. It’s just a potential piece of the puzzle.

If you’d like to speak to a lawyer for free about a potential malpractice lawsuit, call us any time at (800) 517-1614.