After a medical injury in a Chicago Hospital, the injury victim may not know where to turn. The hospital may be avoiding your calls and the doctor may try and blame the mistake on something you did. At this time, you need help from a professional. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can step in and make the doctors and hospitals take notice. This may be the first step to recovering money after a medical injury.
A medical malpractice attorney can review your case, find problems with the standard of care, and file a lawsuit to hold the negligent doctor accountable. A successful malpractice case can help you recover money for your injuries, medical needs, and pain and suffering. It is important to talk to an experienced legal team to understand your options and how you can recover the most compensation in your case. Contact an experienced Chicago medical malpractice law firm for help.
Finding a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Chicago
It can be difficult to know where to start when you need to find a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer. There are billboards, yellow pages listings, and even ads on buses. However, most people start with an easy Google search. Unfortunately, a google search for “medical malpractice lawyer” can turn up literally millions of results, which does not do anything to help narrow down the process.
When you look closer, there may be a “sponsored” notation at the top of the listing, showing you that the result in a paid ad to get the lawyer’s listing, and may not be the most relevant result for your search.
Take Some Time to Research Medical Malpractice Lawyers
An easy and simple search for a medical malpractice lawyer can be impossible. Ask yourself what you want from a law firm representing you in an important time of need. You don’t want the simplest to find—you want the best. Some things you might want to consider when looking for the right medical malpractice law firm are:
- Medical malpractice experience
- Trial attorney experience
- Reputation in the legal community
- Familiarity with medical standards
- Knowledge of the law
- Commitment to clients
- Compassion for the pain and suffering of medical mistake victims
- Communication and support from the law firm staff
- Case results and settlement awards
Now that you are looking at your search results and trying to decide who to call, consider these ideas. You always have the option of talking to the law firm before you decide who to hire. In many cases, it is the best way to get an idea of whether that law firm is the right fit for you and your case. To find the law firms to call, you have some options that go beyond a simple online search, including:
- Getting recommendations from friends, co-workers, or family members
- Finding lawyers through your state or local bar association
- Online directories for lawyers
- Contacting the law firm for a free consultation
Recommendation From Friends or Family
It can be helpful if a friend or family member had a medical malpractice lawsuit and has direct experience with a specific legal team. If you know someone who suffered a medical injury and hired an attorney, they might be able to give you information about the benefits and drawbacks of working with a certain law firm. Even if they had a bad experience, it can tell you a lot about who not to hire.
However, for many people, a medical malpractice event is a once-in-a-lifetime situation. This is good news overall but not helpful when you are looking for recommendations for a medical malpractice law firm.
Local Bar Association Search for Lawyers
The state and local bar associations are made up of lawyers in the local community and many bar associations have resources for potential clients looking for lawyers. They may even offer low-cost limited consultations for individuals to get more information about legal services. For example, here is the Illinois State Bar Association Lawyer Finder.
This can be a way to find a lawyer but there are no guarantees for the attorneys listed on their sites. The recommendations give you an attorney who is legally licensed to practice in your state but little beyond that. So before you select a lawyer through the bar association, make sure you do your research.
Online Listings for Lawyers
There are a number of companies that have online directories for lawyers. We won’t name them here because they already spend enough money on google ads to keep their listings at the top. However, the most advertised attorneys are not necessarily the right ones for you. These companies, many with legal-sounding names, provide listings of lawyers.
Most of the lawyers on these sites pay money to get their names to the top of the listings. Again, if you choose a lawyer from an online directory, make sure you do your research before signing up for them to handle your case.
Experience Matters in Medical Malpractice Cases
The things that matter most in a medical malpractice lawsuit are not easy to find with a simple online search. If you are looking for an attorney to handle your case, look at the law firm’s experience handling medical malpractice lawsuits just like yours. Experience matters in medical malpractice lawsuits for several reasons:
- Medical malpractice is a unique area of law
- Experience can help determine how much you can get in your case
- The law firm’s reputation can mean a lot in your case
Medical Malpractice Is Not Like Other Legal Cases
Under the Illinois legal system, an attorney who passes the state bar exam and gets licensed by the State of Illinois can practice in just about any type of law. This means a licensed lawyer just out of law school can draw up a contract, defend a drunk driver, or take on a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, each area of law is different, with different standards and practices.
Even among personal injury cases, medical malpractice is unique. There are specific legal requirements for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit that you don’t have to do with a car accident or slip and fall claim. This includes requirements for a certificate or affidavit of merit before your case can go forward. This is why law firms that focus on medical malpractice cases may be more equipped to take on these types of cases.
What Is the Legal Reputation of the Law Firm?
Reputation matters in a medical malpractice lawsuit. There are certain law firms whose name alone makes the doctors, hospitals, and defense teams take notice. For example, when a hospital sees the name Gilman & Bedigian on an email or memo, the law firm’s reputation makes an impression.
A strong reputation in the legal community communicates to other lawyers, judges, and healthcare representatives that this is a team that takes their cases seriously. They will be prepared with a strong case, advocate strongly for their clients, and be prepared to take the case to trial. The reputation alone may be enough to make the hospital settle the case for what the client deserves to avoid the costly battle with an experienced legal team.
Why Do You Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
Not all medical injuries involve malpractice. However, you can’t just rely on the word of the doctor to tell you whether your injuries were caused by the inherent risks of treatment or because the doctor made a mistake. The policies for doctors and hospitals are generally to “deny and defend,” against any claims of medical malpractice.
This is why you can benefit from the experience of a medical malpractice attorney who knows how to evaluate cases to determine if the injuries were caused by medical errors. According to Illinois medical malpractice law, medical malpractice involves 4 factors:
- Duty of care
- Deviating from medical standards
- Cause of the injury
If you want to recover compensation for your injuries, you need to show these elements for medical malpractice. It can be difficult for the average person to know whether the injuries were caused by a deviation from the standards of care or not. In these situations, medical malpractice lawsuits use medical experts who are familiar with medical standards and can testify whether the doctor’s actions were reasonable or not.
Experienced medical malpractice lawyers understand what they need to prove in a medical malpractice case and how to evaluate the patient’s medical records to identify problems with patient care. The first step in most malpractice cases involves reviewing the medical records to find out what went wrong.
In addition to understanding medical malpractice law and filing the case, there are a number of benefits to going with an experienced medical malpractice law firm for the injury victim. The attorneys are familiar with the experiences of their clients and can show compassion for the difficulties of living with a medical injury. They can provide guidance through the process and support to be able to get the best recovery possible.
Attorneys are also advocates for their clients. This means you won’t have to deal directly with the lawyers, the insurance companies, or the hospitals. Your attorney will advocate for you to fight for your rights and help you recover compensation for your injuries. With the right team on your side, you can get back to your normal life.
Recover Compensation for Injuries and Medical Bills
Medical care in the United States is expensive. It is among the most costly healthcare of any developed country. Unfortunately, even if your injuries were made worse by poor healthcare, the hospital will still expect you to pay. Fortunately, a medical malpractice case can help you recover money to cover any medical bills. As part of a settlement or jury award, the injury victim can recover all compensatory costs related to their injury, including:
- Medical bills
- Future healthcare costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
The amount you can recover in compensation will depend on many factors, including the extent of the injuries, the age of the patient, and the types of injuries. For example, damages for an infant who suffers a debilitating birth injury will generally be much higher than for someone who is temporarily injured and out of work for a week.
Even if you don’t think your case is worth that much, it is worth it to get some advice from a professional. Your injuries could get worse over time. The last thing you want is to find out that the so-called “minor” injury a few years ago turned into a chronic condition but it is too late to file a medical malpractice claim because the statute of limitations has expired.
There is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in Illinois. In most cases, the injury victim has only 2 years from the date of their injury to file a claim. If you wait too long, you may not be able to recover compensation for losses caused by medical negligence. If you want to know more about how much you might be able to recover in compensation after a medical error, talk to your medical malpractice attorney for legal advice.
Hold Doctors Accountable and Improve Care for Others
Another reason to file a medical malpractice lawsuit is to help others avoid a similar catastrophe. There are some doctors with a long record of substandard care. Maybe the doctor just doesn’t care or the doctor could even have a substance abuse problem. Allowing doctors to continue to provide negligent care is bad for healthcare overall.
A medical malpractice lawsuit is a way to identify problem doctors and problems with healthcare. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry is not always concerned with the quality of care unless there are financial consequences. A costly medical malpractice lawsuit could help improve care by making sure the doctors and hospitals are following the rules.
How Can a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Help?
Contact experienced trial attorneys who have successfully represented medical malpractice victims in Chicago and across the country. Call a malpractice lawyer to find out more about your case and what kind of damages you can recover. For a free consultation, contact Gilman & Bedigian online or at 800-529-6162.