At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys represent individuals and families who have been harmed by errors made by doctors and hospitals in various jurisdictions throughout Illinois. Below we have compiled some recently filed lawsuits to give you an idea as to the types of cases that make their way into court.
If you have questions about any of the cases below or wish to discuss your own situation, we welcome you to contact our office for a free review of your case with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
The Long and Winding Road to the Courthouse for Illinois Malpractice Cases
Unlike other types of personal injury cases such as a car accident or an injury occurring on someone else’s premises, medical malpractice cases frequently have a big gap in time from the time that an incident occurs to the time that a lawsuit can be filed. Considering that many episodes of medical negligence occur when a patient is already ill or under sedation, medical records are crucial to every case. Consequently, voluminous medical records must be ordered, organized and reviewed to determine what exactly happened.
After the medical charts have been reviewed by an attorney and their appears to be a reasonable error, a physician must review to the matter and prepare an affidavit of merit which certifies in his or her opinion the treating doctor or medical professional acted erroneously and resulted in an injury to the patient. This procedure has been in place in Illinois as part of legislation implemented by the state to ensure that only meritorious cases are filed. The reasoning is that a reviewing physician would not certify a case that involved a poor outcome, but reasonable care. Any medical negligence lawsuit that does not comply with this procedure can be dismissed at the discretion of the judge.
A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit’s Progression From Filing to Trial
While some medical malpractice cases may get settled prior to litigation, the majority of cases do not get resolved until a good amount of litigation has taken place. While it may be easy to speculate that a delay in resolving a case may have to do with a physician’s or medical facility’s desire to wear-down would be plaintiff’s from initiating cases without the fortitude needed to see a case through, an equally reasonable explanation would be that many of these cases are very complex from both a liability and damages approach. Decision-makers at insurance companies in medical malpractice cases need information from plaintiff’s in order to simply evaluate cases fairly.
Lengthy and convoluted fact patters compounded with significant injuries tends to make medical malpractice cases stick around in the Illinois court system compared to other injury or wrongful death matters involving other mechanisms. Medical malpractice cases in Illinois generally follow the same progression from case filing to trial.
- Pleadings - Where factual allegations are made by the party initiating the case and admitted to or denied by the party being sued.
- Written Discovery – Written questions propounded and answered by both parties to narrow down and flush out some of the allegations made in the pleading phase of the lawsuit.
- Oral Discovery – Commonly referred to as ‘depositions’. Depositions involve the lawyer for the parties asking questions to parties to the lawsuit and witnesses identified in the interrogatories.
- Expert Discovery – More so than other types of cases, medical negligence lawsuits are usually dependent on the opinions and persuasiveness of expert witnessed hired by parties to the case that substantiate their perspective of events and dismantle the opinions offered by the other side to the lawsuit. Expert witnesses in medical malpractice cases may involve: doctors, nurses, life care planners, vocational counselors, psychologists and economists.
Taking Action Where Medical Malpractice Has Occurred
The cases below illustrate the basis for some recently filed cases in Illinois. While these cases are very much in their infancy and there are many more facts that will come to the surface, we hope that this gives you some idea regarding the underlying allegations. We look forward to providing you with updates as these cases make their way through the court system to resolution or trial.
If you believe that a family member was harmed or killed due to an error made by a medical professional or hospital in Illinois, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your case. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we have a tradition of providing families with the representation they need in order to make the most significant recovery that Illinois law affords.