Medical Malpractice is Notoriously Difficult to Prove in Illinois
Data gathered over the last decade has allowed us to debunk many of the claims made by the media and insurance companies in regards to the efficacy and success rate of malpractice claims. Roughly three out of ten cases that reach trial end in judgment in favor of the plaintiff, which means the defendant wins 70% of the time. There has been a longstanding misconception that having your case tried in Cook County will increase your chances of success, but over the last ten years, there has only been a 2% variance in the number of cases tried in Cook County compared to all others.
The reason for this low rate of success is that the law favors doctors and medical professionals for the purpose of discouraging frivolous lawsuits. Proving that the doctor violated his duty of care is the most difficult aspect of medical negligence case because it requires convincing testimony and evidence that assert beyond any doubt that the doctor acted unreasonably. Regardless of whether an attorney moves a case to what is perceived as a more favorable venue, this burden of proof always needs to be overcome.
Insurance Companies Take Advantage of Low Malpractice Success Rates
Surgeons, physicians and hospitals are all insured so that they may be able to provide compensation in the event they harm one of their patients or a staff member acts negligently. The insurance companies often try to settle matters outside of court if they feel it would be more expedient and less expensive to settle than to allow the case to proceed before a jury. Unfortunately, they consistently offer settlements that are not in the plaintiffs’ interests and those settlements limit the ability of those who accept them to any further legal recourse.
Over a five-year study, it was found that settlement offers in Illinois were rarely sufficient to provide victims with adequate compensation beyond their court costs and less than 10% of settlement offers exceeded $500,000. During this time frame, 500 cases were studied and 43 received offers of $500,000 or higher out of 140 settlement offers in total. Remarkably, of 140 cases in which an offer was made and the plaintiff chose to proceed to trial, only six resulted in a verdict less valuable than the offers. If you are offered an out of court settlement, it is extremely important to go over the fine print with an Illinois medical malpractice attorney to determine whether it is in your best interest to accept the offer.
How to Maximize your Chances When Filing a Malpractice Claim
It is understandable to be frustrated and to constantly question whether you are making the proper legal decisions when you are pursuing litigation due to a medical error or injury. You may feel that passing on an offer is not in your best interest due to the low rate of successful malpractice claims and you might be (rightfully) wary of settlement offers that don’t seem to have your interests at heart. This is where having an experienced medical malpractice law firm with a proven track record of success becomes invaluable.
The Illinois medical malpractice attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers use a layered approach to improve the chances of successfully recovering compensation on our clients’ behalf. The first step we take is to evaluate your case and perform an investigation which will allow us to understand exactly what happened and how it contributed to your injuries. We rely on experts in relevant schools of medicine to allow us to gather an accurate assessment of whether your surgeon or physician violated the duty of care. Those same medical experts can then be called upon to provide testimony in your favor and to help counter any claims by the defense that the defendant acted completely as any of his or her colleagues would have.
Our team also has access to experts who can properly value your claim by assessing the upfront cost of paying for the medical treatment required to make you whole again while figuring in out of pocket costs, long term care or rehabilitative therapy and other factors such as the loss of income and diminished earning potential in addition to the value of your pain and suffering throughout your ordeal. It is a combination of all this compelling testimony and our extensive knowledge of medical tort law that make us the leading firm in Illinois when it comes to successfully prosecuting medical negligence matters.
Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our Illinois medical malpractice attorneys to review your case and go over the legal options available. We will answer your questions and concerns and let you know the true chances your case has of success and how best to proceed. Medical malpractice cases are no sure thing and we understand that many victims of medical malpractice are already facing large financial burdens. Therefore, if we are unable to secure compensation on your behalf, you can be assured that our services will come completely free of charge.