Pursuing a claim in Illinois can be a complex and time-consuming process. The initial steps in the case will include:
- Getting copies of your medical records
- Asking medical professionals to review your records
- Interviewing witnesses.
Once the initial investigation is complete, your lawyer will file a lawsuit, or complaint. The complaint typically is filed in the Circuit Court in the Illinois county where the medical malpractice occurred. However, a complaint could also be filed in a federal court.
In Illinois, a complaint must include an affidavit, or sworn statement, from your lawyer. The affidavit must state:
- Your lawyer consulted with a medical expert
- The expert was qualified to review your case by virtue of experience and demonstrated competence
- The expert has determined in a written report that there is a “reasonable and meritorious cause” for filing a lawsuit in your case.
How long it takes to resolve your case after the filing of a complaint will depend on the other side’s cooperation with answering questions and providing documents relevant to your case.
This is a formal evidence-gathering process called “discovery.” In some situations, a court order may need to be obtained to force the other side to comply with a discovery request.
The time it takes to resolve the claims process also will depend on whether the medical professional involved in your case is willing to admit fault and agree to a full and fair settlement of your claim.
In many cases, a claim can be resolved without the need to go to trial. However, if a malpractice settlement cannot be reached, you can be assured that your lawyer from Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., will be well-prepared to take your case to trial.
A trial may focus on both establishing the medical professional’s legal responsibility, or “liability,” and the amount of damages you should recover. In some situations, fault may be admitted, and a trial may focus only on damages.
Settlement talks may continue through trial or even after a verdict is returned.
Once a settlement or verdict is reached in your case, your lawyer will work efficiently to resolve any claims that may be attached to your recovery, account for your legal fees and case costs and disburse the funds you are due.