The Need for an Expert in Filing an Illinois Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Unless you go to a doctor and they remove your leg when they were supposed to remove your tonsils, you are going to need the opinion of a doctor stating that malpractice occurred in order to file an Illinois medical malpractice lawsuit. This is true no matter how much your case seems like a slam dunk. In fact it's the biggest reason why lawsuits for malpractice don't go forward.
What does getting an expert entail?
The filing attorney must attach to the complaint at law (or within 90 days) an affidavit stating that:
- he has consulted with an expert who practiced or taught within the last six years in the same area of medicine that is at issue;
- the expert is qualified by experience or demonstrated competence in the subject of the case; and
- the expert has determined in a written report, after a review of the medical record and other relevant material, that there is a reasonable and meritorious cause for the filing of such action.
A copy of the report must be attached, but the name of the expert may be withheld.
Do I need to find the expert or will my attorney do this?
When you have an experienced medical malpractice law firm investigating your case they will consult with a physician for you and make sure that the case is appropriately filed if that physician feels that there was negligence. If your attorney is asking you to find the expert for them it is almost always a very bad sign.
What will an expert cost me?
Your attorney will advance the costs of seeking this medical opinion for the complaint. This is part of working on a contingency basis in medical malpractice cases. All fees and costs are paid for by the attorney and, if you recover anything, your attorney gets a percentage.
While this can seem like an overwhelming task, please remember that when you have an experienced medical malpractice law firm investigating your case they will consult with a physician for you and make sure that the case is appropriately filed if that physician feels that there was negligence. In addition they will advance the costs of seeking this opinion.
If you have any questions about Illinois medical malpractice laws or would like a referral to an experienced Illinois medical malpractice lawyer please do not hesitate to contact us. All calls and e-mails are free and confidential.