There are at least twenty million reasons why it is impossible to answer in a straightforward manner who is the best personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer in Chicago. More on that later.
It depends on many factors, but, the most important thing is the “fit” between you and your attorney. In essence, the best attorney in any given field is the lawyer that you feel best about working with on your case.
Often, such complex cases require costly expert witnesses and testimony, as well as very expensive “day in the life” videos or computerized simulation models.
It is not unusual for many of these cases to require $250,000 in costs to proceed all the way through trial. Not every lawyer or law firm has that available cash and expertise.
These days, there are many ways to locate fantastic lawyers. There is Avvo, which has a rating system for lawyers, allows people to ask lawyers questions directly, and lists any misconduct against that lawyer.
The image from my Avvo profile here is, of course, a shameless plug inserted by the nice folks who run my website. But there are plenty of other great lawyers with the highest Avvo rating of 10 who you can compare and contrast based on experience and reviews.
There is the Better Business Bureau, which ranks businesses, including lawyers. As an accredited BBB business, I particularly appreciate that potential clients can look me up and see, for example, that I completed another complaint-free year.
Yelp, Google, Google My Lawyer, Findlaw. These are just a few of the many ways we can do online research. Another is the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, which lists every lawyer in the state, any disciplinary complaints, and even whether they carry malpractice insurance.
More than ever before, he consumer has some fantastic tools at his or her disposal.
Even beyond online ratings systems, reviews, and the like, the most important factor in locating the best lawyer for you is personal comfort. Do you trust this person? Does she return your phone calls promptly? Is he interested in your case or does he promise things that sound “too good to be true?” In short, do you want to work with this person and do you trust this person working for you?
I have practiced for nearly thirty years. I have handled a wide variety of cases in many areas of the law. In the course of my legal journey, my path has crossed with a multitude of talented and dedicated practitioners. Some practice in areas I had not even realized were legal areas where there were practitioners.
These connections often prove useful when a prospective client contacts me with a case that is something I do not handle. I simply route them to someone who can help them.
Other times, these people contact me with cases that I can handle, but where they would be best off if I put them in touch with someone who is even more experienced and even better suited to the particular case than my firm. Still other times, as in the case I discuss below, I will team up with another firm so we can devote our combined resources to a case.
I know many lawyers of all degrees of experience who practice in a wide variety of legal areas. If I do not or cannot handle a matter for you, likely I do know several excellent attorneys who would be the perfect lawyer for your particular case.
Again it comes down to trust: consult with a lawyer who strikes you at a gut level as someone who will provide honest counsel about your situation — even if it means telling you that you might be better served by someone else. In most cases, you should even be able to find a lawyer who will offer this counsel free of charge. And maybe look for at least a few gray hairs; experienced practitioners often have more insight and connections.
In Kelvin’s case, his wife Darlene called me back in June of 2015 to ask about things that he had suffered back in October of 2013. Unfortunately, it sounded horrible.
A mostly-healthy 58-year-old, her husband had gone to the hospital not feeling well. His symptoms consisted of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Despite a CT scan demonstrating several large aneurysms in his abdomen, two radiologists failed to recognize that one was bleeding.
Things precipitated downhill the next morning, when a vascular surgeon also missed the bleeding aneurysm. Kelvin began having weakness in his legs and other neurological symptoms. He entered the hospital walking and now, less than 24 hours later, he was unable to walk.
Despite the appearance of an emergent situation, an MRI was ordered as “routine,” and was never done. At this point, his condition got even worse, with horrible bloating in the abdomen. He was transferred to a sister hospital, where a CT scan revealed that one of the aneurysms had ruptured. Surgery was performed immediately. While the surgery saved his life, the damage had been done.
Now 64, Kelvin cannot walk, has lost several toes, and is unable to work. He requires around the clock care, and he will never recover. Sadly, his condition is permanent.
Had the doctors recognized his symptoms immediately, noted internal bleeding, and performed immediate surgery, none of this would have happened.
The law firm that I connected with on this case, Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, and lead attorney, Patrick Salvi, Jr., did a remarkable job in filing suit, retaining nearly a dozen medical experts, taking endless numbers of depositions, and preparing for trial. About a month before trial, mediation began in earnest, ultimately resulting in a global settlement with the hospital and doctors responsible for this colossal failure to properly care for our client.
Medical malpractice cases do not settle before trial very often. For the most part, it takes a tremendous amount of trial preparation regardless of whether a case goes to trial or settles, as was the case here. It is because Pat’s firm has such outstanding resources and attorneys that we got to a point where settlement at good value was the best option for the client. This case would not have settled without the time commitment, monetary risk, and trial talents of their firm.
I am a solo practitioner. While I have expertise in medical malpractice, I do not have nearly the resources and people power required for such a massive case as Kelvin and Darlene's.
I listened patiently while Darlene told the basic facts. It sounded like some of the doctors had missed his internal bleeding. At the very least, it was worth hiring an expert to review his medical records to determine whether the normal standard of medical care had occurred, as I feared it had not.
That is why I contacted Patrick Salvi, Jr. immediately after discussing this process with Darlene. She was fully on board with having the case analyzed by a team of lawyers and experts who handle cases like this routinely.
Obviously, it turned out that I was the best lawyer for them to begin the journey. I put them in touch with the best lawyer for their case; a whole team of dedicated and talented lawyers.
If you or a loved one has been injured and have questions, contact Chicago personal injury attorney Stephen L. Hoffman for a free consultation at (773) 944-9737. Stephen has nearly 30 years of legal experience and has collected millions of dollars for his clients. He is listed as a SuperLawyer, has a 10.0 rating on Avvo, and is BBB A+ accredited. He is also an Executive Level Member of the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.
Stephen handles injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything upfront and he only gets paid if you do. Don’t wait another day, contact Stephen now.