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Malpractice settlement costs and apology laws

Medical malpractice suits across the country cost hospitals millions of dollars a year, and in Illinois, Crain’s Chicago Business reports that two public hospital systems alone have racked up over $160 million in settlement costs since 2012. The two Chicago hospital systems in question are University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System and Cook County Health and Hospitals System, and over the past four years, each have paid out at least $80 million for medical negligence settlements.

Medical mistakes due to poor hospital protocol or simply human error can cause avoidable injuries resulting in permanent disability or even death. While hospitals work to eliminate the issues that lead to negligent mistakes that harm patients, these settlements can reach into millions of dollars. Not only are families left devastated by the impact these errors have on their loved ones, but these drive up the overall costs of medical care, which is already a huge expense for American families.

Due to these cases raising medical costs, lawmakers have been attempting to find ways to reduce the number of cases brought against hospitals. However, according to the Madison-St. Clair Record, one study has shown that the cost of these settlements have not been reduced in states that have apology laws, or laws that allow doctors to give condolences to a patient or family without being penalized. In fact, the study found that in states with these laws on the books, patients and their families were even more likely to file suits. Illinois adopted a similar law in 2005, but did not renew the law after 2010, allowing for the possibility of liability.

  1. "Committed To My Cause"

    I was struck by a car while cycling and severely, almost fatally injured. A team of excellent medical professionals performed complicated and extensive surgical and medical procedures as part of a successful effort to restore my health....
    -Jeff D.

  2. "Could not have made a better choice"

    We found Mark [Mathys] through the web after an auto accident in October 2011. While selecting someone you don't know to represent you can be a gamble, we could not have made a better choice....
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    Mark [Mathys] is very professional. He responds almost immediately, via email, to any question, comment or concern I have and if he is not able to respond right away, he will let me know. I have been very satisfied with Mark so far and I am happy to be his client.
    -Jennifer

  4. "Easy to talk to"

    Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid were very professional and easy to talk to. Prior to working with them, my wife and I had no real experience with the legal system beyond a house closing, yet Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid explained the whole process to us very well. I knew that whenever I had a concern about our case or the legal system in general I could call their office or send an email and receive answers the same day... -Larry

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    I've dealt with attorneys on a variety of issues, almost all of them since leaving college and entering the workplace. Mr. Mathys was the first attorney I had any real experience with, and I was impressed then and remain so. He provided very wise advice and always kept me informed. In the end, he delivered a favorable result. I recommend him highly.
    - Tyler D.

  6. "In-depth knowledge of the law"

    Mark [Schneid] is an excellent and skilled attorney and demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the law when he helped settle my dog bite lawsuit resulting from a traumatic incident. He explained what was needed of me and how I should handle the situation in a professional manner.
    - Karen K.

  7. "They went to bat for me"

    Not long ago I was involved in a car accident where I was hit by a gravel truck at an intersection. After I called Mathys & Schneid, even though I didn't have a very large case, they made me feel like I was one of their most important cases. They went to bat for me with the trucking company's insurance and got me a settlement. I would definitely recommend them to my family and friends. -Dan H.

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