While the majority of all cases settle out of court, only a lawyer experienced in trying cases before a jury can obtain the best results. It is important to treat every case as if it is going to trial. Insurance companies know there are lawyers who never take cases to trial and it is those lawyers who will settle a case for less than its worth.
It is important to note that all cases are different. Even in cases where liability and damages appear to be similar, factors such as the venue where the case is tried, how much insurance the defendant has, whether there were any pre-existing medical conditions, the extent to which the doctors are willing to support the plaintiff’s case, are all factors that can affect the value of a case.
In all the examples below the judgment or settlement was actually collected, meaning that the judgment was not reversed on appeal and that there was adequate insurance coverage to pay the settlement or judgment.
In medical malpractice cases, the consequences of negligent care can have life-changing, and in the worst cases, can cause the death of the patient. Mr. Heady obtained a settlement of $2,300,000 in a medical malpractice case for patient harmed by a radiologist and hospital that failed to properly diagnose a small bowel obstruction. The radiologist read the ct scan as normal and the patient was sent home from the hospital. Her small bowel ruptured shortly after she returned home causing her to become septic requiring her to undergo numerous surgeries and a lengthy hospitalization. Long after the hospitalization the patient continued to have both physical and emotional pain from the experience.
$900,000 awarded by a jury in Joliet, IL (Will County) against a doctor who was found negligent for prescribing too much prednisone to a patient causing him to develop necrosis of the hips that lead to a bilateral hip replacement at an early age. There was no offer by the doctor before trial.
$403,000 awarded by a jury in in Geneva, Kane County, for a woman who sustained a herniated disk in her neck after a car accident. The insurance company blamed the woman’s age on her neck condition, claiming that she had pre-existing arthritis in her neck. They also attempted to argue that the collision was not serious enough to cause the injuries. Even though the woman never had neck complaints before the accident, and following the car accident was required to have two surgeries on her neck and was still having pain four years later, the insurance company offered only $50,000. The jury decided the neck was injured by the accident and awarded the plaintiff eight times the amount of the offer.
$487,000 verdict in Kane County for the victim of a car crash who suffered a herniated disc that required a cervical fusion. The defendant’s insurance company withdrew an offer of $50,000 prior to trial. The defendant denied that they were responsible for the collision and further denied that the herniated disc was related to the accident. The defendant hired an expert doctor to testify that the herniated disc was not related to the accident. However, the jury chose to believe the treating surgeon who testified that the herniation was related.
$500,000 settlement obtained at a mediation for a construction worker in Wheaton, DuPage County, who suffered post-traumatic syndrome after suffering an electric shock at a job-site. The negligent contractor attempted to blame the plaintiff for the accident and claimed that he was exaggerating his injuries.
$310,000 jury verdict in Cook County for man who suffered an abdominal hernia after his forklift fell off of truck that he was loading. The truck driver had failed to block the wheels of the truck causing for forklift to fall off the truck.
$241,500 jury verdict in Yorkville, Kendall County, for woman who suffered a herniated disc after car crash. Defendant denied liability and offered only $15,000 before trial.
$210,000 settlement obtained in federal discrimination case for woman who alleged she was fired because of her race. The settlement amount was more than double the original demand amount. Because of through discovery, Mr. Heady was able to prove the defendants were guilty of widespread discrimination.
$148,000 verdict obtained Kane County for man who suffered from post concussion syndrome following an car collision. Defendant offered only $35,000 prior to trial.