Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law that will standardize attorney’s fees in medical malpractice cases. While the new law will allow attorneys to charge up to one-third of the plaintiff’s award, the fees are capped at that amount and attorneys are not permitted to petition the court for additional fees. The Illinois Trial Lawyers’ Association supported the bill.
The new law brings the rules regarding attorney’s fees in medical malpractice cases in line with those in other types of lawsuits. Under the previous law, plaintiffs’ attorneys in medical malpractice cases could seek only one-third of the first $150,000 of an award, one-quarter of the next $850,000 and one-fifth of any award over $1 million. However, attorneys could also petition the court for fees up to 50 percent of the award.
Under the new law, plaintiffs’ attorneys in medical malpractice cases may seek one-third of the total award, and may not seek additional fees. The law was passed by the state legislature for the most part along party lines, with Democratic lawmakers supporting the bill and Republicans opposing it. The law went into effect on January 18.
Governor Quinn’s office released a statement saying that the new law would provide certainty and consistency for both attorneys and the victims of medical malpractice, and that the awarding of additional compensation had been eliminated.
Paul Greenberg is a Chicago medical malpractice lawyer and Chicago medical malpractice attorney with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com/.