If you are contemplating filing a medical malpractice case you will probably have loads of questions ready to ask your medical injury attorney including how long does a malpractice case take and what the process is all about.
This information is essential for you to set your expectations and determine how you’re going to prepare for these medical malpractice suits. Being involved in one can be very time-consuming, stressful, and expensive, which is why it’s important that you know what you’re going into.
How much are medical malpractice lawsuit settlements worth? Those who have suffered from medical malpractice will more than likely have also suffered from some serious financial problems as a direct result of the damage they’ve received. This can be a very difficult time in their life because aside from making sure that they win their legal battles, they also have to exert time and effort in taking care of themselves and ensure that they recover from the malpractice as soon as possible.
The lost income and additional medical expenses that arise from medical malpractices will often send families who are already under duress into a downward spiral. In worse cases, merely filing a medical malpractice suit in court can become the reason why a family will become bankrupt and acquire too many debts. Not everyone can recover from this situation, and things can even get worse if the person who filed the case was not able to earn any compensation.
If you’re planning to file a medical malpractice suit, it’s important that you the following things first.
Given the huge backlog of medical malpractice cases waiting to be heard in the US courts, it could take anywhere between 6-12 months for a malpractice claim to be settled. For cases that require more witnesses and pieces of evidence, expect years of delay.
Unfortunately, this is oftentimes too long for families who are already struggling to pay their monthly bills. This is one of the reasons why injured individuals from medical malpractice would opt to keep their mouths shut and mum about the case. This is especially true for cases that involved prominent healthcare professionals as the person-at-fault.
But, if your attorney strongly believes your case has a good chance of being successful, they can offer you a few options in order to get some of the money in advance. Their training and experience in the legal industry will make it easy for you to handle your medical malpractice suit and ensure that your case will be settled as soon as possible. With a lawyer’s help, you can present the right pieces of evidence and narrate the facts of the case properly in the court.
How Long Do Malpractice Lawsuits Take?
How long it takes to see a medical malpractice case through to the end depends on several factors. These include the strength of the case, it’s the complexity and the court of jurisdiction’s bandwidth. The more complex the case is, the more time it’ll require for the court to sort everything out. It’s a fact that most lawsuits pertaining to medical malpractice will be settled out of court but these cases still require both sides to file motions and then go through discovery via the court system.
Your medical malpractice lawyer will work to strike the best balance to make sure that their client and/or their family get their award at the earliest opportunity but still doing enough work to ensure they too get a decent payday. It is usually the case that those settled earlier will result in a lower amount of damages, and many families have effectively waved goodbye to hundreds of thousands of dollars simply by saying yes too early.
Even though they take a lot longer, those cases which go to court and win at trial tend to result in much larger payouts. Bear in mind however that these cases can take several years before the money is paid out and as many simply cannot afford this long you can see why some families take a smaller settlement to solve their immediate debt problems.
Once the malpractice complaint is filed, and all the parties have been notified of the pending lawsuit, both sides then start what is known as the discovery process.
During this time both parties will be requesting information, collecting evidence, and any other related documents from the other side in an effort to get all the facts together and then build their respective case.
During the discovery period, both the plaintiff and the defendant must hire their own medical witness who they will consult with on their case as well as taking advice from when it comes to the merits of their medical negligence lawsuit.