ERNST & YOUNG
If you have won or are anticipating winning a medical malpractice case that pays out money for covering medical fees or other judgments, it will be highly relevant to know when you can expect the funds to arrive. Here’s some information to give you a sense of when you might expect the funds to help pay bills, depending on the exact situation.
Introduction to a Medical Malpractice Case Timeline
While it’s true that some cases take only a year or two, others can take as long as four years to fully resolve. In general, your attorney will prioritize making sure that you maximize the total money you receive from the case over worrying about speed instead.
It definitely takes a bit of time in order to maximize this process, unfortunately.
Some studies indicate that over a third of malpractice suits take over three years to fully resolve.
One study indicated that only a relatively small percentage of medical malpractice cases end up in a trial where it’s finally decided by a jury. This means that over the course of the study, the vast majority were settled before that point.
So, the exact amount of time it’s going to take will depend on these factors as well as a number of others.
Factors That Influence How Quickly You Receive Medical Malpractice Case Funds
It depends on the situation of course, but many cases end up going into a settlement. This means it’s settled out of court and the two parties come to an arrangement without a trial. If this happens, the amount of time it takes will likely be reduced since trials are often time-consuming affairs. The truth is that settlements allow you to get the money you need for your loved one significantly quicker.
Some cases have special legal or medical parts to them that can make it so that the case can take longer since it takes more experts and more general untangling to figure out. If your attorney advises that this is the case in your situation, then it means that the case could definitely take longer.
More Than One Party Responsible
In cases where it’s not just a single medical practitioner, this could also complicate things. It’s fairly rare for cases to take only a year. It’s even less likely if there’s a need to sort out just who was responsible among multiple parties. Further, it’s likely that these parties are going to deny both wrongdoing and responsibility, so sorting this out will take longer than normal.
Multiple Witnesses and Experts
In the case where there are only a few witnesses who all say the same thing, the time of the trial might be shorter. However, if there are many multiple witnesses, and they all have different stories, and you need many medical experts to give their expert testimony, this is going to make for a much longer period of time from beginning to end.
The Cycle of a Malpractice Case From Beginning to End
First, the two parties will often try to reach a settlement right away, right after a formal complaint of malpractice is filed. If this fails, which it often can, it goes straight to the “discovery” phase. In this phase, each side tries to get as much information as they possibly can about the case.
This can be a lengthy process, accounting for much of the time that extends cases for years. Each side may ask for information from the other side as is their legal right. This could include interviewing witnesses or experts or gathering information about when the other side has done that.
There’s a general exchange of statements from each side, and giving a full list of who each side is going to talk to and bring to the stand in court.
Discovery extends the time, but can be avoided if the two sides can reach an agreement. It is understandable when this isn’t possible though. In order to get the full due for your loved one, avoid a quick settlement. If you choose the right attorney, they can guide you on this and explain to you which is the best way to go.
Before the Trial
Once discovery is over, that’s when it’s time for both sides to file motions. This is all happening before the trial begins, remember. This is where attorneys object to evidence, ask for case dismissal, and schedule a trial. How backed up the court is will determine how long it will take for the trial to start.
During this time, other events can also occur. For example, further settlement meetings, arbitration and mediation, and other events occur.
Finally, a date will be set for trial and that will begin if a settlement is deemed impossible by both parties. The trial itself can also be a years-long affair.
Getting Started on Your Medical Malpractice Case
Don’t hesitate to contact us today so we can begin talking to you about your case. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can work on your behalf to make sure you receive your damages.
Who Can You Trust with Your Case?
Have you or a loved one been injured due to negligence? We want to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you believe you have a case; time is an important factor. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with us so we can better evaluate and serve your needs in getting the justice your loved one deserves. You may very well be entitled to compensation.
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