Are you considering a medical malpractice lawsuit, but you’re uncertain of how long it could take? This article looks into the factors that influence the duration of your legal journey and suggests practical ways to navigate through it.

By exploring each aspect, we can shed light on the path ahead and help you move forward with a clear sense of what matters, and how you can influence things.

The Bottom Line: Be Patient and Pay ATTENTION to Your Case 

We will be honest with you. Malpractice litigation is not a quick solution. The typical malpractice case will take 1-3 years to get resolved via settlement or trial. Some malpractice cases can take much longer. Few malpractice cases can be resolved in less time.  

There are many variables that can affect how quickly your malpractice case will be resolved. Some of those will be under your control. Others, such as ones related to the availability of the Court or opposing counsel, are completely out of your hands. Most cases are driven by deadlines established by the Court. Certain things have to happen before other things and there will be nothing you or your malpractice lawyer can do to change that. 

For your best chance at the quickest resolution, make sure to take care of the things that you can control. For the best overall experience, be patient about the many things that you will not be able to control and that may seem like they are taking too long. In order to stay connected to your malpractice case, it might be a good idea to check-in with your malpractice attorney every 3-4 months or so, and more frequently as your case gets closer to trial. 

Client Cooperation: Your Role in the Process

Your responsiveness and cooperation are vital for keeping your case moving forward. Timely responding to phone calls and emails from your lawyer’s office and providing updated records can help keep the case moving.  Although most of the time your lawyer will be working on the case and will not require your active involvement, when it is requested, your cooperation can make a huge difference in how long it takes to reach a resolution. For best results, if you’re going to file a lawsuit, be sure that you’re fully engaged in the process. 

Complexity of the Case 

Every medical malpractice case is unique and the medical and legal complexities of each case can impact how long it takes to resolve. Cases with multiple defendants, unknown targets, or complicated  medical issues often require more time to evaluate, investigate, and analyze with experts before filing.  Providing accurate information on all of your medical providers, obtaining your complete medical records with all radiology and studies included, as well as keeping up to date with providing relevant medical records as your recovery continues will help to move your complex case along. 

Severity of Injuries and Extent of Damages

The severity of your injuries and the extent of your monetary damages play a significant role in shaping the timeline of your lawsuit. When you’ve suffered catastrophic injuries or face long-term disability, assessing damages and resolving disputes over what constitutes fair compensation can lengthen the process. If you have serious long-term care to consider, or loss of future wages that you need to fight for, although it may not seem fair, finding expert support for and negotiating these categories of compensation can delay resolution of your case.

Accessibility of Evidence 

Timely access to evidence, including complete medical records, as well as both lay and expert witnesses, is crucial for moving your case forward efficiently. Ensure that all medical records and case information is gathered for the initial investigation and certification, and then we’ll work with you to gather any additional evidence and expert testimony that might be crucial to prove your case. When it comes time to answer discovery requests there are strict timelines and we’ll help you to make sure you are timely in your response.

Legal Complexities 

Legal hurdles such as jurisdictional conflicts and disputes over statutes of limitations can complicate matters and prolong the litigation process. These are issues that are not easy to predict, but we’ll navigate through these challenges together, addressing pretrial motions and other legal complexities to keep your case on track. Answer any questions that your attorney may have to help ensure things keep moving.

Settlement Negotiation or Mediation 

Settlement negotiations and mediation offer alternative paths to resolution outside the courtroom. One of the lengthiest parts of a medical lawsuit is setting the case for trial, as the courts are overburdened; around here, courts are booked into the next calendar year. Understanding how the various alternate resolution processes work and being open to exploring them can potentially shorten the duration of your lawsuit.

However, it takes two sides to settle a case. If the other side, the defendant or its malpractice insurance company are not willing to settle, then the case will not get settled. Sometimes they just need to see some evidence before they will be ready to negotiate. Other times, they just refuse completely. 

Conclusion

Understanding the factors that influence the duration of your medical malpractice lawsuit empowers you to navigate the road ahead with confidence. By working together to address complexities, gather evidence, and explore alternative avenues for resolution, we can strive for a timely conclusion.

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