How long medical malpractice cases take depends on a variety of factors, like the complexity of the situation or severity of the victim’s injuries. Settling a claim could take anywhere from a few months to several years. Your case could settle at any one of multiple stages, or it could go to trial.
For more information on how long it takes to conclude a malpractice case, contact the attorneys at Newsome | Melton at 1-855-MED-ASKS. We offer free claim reviews.
Is It to My Advantage for My Medical Malpractice Case to Settle Quickly?
You might think that getting a settlement in your hand quickly and with little fuss would be fantastic. However, once you accept a settlement, you cannot request more money from the doctor or other health care provider, and cases that have settled cannot be reopened. Problems could arise if you realize that:
- Your health is worse than you expected after you complete your treatment;
- You are not going to make a full recovery;
- You have to pay your medical bills out of the settlement check, which might not leave you much disposable cash;
- After trying to go back to work, you no longer have the strength or stamina to do the job you did before;
- You will need additional medical treatment;
- Your future medical expenses will put you in debt for years; or
- You did not understand the extent to which your injuries would impact the rest of your life.
These scenarios illustrate what can happen if you settle without a lawyer on your side. At Newsome | Melton, we can calculate a fair value for your damages before beginning the settlement negotiation process. We can fight for the full compensation you deserve.
Do Medical Review Panels Delay Medical Malpractice Cases?
Medical review panels are the creation of legislation in some states. These states require medical malpractice claims to go before a panel of people—usually made up of medical professionals—before the victim can proceed with an action in the courts.
What Happens If My Case Goes to Trial?
Because trials usually lengthen the amount of time it takes to settle a case, we make every reasonable effort to settle your claim out of court. However, some medical malpractice cases do proceed to trial. During the pre-trial stage of your case, we will engage in discovery. Discovery is when each side tries to find out as much as they can about the other side’s case. We accomplish this goal by taking depositions, sending the defendant interrogatories and document requests, and obtaining some records directly from third parties. We can often negotiate a settlement during the discovery phase, if we learn of information that helps our case.
If the discovery process does not end in settlement, there will be a live trial. The lawyers will present their evidence to the judge. At the end of the trial, the jury will deliberate and try to reach a verdict. If there is no jury, the judge will take the case under advisement and announce a decision.
What Can Happen After a Medical Malpractice Trial?
If the judge or jury awards a large verdict in your favor, the defense counsel may file an appeal. If this happens, there will be post-trial motions and then a notice of appeal. If the defendant does not appeal, or is unsuccessful in the appeal, you will receive compensation for the damages you suffered due to the doctor’s medical negligence.
How Can I Get Legal Representation for My Malpractice Case?
At Newsome | Melton, we will navigate your case through every step of settlement negotiations. If your claim does not settle, we will represent you through the trial and possible appeal. You only have a limited amount of time to file your case, so it pays to contact us as soon as possible after you suspect malpractice.
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