A question that people who are considering a medical malpractice lawsuit often ask is ‘how long does a medical malpractice lawsuit take to resolve?’ It varies depending on many factors including whether the malpractice case settles or goes to trial. Medical malpractice cases are complicated to investigate and pursue. Doctors, hospitals and other licensed health care providers typically defend their reputations vigorously. A case that goes to trial may take two to four years or even longer to complete while a case that is settled out of court may take less time.
The first step in a medical malpractice case involves the evaluation of the injury. During the initial consultation, which is free, the attorney will ask questions to get a broad understanding of how your case.injury occurred, how it has affected your life and whether medical negligence may have caused the injury. Our attorneys at The Colleran Firm will give you our honest opinion about whether we believe you may have a medical negligence
Be aware that not every mistake by a doctor constitutes medical malpractice. An experienced malpractice attorney needs to determine whether a doctor departed from the recognized standard of care in providing treatment and whether that medical negligence caused the patient’s injury or death.
If we believe that you may have a malpractice case, The Colleran Firm will obtain and review your medical records. The question is whether the doctor or other health care provider failed to exercise the same degree of care that a similar doctor would use in the same situation. Unfortunately, medical negligence occurs more often than many people suspect.
We work with medical experts to assess what happened.
Pennsylvania requires a medical malpractice attorney to obtain a medical expert’s written statement that is reasonably likely that the health care provider violated the standard of care. The statement is known as a certificate of merit.
It is important to work with a medical malpractice lawyer who has experience investigating malpractice claims, has a network of recognized medical experts and has the resources to pursue justice wherever it leads.
Once our legal team determines that medical negligence likely occurred and resulted in your injury,your attorney will prepare and file a medical malpractice lawsuit in the appropriate court.
Pennsylvania typically requires medical malpractice lawsuits to be filed within two years of the injury except in special situations. That is referred to as the statute of limitations. Given the amount of investigation that is necessary before a lawsuit is filed, you can see that it is essential that you contact a medical malpractice attorney to launch an investigation as soon as possible.
Every medical malpractice case has its own unique facts and complications that make it hard to predict how long a case will take.
Certain factors can lengthen the amount of a lawsuit takes, such as:
As part of the pre-trial phase, the opposing sides exchange information. This is known as the discovery process. Each side gathers testimony from witnesses.
Generally speaking, the more serious the injuries and more complex the issues, the longer the claim takes to resolve.
Negotiations to settle a case out of court may take place at any point during the process. In many cases, the insurance company attorneys will wait to see the evidence against the health care provider before discussing a settlement.
The amount of the settlement will depend on the strength of the evidence of medical negligence and the seriousness of the injury. If your attorney receives a settlement offer on your behalf, he or she will discuss the offer with you and offer an opinion about whether the offer is reasonable given the facts of your case. The Colleran Firm is successful in resolving most cases before trial. Insurance companies are aware of our strong track record as trial attorneys. That makes insurers more willing to settle a case.
If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may go to trial. How quickly a case gets scheduled for trial will depend on how busy the court calendar is. This varies from county to county.
Once all the evidence is presented, the jury will weigh the evidence and then render a decision about whether the health care provider committed malpractice. The jury’s decision will be announced in the court. If you win the case, a monetary award will be entered. This concludes the case, unless there is an appeal. The insurer will send a check through your attorney. The agreed attorney’s contingency fee and expenses will be deducted, and you will receive a check for the balance.