How Long Do Malpractice Cases Take?
Undertaking a legal course of action against a medical professional or facility can be a daunting experience and plaintiffs are often interested in knowing how much time they will be investing in the process. Often, the length of time a case will take is important due to previously accrued medical expenses and time spent away from work and loved ones.
While no one can make a guarantee as to exactly how long a case may take, understanding the various external factors which can delay or prolong a medical malpractice case can help plaintiffs and attorneys better estimate the amount of time they will be devoting to a particular lawsuit.
Out of Court Settlements
A settlement out of court can speed up the process of resolving a medical malpractice claim. A settlement may be the result of an insurance company recognizing that they are likely to lose the case, therefore wishing to resolve it in private. Out of court settlements can also occur when both parties come to an agreement or decide not to pursue the case in a court of law. Typically, out of court settlements can last from a couple of months to a year, and are generally determined faster than those lawsuits that go to trial.
Hiring an arbitrator or mediator is another method for resolving a medical malpractice claim without taking the case to trial. Entering into arbitration or mediation with the medical professional, medical center, or company has become a popular way to resolve medical malpractice claims. Mediation is often quicker than a court battle and less expensive for the parties involved. In terms of arbitration or mediation, patients generally receive their compensation and/or resolution in a time frame a few years.
Filing a Malpractice Lawsuit
The decision to take a medical malpractice claim to court is a large undertaking. Cases that are settled in a courtroom setting can be drawn out for a lengthy period of time. Plaintiffs must understand this time commitment be prepared to see the trial through to the end. Individual circumstances, as well as the collection of evidence and witnesses, can greatly increase the amount of time that a case stays within the legal system. Cases of this nature can take up to several years to reach a conclusion.
The quality of the evidence provided by the plaintiff can greatly expedite court proceedings. The better and more substantial the evidence of medical malpractice, the faster a trial can be resolved. A call to a medical malpractice lawyer can help to gather evidence and ensure that it is worthy of admission into a court of law.