How Long Do Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Last?
If a patient is a victim of medical malpractice that leads to injuries and financial losses, he or she has a right to seek financial compensation through the legal system. The attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane have handled medical malpractice cases, and are prepared to fight to get victims the compensation they are due.
Unfortunately, it takes time to file and settle a medical malpractice lawsuit, so the faster that a plaintiff takes steps to file a case, the better. Here, our Salt Lake City, UT, clients can get a better idea of how long medical malpractice lawsuits last.
Hiring an Attorney
The first step of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is hiring an attorney to represent you. Experience and knowledge can be a huge asset when seeking compensation from doctors or hospitals that have an extensive legal team on their side.
It is a good idea to research attorneys and meet with several so that you feel confident that you have chosen an attorney who will do their best to fight for your best interest. This process alone may take several weeks.
Investigation of Case Details
Once an attorney is hired, they will begin investigating the details of the case and reviewing medical records. It takes time to obtain all necessary records and go over the details of medical treatment, but it is extremely important that nothing is missed.
As long as our attorneys believe there is evidence of medical malpractice, we will hire a medical expert. If a medical malpractice case will go to trial, a medical expert is needed to provide an opinion on the case.
Filing a Lawsuit
After all pre-trial investigation has been completed, our attorneys will file a lawsuit. It can take several months, or more, for a medical malpractice lawsuit to be ready to be filed, and once the suit has been filed, it can take a year or more for our Salt Lake City clients’ cases to settle or go to trial.
Once a judge has validated the merit of the medical malpractice suit, the discovery process will begin. During the discovery process, each party is able to review the arguments and evidence that will be presented by the other side. Each party can send the other inquiries and request copies of documents that are vital to the case. Discovery is a lengthy process that can take a year or more.
Mediation or Negotiations
The last step before taking a medical malpractice case to court is attempting to reach a settlement. Sometimes, attorneys can come to a settlement on their own, just based on the information that is exchanged during discovery. Other times, a mediator comes in to attempt to reach a settlement that both parties can agree upon.
Although it is not unusual for a settlement to be reached before trial, our attorneys are always prepared to take a case to court to get our Salt Lake City clients the compensation they are due.
If no settlement is reached, a medical malpractice case will be brought to trial. The exact length of a trial will vary from case to case, but it is typical for a medical malpractice case to last a couple of weeks. After both parties have presented their case, a judge or jury will come to a decision.
While a medical malpractice trial does not last particularly long, the entire process of filing and settling a medical malpractice case is quite lengthy. In all, clients should be prepared for a medical malpractice suit to last anywhere between a year and three years.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are considering a medical malpractice lawsuit, it is best to get started as soon as possible. To discuss the details of your case with one of our attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, send us a message at your earliest convenience or call (801) 335-7025 to schedule an appointment.