Medical Malpractice Lawsuit


Having served Salt Lake City, UT, in matters of medical malpractice for decades, the attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC know that no two cases are the same. It takes time and investigative work for an attorney to prepare a case, and insurance companies will often want to drag out proceedings for as long as possible, which places the average case time at three years or more. If you're considering filing a medical malpractice claim, work with a team that is prepared to see your case through and stand by your side every step of the way.

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WEBVTT 00:00:06.243 --> 00:00:09.900 Persons that have a potential medical malpractice claim, 00:00:10.057 --> 00:00:12.986 don't understand, or need to be informed about a few topics. 00:00:13.086 --> 00:00:15.386 First one is the amount of time it takes. 00:00:15.686 --> 00:00:19.585 I think, unlike other areas of injury law, 00:00:19.586 --> 00:00:21.756 medical malpractice is significantly 00:00:21.757 --> 00:00:25.080 more time-consuming, because it's more complex. 00:00:25.914 --> 00:00:29.220 So both the investigation before you bring a lawsuit, 00:00:29.400 --> 00:00:32.485 the pre-litigation process that you have to do before 00:00:32.486 --> 00:00:36.000 and the litigation itself just really delay things. 00:00:36.157 --> 00:00:39.957 Then you combine that with the schedules of the doctors you need to talk to, 00:00:40.157 --> 00:00:41.814 both at fault and not at fault, 00:00:41.914 --> 00:00:45.514 defense attorney's calendars, the court's calendars. 00:00:45.857 --> 00:00:46.956 It's a long process. 00:00:46.957 --> 00:00:50.342 So the first thing we do is educate clients 00:00:50.343 --> 00:00:52.900 that we're in it for a long ride. 00:00:53.014 --> 00:00:57.213 Unlike the auto insurance world where if you're in an accident 00:00:57.214 --> 00:00:58.756 and you think it's the other person's fault, 00:00:58.757 --> 00:01:01.199 if your insurance decides it's your fault, and they should settle the claim, 00:01:01.200 --> 00:01:03.328 they're gonna do it without your permission. 00:01:03.329 --> 00:01:07.985 In medical malpractice, a physician can say, "No, don't settle." 00:01:07.986 --> 00:01:11.185 And his insurance company can't settle unless the physician wants to. 00:01:11.186 --> 00:01:12.743 So that sometimes is the delay. 00:01:13.014 --> 00:01:15.485 What I see more often, and it's more troubling, 00:01:15.486 --> 00:01:18.456 is that I see physicians that would like to settle the case 00:01:18.457 --> 00:01:22.920 but the insurance company is refusing or not being reasonable in the amount 00:01:23.071 --> 00:01:25.914 and they want to drag it out, and they want to fight it. 00:01:26.114 --> 00:01:27.413 But an average case time, 00:01:27.414 --> 00:01:30.414 not just for our office, for anybody, is three years or more. 00:01:32.186 --> 00:01:34.840 It's hard for clients to understand that. 00:01:34.841 --> 00:01:38.099 And if we could change it and make it faster, we absolutely would. 00:01:38.100 --> 00:01:39.870 We do everything we can to move it faster, 00:01:39.871 --> 00:01:44.040 but the first thing clients need to understand is this is a long process. 00:01:44.357 --> 00:01:49.359 Another frequent question we get is about the pre-litigation requirements. 00:01:49.471 --> 00:01:51.970 This is what makes our field kind of specialized. 00:01:51.971 --> 00:01:54.014 In any other injury case, you don't have to do this. 00:01:54.029 --> 00:01:57.299 But if your injury involves any type of health care provider 00:01:57.300 --> 00:02:01.343 from a sports medicine doctor, a chiropractor, 00:02:01.643 --> 00:02:06.243 even a holistic medicine person that does have a real license. 00:02:06.557 --> 00:02:10.086 If they provide any sort of arguably, health care, 00:02:11.686 --> 00:02:14.120 then… You know, laser, botox, anything. 00:02:14.671 --> 00:02:16.513 You have to go through a pre-litigation process. 00:02:16.514 --> 00:02:19.056 You have to tell them, "Hey, I'm thinking about suing you." 00:02:19.057 --> 00:02:20.057 Give them notice. 00:02:20.482 --> 00:02:22.070 Then a panel's appointed 00:02:22.071 --> 00:02:25.457 that involves local providers and lay people, 00:02:25.600 --> 00:02:27.932 that sit on the panel and you have to go before them 00:02:27.933 --> 00:02:29.299 and tell your case, 00:02:29.300 --> 00:02:31.499 and the defense shows up and tells their case. 00:02:31.500 --> 00:02:35.156 Then they make a decision whether the case has merit or not. 00:02:35.157 --> 00:02:39.000 And you have to get that decision, and we'll jump through that hoop. 00:02:39.657 --> 00:02:41.686 That takes usually six months to do that. 00:02:42.200 --> 00:02:43.428 So from the time we get a case, 00:02:43.429 --> 00:02:45.756 we need a couple of months to gather their records, 00:02:45.757 --> 00:02:49.042 which there's laws about how quick we are allowed to demand records. 00:02:49.043 --> 00:02:50.671 They have time to produce those. 00:02:51.186 --> 00:02:53.385 Then file the notice of intent, 00:02:53.386 --> 00:02:56.085 have the pre-litigation and hearing, that takes six months. 00:02:56.086 --> 00:03:00.485 So sometimes it's a year before you can even fully investigate the case 00:03:00.486 --> 00:03:02.900 and get answers about whether you should file a lawsuit 00:03:03.043 --> 00:03:04.413 and whether you have a case. 00:03:04.414 --> 00:03:06.056 Then once you do, you start the case 00:03:06.057 --> 00:03:07.399 and then it's years after that 00:03:07.400 --> 00:03:11.529 before a potential settlement or a trial comes into play.

Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC

At Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, our attorneys have decades of combined experience in complex cases. We represent clients in all types of personal injury cases, with a special focus on medical malpractice claims. Our firm is associated with the following professional organizations:

  • Utah Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Salt Lake County Bar Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association

To schedule an appointment, please contact us online or call (801) 335-6467.

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"They were extremely knowledgeable, extremely helpful experts. The team helped me with all aspects of my case, including medical and financial, and understood that it affected more than me but also my family."

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