While many people trust doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel to
provide the highest quality care possible, unfortunately, this trust is
not always honored. If you or a loved one has been injured at the hands
of a medical professional’s negligence, you may have grounds to
take legal action against those responsible in pursuit of full and fair
compensation for your suffering. But what exactly is the process involved
with filing a
medical malpractice claim, and how long will it take?
A typical medical malpractice claim involves the following steps:
Hiring an attorney: Your first priority should be to find a skilled lawyer to represent your
case. Like any sort of legal matter, pursuing a medical malpractice claim
can be an extremely complex endeavor and is not one you should consider
handling alone. Once you have met with several attorneys and choose one
who offers the quality representation and fee structure you desire, your
case will begin.
Investigation: Oftentimes, the first thing your attorney will do is to search through
your medical records and bills related to the alleged malpractice and
interview you regarding your treatment, how you were treated, and the
medical consequences you suffered. Acquiring and sifting through the necessary
documents can potentially take months to complete. If there is enough
evidence to suggest you have a valid claim, your lawyer will proceed.
Hiring medical experts: If your lawyer believes you have a valid claim, they will usually move
forward by searching for and hiring expert medical witnesses to support
your case. Most medical malpractice cases must have a medical expert as
a witness in order to go to trial, usually in the form of a doctor or
medical professional who practices in the same area as the defendant being sued.
Demands and negotiations: A vast majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court before
they reach the litigation stage. In the case of medical malpractice cases,
however, this is less common. In many larger medical malpractice claims,
medical insurance companies are often unwilling to negotiate a settlement
until after a lawsuit has been filed.
Filing a lawsuit: If negotiations are not on the table, a formal complaint or writ will
be filed with the courts against the responsible party. It may take anywhere
from a year and a half to three years from this point before your case
moves towards trial.
Discovery: If approved by a judge, litigation begins. This will commence a phase
called “discovery,” in which both parties investigates the
opposition’s legal claims and defenses through depositions, interrogatories,
witness testimonies, and document subpoenas. Depending on the court’s
specific deadlines, discovery can last a year or more.
Mediation and negotiation: As discovery draws to a close, many lawyers will open lines of communication
and consider negotiating a settlement. This may be as simple as each side’s
counsel speaking with one another, or it may involve formal mediation
with the assistance of a neutral third party.
Trial: If mediation is not successful, the case moves towards trial. Assuming
the case is not delayed due to scheduling conflicts, once it is placed
on the court’s docket, the actual trial phase may last a week or longer.
Fight for Justice with David C. Rash P.A.
If you or a loved one has been injured at the hands of a medical professional,
David C. Rash P.A. can help. With
millions of dollars in recoveries and more than 25 years of proven legal experience, our Miami medical malpractice
lawyers understand the strategies necessary to guard your rights and help
you pursue maximum financial restitution for your and your family’s
Dial (954) 914-7116 or
contact our office online today to discover your legal options.