How long does a medical malpractice case take to resolve?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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A medical malpractice case can take as little as a few months or as long as several years to complete. It really depends on the complexity of the case. If both parties can come to a reasonable settlement, then the lawsuit will not take long to conclude. If they cannot agree, the case will go to trial and can drag on for various reasons.

When They Take Less Time

A med mal case will take the shortest amount of time possible when a settlement is quickly reached or when the evidence in the case is straightforward. For example, if an object was left inside a patient during surgery, the case would likely be uncomplicated and quick to settle, as most insurance companies would prefer not to present this story to a jury.

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When They Can Take Longer

During the settlement process, you will be offered a cash sum and a choice of accepting it or not. If you do not accept the cash offer, there may be a counter offer. The amount of the offer will depend on the strength of the case, and the estimated amount of compensation from a trial. If a case goes to court, however, things can take much longer. The following are just a few reasons medical malpractices may drag on in court: The court dockets may be crowded and that can delay the case. There may be difficulty in getting the required medical documentation or witness testimony. People involved in the case, like doctors, plaintiffs, and certain medical experts may be busy. Appeals can also cause a case to drag on for years.

Consulting a Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you believe you were the victim of medical malpractice, you should strongly consider speaking with an attorney. Your lawyer can help estimate the length of time your case is likely to take and he or she can assist you with the steps needed to help move things along as quickly as possible.

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