If you feel that you or a loved one was wrongfully harmed due to a health care provider’s negligence, you may consider getting your case evaluated by a medical malpractice attorney. Before you decide to move forward with a medical malpractice case and hire a medical malpractice attorney, you may have a few general questions, like what are the steps in a medical malpractice case? How long does the total process take? The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek are here to help. This blog will go through the timeline of a medical malpractice case.
Investigating the Medical Records/Evaluating the Claim
In any medical malpractice case, the medical records are going to be important evidence. Due to the nature of the request, gathering all of the necessary records can take a couple of months. After all the records are collected, your lawyer will carefully inspect them in order to evaluate the claim. If your lawyer finds that the records reflect a potential malpractice claim, it’s time to look for an expert witness.
Hiring a Medical Witness
Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable medical witness is required for a medical malpractice claim. This is usually another health care professional that practices in the same field of medicine as the health care provider at fault in your case. Your attorney will contact the expert and have them review the medical records and determine if the care was appropriate. If the expert agrees that the health care provider’s actions fell below the standard of care, then all of the prerequisites to filing a claim are satisfied, and your lawyer will notify you that they are ready to make the next move.
Filing the Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Now that your lawyer has accumulated enough evidence to formally file the lawsuit against the health care professional. This will get the formal lawsuit started and is the true “beginning” of the litigation process. Although the time varies depending on multiple factors (e.g., complexity of the case, jurisdiction, and procedural motions, etc.), it typically takes between one and three years for a case to get to trial (if it ever does, see below).
After the litigation stage begins, it is time for the discovery stage. Discovery is just what it seems, gathering evidence that will be used during the trial. Both the Plaintiff (you) and Defendant(s) will send out discovery requests and schedule depositions of the parties/experts/ other key witnesses. This process usually takes around a year or more to complete. This stage may seem like it drags on for a long time, but it is very important. It is the only opportunity to obtain evidence to support your claim, and shapes how the rest of litigation will play out.
The Final Steps: Mediation or a Trial
Once discovery is over, things start to heat up. Usually, your trial date will be set to begin a few months after discovery ends. But in many cases the parties will agree (or the court will order) a mediation to occur some point before trial. In mediation, both parties attempt to work out a solution and avoid trial. A very high number of cases end up settling, but not all. If your case does not settle, your attorney will prepare for trial, and your case will be presented to a jury.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today
Do you believe that you or your loved one has suffered as a result of medical malpractice or medical neglect? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Cardaro & Peek, LLC today.
The lawyers at Cardaro & Peek, LLC have the experience and resources necessary to investigate and litigate all types of medical claims throughout Maryland and Washington D.C. Cardaro & Peek, LLC has medical personnel on staff and has access to nationally recognized, board-certified physicians and other experts, to assist in the investigation, analysis, and prosecution of all types of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice, give us a call at 410-752-6166. Please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more information.