If you are considering filing a lawsuit for injuries that you sustained due to medical malpractice, you are probably considering a number of factors. One factor that you’ve probably thought about is the time and cost that your case will likely take. Weighing the potential costs and rewards of your case is important in any situation, but particularly in the context of medical malpractice.
In short, the amount of time before a settlement or other resolution of your medical malpractice case depends on the circumstances of your case, including how common the particular malpractice is and the parties that are liable. The lawsuit could be settled at any point before a judgment is rendered, including even before the suit itself is filed. It all depends on the complexities of the case and the willingness of the parties involved. Generally, you should expect your medical malpractice lawsuit to take between six months to a year, if not more.
Deciding whether to press charges over medical malpractice can be an intimidating decision. But you shouldn’t have to make that decision without talking with a competent, experienced lawyer. The attorneys at Bennett & Heyman have been working with medical malpractice victims for years and can give you the advice you need to make the right decision for you. Call us today at (410) 429-7856.
Factors of a Medical Malpractice Settlement
Generally, a more complicated medical malpractice lawsuit will take longer to settle. Complications can arise from the level of legal and medical complexity of the suit as well as the individuals or organizations that become a party to the suit. The length will also likely be dictated by your flexibility on how much money you will accept in damages as a settlement.
Lawsuits are often determined based on the results of similar lawsuits that other courts have heard in the past. In law, this is called precedent. If the facts of your case have happened more commonly in the past, there will be more controlling precedent for the court to rely on, which usually makes the legal issues easier to decide. Put simply, if the case probably wouldn’t take very long were it to get to court, neither would the settlement timeline. If, however, the facts of your medical malpractice suit are uncommon or unique to you, the chances of a longer, drawn out court battle are higher.
Unique or uncommon medical issues can also cause a medical malpractice lawsuit to drag on. Whenever a medical issue is in front of a court, it is common practice to introduce expert witness testimony to help explain the complex medicine involved in the case to the court. Presenting expert witness testimony can be a lengthy process, and the timeline will depend on the amount of expert testimony that is required in a given case.
In any given case, there may be multiple individuals or entities that are liable for the negligence. This is due to the significant size of today’s medical care world. In a typical situation where medical care is provided, a patient will interact directly or indirectly with nurses, doctors, laboratory technicians, human resources representatives, and insurance companies. If you are seeking a sizeable amount of damages, you may typically choose to name any or all of the interacting parties who may have been contributorily negligent. When trying to settle, this likely extends your timeline as settling with multiple parties will usually take longer than negotiating with just one defendant.
Settling a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Quickly
In many circumstances, a medical care provider that is the defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit will be willing to settle early. This is because the provider likely wants to preserve their public reputation and doesn’t want to be dragged into a court of law to defend themselves against their own wrongdoing.
However, if a defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit offers to settle the case early, they are likely offering much less than the plaintiff would stand to gain if they pursued the case to the end. Providers do this because they know that the time value of money is much different to the average victim of medical malpractice than it is to them. Faced with a lengthy and expensive court battle, many victims choose to sacrifice the additional value they could get by pursuing their case further in order to secure an earlier payment for less money.
While an early settlement may be the right decision for you, there is no reason to make the decision to settle without hearing advice from our experienced Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys.
Settling vs. Going to Trial in Medical Malpractice Cases
First of all, you should know that a settlement of a medical malpractice claim can be offered and agreed to at any time up until the final determination of the court. The average settlement of a medical malpractice lawsuit from publicly available data is around half of the value of damages awarded by a court finding in favor of the plaintiff. However, there is always the possibility that the plaintiff may lose the case. Further, the defendant may choose to appeal the case to a higher court, which can drag the case out even longer.
Ultimately, neither party really wants to spend the time and money required by a medical malpractice lawsuit. Sometimes, however, pushing your case forward is necessary to show the other side that you mean business. If you are concerned about your ability to pay for a lawsuit, you can speak to our attorneys about our flexible payment structure options.
Call Us About Your Medical Malpractice Settlement Today
The medical malpractice attorneys at Bennett & Heyman have been vigorously advocating for Maryland clients just like you for years, and we know what it takes to get you what you need. To have a conversation with us about your case, call us today at (410) 429-7856.