Medical malpractice or medical negligence claims are one of the most complicated types of personal injury claims. Several steps have to be taken before the case will ever actually go to trial in court, and the whole process can take between 18 months and three years to get there after the actual lawsuit has been formally filed.
The attorney will collect all evidence for your case
Even collecting evidence in a medical negligence case can be a bit harder than what it is with some cases. Of course, most evidence in your claim will be supplied by you. You may be asked to provide things like:
- Medical records that are associated with your claim
- Documented evidence of injuries you have sustained
- Any proof you have that something was done wrong
The medical negligence attorney will also be faced with gathering medical records you do not have, which can mean they have to submit requests on your behalf to get certain records. This part of the process alone can take quite a long time to complete.
Medical experts may be consulted
Consulting medical experts in a negligence claim is an important step in the process, and it may be a necessary step for your claim. Medical experts are well-versed in the standards of traditional care, which means they can look at a claim and usually determine if something a care provider did was out of the ordinary or against the standards of care.
A formal complaint will be filed
If the attorney and the medical experts determine that you do have a viable lawsuit, they will likely file a formal lawsuit at this point. In some cases, the attorney will file a formal complaint with the medical practitioner's malpractice insurer first to see if they will offer a settlement. However, it is rare for negligence cases to be settled at this point.
Beyond all these things that happen during the filing stages of a medical negligence claim, there are several other things to come. Once the lawsuit is filed, you can expect that you may be called in for a deposition, there could be a mediation meeting scheduled, and there can be several months of wait time between every step. Some cases do get settled during these stages before a case ever actually makes it to trial. However, if a settlement is not offered or determined during mediation, the case will go to court. Just make sure you are working with a medical negligence attorney throughout the process.