Medical malpractice lawsuits often take several years to settle. They’re often highly complex cases that are difficult to get through quickly. A highly experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be able to settle sooner than somebody who has never worked a case like yours before, but even then, the process will be time-consuming.
Ask a Medical Malpractice Lawyer: How Long Does it Take to Settle a Case?
Every medical malpractice case is different. There are numerous factors that come together that will influence how long it takes your case to settle. You can’t compare your case to anyone else’s; one person may have a case that settled within a year, but you may be on year three with no sign of resolution. This is normal for any case of medical malpractice in Baltimore MD, and even nationwide.
Typically, a medical malpractice case will take 2 to 3 years to come to a resolution, and that’s without going to trial. If your case needs to go to trial, then you may be facing a 4- to 5-year-long lawsuit. With an extremely high settlement exceeding $2 million, then the case may even drag on for over five years, and potentially, over a decade.
What Are Some of the Factors That Influence How Long a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Takes to Settle?
1. Wrongful Death
If the malpractice resulted in wrongful death, then compensation may be higher, and the details of the case may require more investigation than usual. These cases can last much longer than a case with a living victim.
2. Ongoing Treatment
Whether or not you’ve recovered from the harm that was done as a result of malpractice can also influence how long cases go on. If you’re getting continued treatment, then this must be taken into consideration and it can play a role in both how large a settlement you’re getting and when you’re going to settle.
3. Lifelong Disability Status
If you were left with a permanent disability or illness as a result of the malpractice, then you’ll find that the case is a little more complex, and it may require more time to settle.
4. Your Circumstances
Several other circumstances such as your age, your ability to continue functioning as you did before the incident, your ability to live with or without assistance each day, your ability to work, and more can influence the timeline of your claim.
5. If There Was a Breach of the Standard of Care
Doctors are held to a specific standard of care, and determining whether or not the standard of care was breached can be difficult and therefore will lengthen the timeframe of your case.
It seems it should be simple determine to determine whether or not medical negligence has taken place. After all, if a “more competent” physician would have dealt with your concern without leading to this medical malpractice, then the physician who committed negligence should be found liable and in breach of the standard of care. However, this doesn’t always happen.
6. Who Breached the Standard of Care
Proceedings will be different depending on who breached the standard of care. Private doctors, doctors working for a particular insurance company or hospital, senior vs junior doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other hospital staff are held to different standards due to the different roles and responsibilities within their workplace and your care.
7. How Many People Breached the Standard of Care
You may have experienced medical negligence at the hand of several physicians. They may have all received improper training, or perhaps they were all overseen by one negligent doctor. In some cases, the entire hospital may have a low standard of care which resulted in your mistreatment. All of this will need to be investigated and the answers indubitably determined so you can move forward with your case and finally settle.
How Much Can I Expect My Claim to Settle for?
Medical practice cases often settle in the $1 to $2 million range. This is because there are a high number of factors that can add up in your claim for compensation. Some of these factors include:
- Medical fees
- Future medical fees
- Future cost of assisted living
- Emotional distress
- Your attorney’s contingency fee
- Punitive fees
- Loss of income and future loss of income
It’s clear that medical malpractice cases take a lot of investigation, and it all must be done incredibly carefully by a team of medical experts from both sides. This leads to cases stretching on for two to three years at a time on average, but any case could take longer than this too. Patience is key when you’re involved in a medical malpractice case, and you shouldn’t give up until you win a settlement that fully covers your damages.