Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are in the process of starting a medical malpractice case, you may have heard that lawsuits take a very long time. Is this also true for malpractice lawsuits? Is there anything you can do to minimize the length of the case? These are important questions to answer before committing to a lawsuit because it is a big commitment that will take an enormous amount of time and resources. You can get a better idea for the size of your case by speaking with a medical malpractice attorney, but this guide will go over the basic answers to these questions.
Length of Your Lawsuit
It is almost impossible for a lawsuit to take less than a few months. However, the majority of lawsuits take many months or even years to conclude. You should not file a lawsuit unless you are willing and able to commit for this length of time.
The first thing that happens after filing is called discovery. This is the period of time when both sides gather evidence and prepare their arguments. The discovery process alone can take months in some cases. Then there is the trial itself, which can vary greatly in length. This means the total length of your lawsuit is an unpredictable figure to estimate. There is really only one way for the court case to be shortened, which is agreeing to a settlement.
A settlement is essentially when both sides agree to a set of terms and end the lawsuit immediately. Usually the defendant will compensate the plaintiff for an amount slightly less than the amount being sued for. The plaintiff benefits by saving time and legal fees, in exchange for receiving less from the defendant.
However, there is no way to force a settlement to happen. Generally the defendant is the one who presents a settlement offer. Usually a settlement offer is only extended when the defendant believes they will lose the case in court. While it is possible for a medical malpractice case to end very early through a settlement, it is not a good idea to count on it. The vast majority of lawsuits end in a settlement, but usually only when the trial is approaching its natural conclusion. This means most of the time, accepting a settlement offer only cuts a few weeks off the lawsuit at most.
If you are concerned with the amount of time your case might take, it is best to speak with a medical malpractice attorney, like a medical malpractice attorney in Chicago, IL, and get an estimate based on the unique specifics of your situation.
Thanks to The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian for their insight into how long a medical malpractice case typically takes.