You have been injured due to the negligence of a doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional. You are getting ready to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, but exactly how long will it take for the case to resolve so you get the compensation you deserve? The timeline for settling these types of cases varies anywhere from a handful of months to several years, with the national average being approximately two years.
What factors play a role in how long your medical malpractice lawsuit will take?
- The number of doctors or healthcare providers involved in the case. If there are many healthcare providers that may be liable for your injuries, the case must be thoroughly reviewed to determine who is at fault. The more liable parties, the longer it will take.
- The experts needed for the case. Expert witnesses are usually required in medical malpractice cases to establish the standard of medical care in the medical specialty at issue. For example, if a neurosurgeon committed medical malpractice, you would need a neurosurgeon to testify. If your surgery or treatment dealt with many types of doctors, you would need to find several expert witnesses, which could prolong the process of the medical malpractice lawsuit.
- Questions you must answer. Filing the lawsuit itself does not take very long, but the process of discovery, which includes interrogatories or questions and the production of documents, could take some time, because it goes back and forth between yourself and the defense.
- Trial and appeals. If your case does not settle, it will go to trial, which is a long process. The more defendants, the longer the case will take. If there is an appeals process, it can take much longer.