When Can You Expect Your Medical Malpractice Settlement After Filing?
After filing suit against your doctor, you might wonder how long it will take to receive your medical malpractice settlement. Here’s what to keep in mind.
Have you recently filed a lawsuit against a doctor? You’re not the only one. Medical malpractice-related costs are almost at $60 billion, or 2% of annual healthcare spending.
How long will it take for you to receive your medical malpractice settlement? What does the process involve?
Keep reading to find out!
In this guide, we’ll review everything you need to know about the malpractice case settlement process. Understanding this process will help you gain realistic expectations regarding your case. Otherwise, you might find yourself waiting longer than you anticipated.
Read on to learn more about your malpractice settlement.
How Long Will the Lawsuit Take?
Before you can receive your medical malpractice settlement, you’ll need to pursue the lawsuit. How long will the lawsuit take, exactly? In many instances, the duration can vary.
Unfortunately, it could take six months to a year before your claim is scheduled, especially with the current backlog of cases. Make sure to find an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. They can ensure there are no delays with your case.
Most medical malpractice trials last between two and four weeks. Unfortunately, some can go on for months. How long the trial takes can depend on the:
- Court schedule
- Number of witnesses
- Complexity of your case
About 40% of people surveyed spent over 50 hours in court or trial-related meetings.
If your medical malpractice case doesn’t go to trial, you could settle out of court instead. This process still requires both sides to file motions. You’ll also need to complete discovery through the court process.
Your medical malpractice settlement lawyer will try to ensure you receive your money quickly. However, you’ll also want to make sure they get the amount you deserve. Settling too quickly could cause you to receive less in your settlement.
You could lose several hundred thousand dollars as a result.
A case that goes to trial, on the other hand, might ensure you win a larger payout. However, it could take a few years before you win any money.
You might want to consider the pre-settlement funding process in the meantime.
If you plan on pursuing your medical malpractice case, you’ll need to file your complaint. The complaint ensures both parties are notified of the lawsuit. Then, both sides will begin the discovery process.
During the discovery process, both sides can request information from one another. Your lawyer will request evidence, documents, and other materials from opposing counsel. This process ensures they have all the information that’s relevant to your case.
They’ll use this evidence to help build your lawsuit.
Your medical malpractice settlement lawyer will also hire expert medical witnesses for your case. The medical witness can support your medical negligence complaint. They can also advise your lawyer regarding their argument.
Each side can call a neutral, third-party expert medical witness. The medical witness will review and investigate the details of the case. They’ll establish the standard of care as well.
You’ll need to prove the physician breached the standard of care when building your case. This allows the expert to determine if and how the doctor was negligent.
They’ll also determine how the doctor’s negligence led to your injuries or damages.
Each state has different laws regarding medical experts. For example, some states allow you to hire a generalist or specialist.
If both medical witnesses determine the doctor didn’t breach the standard of care, your case could get dismissed. If the experts disagree, your lawyer can call on more witnesses to build your case.
In the case both medical experts agree negligence occurred, the lawsuit will proceed.
Once it’s determined your case has merit, you can talk to your lawyer about your medical malpractice settlement. Your lawyer will attempt to settle the case out of court by negotiating with opposing counsel.
The opposing side will try to minimize how much money they have to pay out for the lawsuit. They’ll also want to avoid going to trial. Otherwise, they might have to pay even more if the case is ruled in your favor.
Your medical malpractice lawyer will determine the details of your case. They’ll consider damages, including your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering. Calculating your damages will help them determine an appropriate settlement amount.
If you decide to turn down the malpractice settlement amount, you can take the case to court instead.
Many people decide to negotiate instead of going to court. Taking your case to trial can prove expensive and time-consuming. Usually, going to trial is a last-resort option.
However, if your lawyer believes you have a good chance of winning a trial, think it over.
Consider how much the defense offered for the settlement. You could win even more by taking the case to court.
Either you’ll reach a settlement for your medical malpractice case or the jury will reach a verdict. Once the case is over, the plaintiff will pay for their damages. There are two different options you can consider before collecting the money.
Most people who pursue a birth injury or malpractice case involving young children choose structured payments. Courts set up these funds to ensure the child has money for their medical care. This option is ideal if the child requires permanent or long-term care.
However, some plaintiffs regret not receiving a lump-sum payment instead. Some try to sell their structured payments. You could receive less than what you should have earned as a result.
Instead, consider the lump-sum payment option.
This option is less complicated. Many plaintiffs and attorneys prefer lump-sum payments.
The lump-sum option ensures you can cover your expenses and set yourself up for future medical care.
Once your case is complete, speak with your lawyer regarding their fee basis. Most medical malpractice lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. You’ll only reimburse them for legal expenses and their services if they win a settlement.
Concluding Your Case: Understanding the Medical Malpractice Settlement Process
Eager to close your medical malpractice case and receive the compensation you deserve? Keep the medical malpractice settlement process in mind. Understanding this process will ensure you maintain realistic expectations moving forward.
Remember, this process could take some time.
Do you require lawsuit funding before pursuing your case? We’re here to help.
Contact us today to get started.