Medical malpractice cases are entirely different than personal injury cases; this is because there is a large number of state laws and appellate law in place that governs medical malpractice specifically. Unfortunately for victims of medical malpractice, those same laws have a litany of procedural requirements that have to be completed to ensure your case makes it into the courthouse and stays there. It’s important to consult with a firm experienced with medical malpractice because if your lawyer is unfamiliar with the laws in place, you may endanger or lose the right to pursue your claim. It is not as simple as filing an auto accident case in the courthouse. It’s important that your attorney know that procedural requirements must be fulfilled in a complete and accurate manner, so as to best preserve and strengthen your claims.
Just How Long Will a Medical Malpractice Case Take?
A straightforward personal injury case – like those for car accidents when it is obvious that one driver caused the crash – can still take time to resolve. The “delays” are caused by back-and-forth interactions with insurance companies, as well as initial insurance investigations to make sure no obvious details are missed. At the far end of things, a personal injury case with complex evidence and questions of liability can take many months or over a year before the case is completed. Also, the more money that is owed to the claimant, the longer the case may take because the insurance company will feel it is worth its time to put up a fight.
With this said, the simplest medical malpractice case will most likely be unable to conclude without filing litigation at the courthouse. Meaning an experienced medical malpractice attorney is invaluable to strengthening and pursuing your claims.
When medical malpractice cases are filed, typically the courts in Bexar County set the trial date a year or even longer out. The reason why it can take so long to move through a court case is that there will be many more official steps that need to occur. Most of those steps require court dates, hearings, discovery exchanges, depositions, and alternative dispute resolution attempts.
To name only some of the steps in pretrial litigation:
- Serving the procedural notice letter
- Ordering records
- Reviewing records
- Obtaining an expert to review the records
- Obtaining a procedural expert(s) report to substantiate negligence and damages
- Filing plaintiff’s original petition
- Receiving an answer
- Serving the expert(s)’ reports
- Discovery disputes
- Expert designations
Medical providers have laws designed to insulate them from litigation, which is why it’s important for your lawyer to know how to navigate those risks. Medical malpractice claims that progress often require permanent life-changing injuries due to the high costs and laws intended to deter such claims. For these reasons, insurance companies are prone to fighting back as much as they can against any claim, even those that seem like it should be an open-and-shut situation.
For information about how to handle a medical malpractice case in Texas, contact the attorneys of Maloney Law Group, P.L.L.C. by clicking here.