If you think you may have a medical malpractice case, or if you’ve
been told you have a case, you’ll want to begin taking the necessary
steps to build your case. You should be aware, however, that there are
a number of things that need to be done before your case goes to trial
– if it does at all. In this blog, our
Portland medical malpractice attorney explains the timeline of a medical malpractice suit.
Investigating Medical Records
Once you’ve hired an attorney, you’ll be asked several questions
regarding your medical condition, treatment, and history – the lawyer
wants to make sure he or she has a solid understanding of your story and
your case. Your attorney will then gather all of your medical records
and bills pertaining to your case, which can take several months. At that
point, your attorney will determine if, from a legal standpoint, there
is a valid medical malpractice case.
Seeking a Medical Expert’s Opinion
In the event that you do have grounds for a medical malpractice case, your
lawyer will hire an expert medical witness. Expert medical witnesses are
used for medical malpractice cases to determine
negligence. The expert witness will be asked if your doctor acted as any other reasonable
medical professional would under the same circumstances and if he or she
is solely responsible for causing your harm.
Settlements and Negotiations
The truth of the matter is, many medical malpractice cases are settled
before a lawsuit is filed, let alone heard in a courtroom. Although pre-lawsuit
settlements are not very common, they’re not entirely unheard of.
This is where the litigation begins. Each party investigates the opposing
party’s defense and claims. Interrogatories, or questions, will
be sent and you will be asked to submit a deposition. Depending on the
deadlines imposed by the court, this process can take up to a year or more.
Mediation and Trial
Once the discovery portion is completed, the lawyers will then begin to
discuss settlements. In mediation, both parties and their legal representation
will discuss their case before a mediator in an attempt to settle. If
mediation does not work, your case will be scheduled for trial. Trials
are often rescheduled and pushed around, but once they begin, they can
last a week or more.
Our premier legal team is devoted to you. Call (503) 491-4900 to schedule a
free case evaluation with our Portland medical malpractice lawyer.