Victims of medical malpractice are often conflicted about seeking civil recovery from the medical professional that caused their harm. The injury alone is often physically and emotionally exhausting. Victims may feel that they don’t have the energy to endure another battle.
Experienced medical malpractice attorneys understand these feelings because they occur in every malpractice cased handled. Our attorneys want you to know that you shouldn’t have to worry. We can take care of the legal battle for you, no matter how long it may take, while you take care of your health.
All cases begin with diligent investigation of the facts. Once you retain an attorney, you will give a narrative of what happened to you and your attorney will obtain your medical records. After sufficient investigation, the suit will be commenced.
A civil suit is commenced when the attorney files the summons and complaint with the appropriate governmental office. At that time, the court filing is stamped with the date that the papers were filed. This is important to show that the claim was filed within the appropriate limitations period. The defendant must then be served with the summons and complaint.
The defendant must then respond to the complaint or else risk a default judgment in favor of the plaintiff. The response time is generally 20 to 30 days. Various other requests may be sent back and forth between the parties. After all answers and replies are exhausted, and after any pre-trial motions are decided, the discovery and disclosure process will occur.
Discovery and disclosure is a process by which each party to the action gives the other parties any and all information relevant to the case. The parties and potential witnesses may be subject to depositions as well. A failure to comply with disclosure rules may result in discipline by the court.
After discovery is complete, it is generally the responsibility of the plaintiff to file a note of issue with the court. This document asks the court to set the case on the calendar for trial. Also know that a preliminary conference and/or a pre-trial conference would be scheduled between the parties and the judge. The object of these conferences is to further narrow the scope of the trial and to see if the parties can settle the case out of court. Be aware that it is your right and your right alone to decide whether or not to settle a case; no one can do that for you.
Should your case not be resolved by settlement, the case will go to trial. The length of the trial will depend on the complexity of the case. After trial, the case will sometimes have to survive the entire appeals process.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.