The legal process goes at lightning speed in the movies. On TV, a criminal can stand trial the same day as the arrest. In reality, legal cases move at a snail’s pace. Most legal cases, especially malpractice cases, can take months or even years to resolve.
Let’s say you think you might have a medical malpractice case. In the state of Ohio, you generally have one year from the incident to file a claim. It’s always better to do this sooner than later. If you contact a lawyer just before the deadline, they won’t have enough time to research the incident and file a claim.
Weighing the Evidence
Once your attorney files a claim with the court, both sides need to collect evidence. Discovery consists of both you and whoever committed the alleged malpractice wading through interviews with both attorneys. Additionally, your attorney must thoroughly research medical records relating to the inciting malpractice and will often consult an expert in the field. This whole process can take several months or even a year.
At this time, the defense may offer to settle out of court. While settlements are faster, they often carry a significantly smaller compensation payout than you might receive from winning a trial case. If you cannot agree on a settlement, the case moves to trial.
Going to Trial
Our courts are often backed up. Even though 90% of legal cases do not go to trial, civil cases typically take six months to reach the courtroom. At that time, you must be careful. The defense may look for evidence contradicting your malpractice claim. They may even hire investigators to review your social media. As the trial approaches, the defense may offer higher settlements to avoid appearing in court.
After trial, the defense might appeal the verdict to a higher court. In these cases, it could be another six months or even several years before you receive your just compensation. By the time you receive compensation from a trial, it could be two or even three years after the malpractice.
Malpractice cases can be long and difficult. That’s why you need an experienced attorney to guide you through the process. If you’d like a Cincinnati-based medical malpractice attorney to review your case, please give us a call at (513) 232-2000 or send us an email.