Medical errors are now one of the leading causes of death in the US. Every year, around 250,000 people die because doctors acted negligently, and many more are injured. If you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, you can hire a surgical error attorney in Baltimore and file a lawsuit. Read on to find out how long this process takes and what it involves.
Ask a Surgical Error Attorney in Baltimore: How Long Does a Surgery Lawsuit Take?
Without knowing your individual situation, it’s hard to tell exactly how long your surgery lawsuit will take. Often, the patient and the doctor’s insurance company settle without going to court, in which case compensation might be paid out within a few months. On the other hand, a court case could take more than a year, especially if there are many complex elements at play.
How Easily the Evidence Can Be Gathered
Most lawyers encourage you to initiate your lawsuit in the months after the incident because the evidence is likely to still be fresh. People who were there when the surgical error occurred will be able to remember what happened more easily when you contact them soon. But if you wait more than a year or two, they might no longer remember the details of your situation, so you’ll have a harder time gathering the necessary evidence.
Once you’ve hired a lawyer, you will compile a wide range of documents and statements from people who were either present during surgery or who have the medical knowledge to back up your claims. Sometimes, this discovery process can be completed quickly, but at other times, it takes months.
The Amount of Evidence
In over 80% of cases, the doctor wins the lawsuit, not the patient. But studies have shown that your chances of getting the compensation you need increase drastically if you can provide enough evidence of negligence and medical malpractice. Sometimes, rushing the discovery process can be counter-productive, and it can lead to failure because you and your lawyer missed important evidence. To prevent this, don’t worry about spending a lot of time in this phase. Help your lawyer to compile as much evidence as possible by putting together relevant documents and getting statements from the people who were involved. In Maryland, you have several years to file a malpractice lawsuit, so you don’t have to start the process right after the surgery.
The Amount You’re Asking For
The average malpractice payout is between $300,000 and $400,000. However, you can make a claim for any amount. If your injuries are minor and temporary, you might only receive between $1,000 and $30,000 from the responsible medical practitioner’s insurance company. Small lawsuits might be settled more quickly because they rarely go to trial. On the other hand, you might ask for a large payout of over $1 million if you are permanently injured, you can no longer do your job, or you need ongoing care. Since insurance companies usually resist having to pay this much, you’ll have to compile a lot more evidence, and it’s more likely that you’ll have to go to court.
Settling vs. Going to Trial
Going to trial is a long and involved process, and it can often take more than a year. In around 93% of cases, the two parties can settle the matter without having to involve a judge. This is often preferable because it’s much faster. If you’ve been offered money by the doctor’s insurance company, carefully consider the offer. Your lawyer can tell you whether it’s acceptable or not, and they can negotiate with the insurers to get the best outcome possible.
When Should I Initiate My Lawsuit?
In Maryland, the statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases is five years after the incident or three years after you discovered the consequences. However, it’s best not to wait that long because you won’t be able to access compensation until you’ve filed and won your lawsuit, so you might have trouble paying your medical bills. What’s more, you’ll need some time to gather evidence.
If you’re in significant pain right after your injury, take several weeks or months to recover. Once you feel up to it, you can reach out to a lawyer and ask them to evaluate your case. The attorney will have a look at the evidence you already have to determine whether you have a good chance of winning. If so, they will help you to put together a strong case. Check out this site to learn more about what a good lawyer can do for you. A medical malpractice lawsuit can take many months or even years, especially if it goes to trial. If you’ve been injured by a doctor or other medical professional, it’s important that you speak to a surgical error attorney in Baltimore as soon as possible. The lawyer can evaluate your case and determine how much compensation you’re owed.