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Medical Malpractice Lawsuit: What You Can Expect


Thinking about beginning a medical malpractice lawsuit can be understandably intimidating, as you might be going up against a defendant that is backed by a large corporation or medical institution. No matter how great your opposition, it is important that you follow through with your case, as lawsuits are often the only way a negligent medical practitioner or group is penalized for wrongdoing. Not to mention that winning your case might be the only chance you have to collect damages that pay for additional medical treatments, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

To reduce the stress of your impending lawsuit, it helps to know what you can probably expect as it pans out:

  1. Filing a complaint: You can take months to prepare your complaint – and you might want to, depending on the intricacies of your injury – but the lawsuit doesn’t officially begin until you actually go to court and file your complaint. In the complaint, you will outline what has caused your harm, who is responsible, and how much compensation you require. In some cases, you cannot file a complaint unless you have had the medical specifics of your complaint reviewed by an expert.

  2. Receiving an answer: Next, the doctor, hospital or other medical provider and/or their representative will respond to your complaint.

  3. Discovery: Each side has likely stated that they have evidence as to why they should win the lawsuit. During discovery, the opposing parties are allowed to have a back-and-forth exchange of questions, pertinent documentation, and witness depositions.

  4. Mediation: If the defendant has seen enough evidence during discovery to give them reason to think they could lose the lawsuit, they may call for mediation. During mediation, a neutral third-party agent – the mediator – will hear both sides and try to find a settlement amount that works for the plaintiff and defendant. The objective of mediation is to quickly close the case, saving everyone time and probably money. If it fails, a medical malpractice case will move onto Step 5.

  5. Preparing for trial: Both sides will take steps to get their case ready for trial. In high-stakes claims or if the trial date is months away, it may be beneficial to conduct focus groups or mock trials to perfect arguments and gauge how the case will likely be judged by jurors. While preparation is conducted, the case can be dismissed by the court or the plaintiff, or more settlements can be offered by the defense.

  6. Trial: This is the actual trial process, to which everything before has been leading. A trial can consist of including or excluding evidence, cross-examining witnesses, making opening statements, etc. It will end with a verdict from a jury and a judge’s ruling. If the losing side isn’t satisfied with the result, they can often file an appeal, which involves a higher court reviewing the trial for errors.

Of course, it also helps to be backed by a trustworthy, trial-tested attorney from the beginning. If you live in Kentucky and need to start a lawsuit after you were hurt in a hospital or by a doctor, nurse, surgeon, or other physician, contact Louisville Medical Malpractice Attorney Brett H. Oppenheimer. He is backed by 25+ years of legal and trial experience and a win record that has brought in $100+ million for clients.

You can also request a free confidential consultation to start.

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