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How Long will a Medical Malpractice Case Take?

May 14, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

If you or somebody you love has been injured due to a mistake made by a medical professional, you should be entitled to receive compensation for your losses. However, victims of medical mistakes often want to know how long it will take for their case to be successfully resolved. There is no set time limit for medical malpractice claim timeframes, and each case is different.

Factors that Influence a Medical Malpractice Case

The various elements of each case will influence how long it takes for a claim to resolve. However, these various factors should be considered.

West Virginia Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims

One of the most important factors to consider when determining whether or not to file a medical malpractice claim is the statute of limitations. In West Virginia, medical malpractice claims must be filed within two years from the date that the medical mistake occurs, or within two years from the day when a person discovers (or should have discovered) that a mistake occurred.

If a person is relying on the “discovery rule” to make a medical malpractice claim, then the case may very well commence more than two years after the initial mistake occurred. However, West Virginia law goes on to state that no medical malpractice claim can be made more than 10 years after the date the mistake occurred, even if a person does not discover that a mistake happened beyond those ten years.

Notice of Claim and Screening Certificate of Merit

Anyone who will be filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is required to send a “notice of claim” to each medical provider being sued at least 30 days before filing the claim. A Martinsburg medical malpractice attorney can help formulate this document, which must be sent via certified mail.

Will the Case Settle Out of Court?

If a claim has merit and proceeds, there are various routes for a victim to take to receive compensation. Most medical malpractice claims in which a plaintiff (the victim) is successful are settled out of court. In these cases, the injury attorney for the plaintiff and the attorney for the defendant (the alleged negligent medical professional) will negotiate a fair settlement. This can be a complicated process that often involves many back and forth offers.

Claims that are settled out of court typically resolve much faster than those that proceed to trial. However, if the defendant does not offer a fair settlement, it may be necessary to proceed with the lawsuit.

Preparing for a Trial

Preparing for a full trial in a medical malpractice case can take some time. In these cases, expert medical witnesses will need to be involved. Depositions will be taken from all parties involved. The plaintiff’s attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into all evidence related to the medical mistake in an effort to prove the case for their client. A court date will be set based on schedule availability (the docket).

If you or a loved one have been injured due to a medical mistake, contact Manchin Ferretti Injury Law today. We will thoroughly investigate your case and work to secure any compensation you may be entitled to. You can contact us for a free consultation by submitting a form or calling (304) 944-0577.