Medical Malpractice cases range from cut-and-dry incidents that have a fairly short duration, to long-winded, exhausting, complex cases that can overwhelm the plaintiff, defendant, and their legal teams. Unfortunately, with the financial power behind the defendants, the latter is more common. Here are some of the reasons that medical malpractice cases can be long and difficult.
1. They’ll Do Anything to Make You Go Away
Malpractice cases are not fun, to say the least. Lawyers on the side of the defense take advantage of this fact, and it can result in a very real phenomenon known as litigation fatigue. They will use every bit of power and leverage they have to extend the lawsuit into infinity in the hope that you will give up. This can be very expensive on your end. Known as continuances, these are especially popular when the plaintiff is elderly, and the hope is that the plaintiff will pass away. There is a reason that litigation is seen as a cruel and messy game.
2. Expert Witnesses Have Tricky Schedules
Testimony will require a significant time commitment on the part of the plaintiff and defendant, their legal teams, and their expert witnesses. Coordinating this can be a nightmare, especially since it deals with two incredibly busy industries – health and the law- in which the people involved have very tight and tricky schedules. When witness testimony is “outsourced,” so to speak, for an expert outside of the original incident, known as an expert deposition, the case can be extended again. This is another way defense attorneys seek to delay cases from reaching the settlement or trial stage.
3. Your Compensation Expectations are Excessive
Putting a monetary value on an incident of medical malpractice is a difficult task. While attorneys and insurance representatives deal with these numbers every day, chances are you are unfamiliar with putting a price on pain and may have exceeded expectations when it comes to the demanded compensation. When deciding on a settlement range, be sure to take the advice and value the insight of your medical malpractice lawyer, who can help speed along the process by advising you against an excessive demand.
4. Tort Reform
Tort reform refers to proposed changes in the civil justice system that aim to reduce the ability of victims to bring tort litigation or to reduce damages they can receive. In other words, a nightmare for the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case. Healthcare lobbies pay state politicians in an effort to create legislation that caps damages payments at a certain level.
5. Broke Courts
Cases are scheduled and held based on the date they are filed with the courts. That means that not only cases are lined up before you, but they may be facing delays as well, including a long, drawn-out trial that can keep you waiting beyond the time you would expect. This happens because courthouses are working on a tiny, insufficient budget and don’t have the resources to prioritize any one trial over another.