How Long Does It Take to Get a Settlement in a Medical Malpractice Case?

Staff Writer | July 12th, 2018

Medical malpractice is estimated to cause 25,000 to 120,000 deaths each year. More than $3 billion was spent in compensation for medical malpractice as of 2012. It may take a long time to settle a medical malpractice lawsuit, and plaintiffs who are struggling financially because of exorbitant medical bills and lost wages from missed work may be tempted to settle for the insurance company’s first low-ball offer. That’s where pre-settlement cash advances from Law Street Capital Solutions come in.

Medical Malpractice Cases May Last for Extended Periods of Time

Though medical malpractice settlements are common – one is paid out every 43 minutes nationwide – these cases can take a particularly long time to wend through the courts.

Why? First, these cases can be genuinely complex, requiring expert testimony and investigation. Engaging expert testimony and performing investigations will lengthen the trial process.

Second, physicians, hospitals, and other medical professionals and facilities may see settlement in a medical malpractice suit as threatening to their reputations and even, ultimately, their professional livelihoods. As a result, they have every incentive to fight hard in court to not receive a guilty verdict. They may draw out trial proceedings as much as possible.

Third, for the same reason, defendants may want to exhaust all possible legal appeals. The appeal process itself is lengthy. Some appeals take years. Multiple appeals, which are possible, can take a number of years.

How Plaintiffs Can Take Care of Their Financial Needs

Being involved in a lengthy medical malpractice case can be very draining to people injured as a result of medical malpractice. The injuries caused by medical malpractice can require lengthy hospital stays, frequent doctor checkups, physical therapy, construction in a home to accommodate the injured person, and constant medication.

They may not be physically able to perform their former job duties. In that case, they may need to be retrained or need disability payments.

Their spouses may have lost consortium. The loss of wages may have injurious effects on their lives.

And if a loved one has died as a result of medical malpractice, their families may have lost the breadwinner and lost care and support.

All of these potential financial costs — medical bills, pharmacy bills, hospitalization, physical therapy, loss of wages, retraining, decrements in quality of life, loss of consortium, and loss of care and supports — can be paid for out of a legal settlements if they are a result of medical malpractice.

But what are injured people supposed to do when settlements can take years?

Ways To Use a Legal Loan

One solution is a legal loan. Legal loans provide you with the money to pay bills, as well as rent, food, and other necessities, while your case is pending. Legal loans can be a bridge that provides key financial support while a case is moving through the courts.

Legal loans are not the same as bank or credit union loans. They are more like cash advances, and are termed “nonrecourse.” Plaintiffs who win their cases need to pay back the legal loan in full, at a reasonable interest rate.

Plaintiffs who lose their cases never owe anything. You won’t owe a cent if you lose.

Plaintiffs who can’t pay their bills or buy food may feel undue pressure to settle a case at the first offer. But negotiation is important in court cases. The more financial resources you have, the greater your bargaining power.

Obtaining a legal loan is simple. No credit check is required. The loan can be obtained in 24 hours. There are never any hidden costs.

Additional Resources:

  1. Cheeks, Demetrius. “10 Things You Want To Know About Medical Malpractice.” Forbes. May 6, 2013.
  2. Civil Justice Resource Group. Medical Malpractice…By the Numbers.