How Long Does a Medical Malpractice Case Take in New Jersey?
I want to file a med mal lawsuit NJ – How long does it take to get a settlement?
There is no set amount a time that a medical malpractice lawsuit will take in New Jersey, as these are among the most complex and highly specific cases. Depending on the unique set of circumstances in your case, the process may last for several months or several years. Although there is no way to predict exactly how long it will take to get a medical malpractice settlement, there are a series of factors that significantly influence the amount of time that may pass before your case is resolved. The complexity of the victim’s medical condition, the other side’s willingness to negotiate a settlement, and whether or not the case goes to trial, are just a few of the important factors that impact how fast a case moves through the process.
The best thing that you can do when you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice is to seek individual guidance and assistance from a qualified medical malpractice attorney. At Fronzuto Law Group, our team of lawyers has the knowledge and unique experience handling medical malpractice claims in New Jersey, to assist you through every phase of the legal process. For more information, please call 973-435-4551 or contact us online for a free initial consultation today.
How Long will My Medical Malpractice Case Take in NJ?
Consulting a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical malpractice lawsuits involve a highly complicated set of procedural rules, legal concepts, and medical information that are beyond even the most informed average person. Considering these complexities, it is highly advisable to enlist a medical malpractice lawyer to handle the legal process on your behalf. Even general injury lawyers are often less equipped than attorneys who concentrate on medical malpractice law. At Fronzuto Law Group, we understand the unique intricacies of medical malpractice litigation. As such, we dedicate our focus to this area of practice in order to provide you with the best possible representation.
Determining Grounds for a Med Mal Claim
When you believe that you have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit and seek counsel from an attorney, your case will begin with a period of information and evidence-gathering, This is often an extensive process, given the complicated medical elements involved. You and your attorney will discuss the details of your situation, including your medical condition or conditions, the treatment that you received (or lack thereof), the healthcare providers involved in your care, and the series of events that led you to suspect that your medical provider was negligent. This process involves reviewing your medical records, information regarding your medical history, and particular facts about your treatment.
While investigating your potential claim, an attorney will often consult with one or more medical experts who can assist in determining whether your case meets the necessary requirements for a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. In order to have a valid claim for compensation under New Jersey law, your healthcare provider or providers must have failed to meet the proper standard of care as established and accepted by similarly trained, educated, and experienced medical professionals in the field, given the specific set of circumstances. If you have what it necessary for a successful medical malpractice claim, your case can move forward.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
New Jersey requires plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases to file an Affidavit of Merit in order to proceed with a lawsuit. The Affidavit of Merit, or Certification of Merit, is a necessary step intended to save the court’s limited time and monetary resources by sorting through claims that are not legally acceptable. There are many requirements and nuances applicable to these certifications, but generally the Affidavit of Merit is a sworn statement from an appropriately licensed expert attesting to the validity of the claim. After addressing the procedural hurdles required to get your case started, the suit will enter the discovery phase.
Discovery and Information Exchange
Discovery is among the most important steps in the process of a medical malpractice suit. Often long and intensive, the discovery phase allows both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys to request and obtain statements and documents from the other side. The amount of documents and individuals involved in the discovery process significantly impacts the time that it takes to complete. In addition, if one party’s responses to the other’s demands for documents, interrogatories, or depositions is insufficient or unsatisfactory, you may need to have several court hearings and motions to compel such evidence before completing the discovery phase. This further affects the timeline of your medical malpractice case.
Negotiating a Settlement
Some cases will reach a settlement during the negotiation phase of the process. Essentially, if the respective party’s attorneys can negotiate a mutually-agreeable settlement amount on behalf of the plaintiff and defendant, the case may be resolved without going to trial. Every negotiation and outcome is contingent upon a vast array of particular case-related factors. You and your attorney will be engaged throughout the negotiation process and ultimately, the decision to take a settlement (if and when available) is yours.
Medical Malpractice Trial
If the parties cannot reach a settlement, the case will proceed to trial. The court schedules a trial well in advance to provide the opposing sides’ attorneys with time to sufficiently prepare. During a trial, lawyers for the plaintiff and the defendant have the opportunity to present evidence, call witnesses and experts, cross-examine the other side’s witnesses, and present arguments. Your attorney will handle the demands involved in a medical malpractice trial, after which the jury will issue a verdict. If the jury finds in your favor, they will then award “damages,” or a specific amount of money that the defendant(s) must pay you. This compensation can range from one million to one hundred million dollars and more, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Need help filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in NJ? Contact Fronzuto Law Group
If you want to file a medical malpractice suit in New Jersey, contact Fronzuto Law Group at 973-435-4551 for immediate assistance. Our team will thoroughly evaluate your unique situation, answers all of your questions, and discuss how we can help you and your family at this critical time.