How Long Does a Medical Malpractice Case Take?

by | Mar 1, 2024 | Legal Funding, Medical Funding | 0 comments

If you or a loved one has suffered further injury or death due to an error made by medical staff, you could be entitled to significant financial compensation. If you are considering suing for medical malpractice, but don’t know where to start, you likely have a lot of questions. 


One of the most common questions about medical malpractice cases is, “how long does it take?” This is a valid question and one that can have a huge impact on your decision on whether or not to move forward. Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to this question. 


Every medical malpractice case is unique in its circumstances and investigations but in nearly every malpractice case, you must prove that the doctor’s negligence caused or contributed to the injuries in question. This can be a complicated and time-consuming thing to prove in some cases. While some medical malpractice cases may be resolved relatively quickly, others can take several years to reach a resolution.

What is Considered Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice refers to instances where a healthcare provider fails to administer proper treatment, take necessary action, or delivers below-standard care, resulting in harm, injury, or death to a patient.


Such malpractice typically involves medical errors, which may occur during diagnosis, medication administration, healthcare management, treatment, procedures, or post-treatment care. 


Some common types of medical malpractice cases include: 


  • Misdiagnosis
  • Surgical errors
  • Medication errors
  • Birth injuries
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Failure to obtain informed consent
  • Failure to provide adequate follow-up care
  • Laboratory errors

The Importance of Informed Consent

When patients are preparing to undergo any kind of medical procedure or treatment, their physician or another member of their medical team will explain what the procedure involves, what the objective is, and any risks and side effects involved. This is referred to as Informed Consent and legally mandated before any major medical decision is made by a patient or their family. 


If you or a loved one has undergone any type of treatment and not been properly briefed on the risks associated, this could constitute negligence or medical malpractice if it results in harm to the patient.


To establish a claim for lack of informed consent in a medical malpractice case, the patient or their representation must typically demonstrate that:


  • The healthcare provider failed to disclose material information about the treatment or procedure
  • The patient was harmed as a result of the lack of disclosure
  • A reasonable person in the patient’s position would not have consented to the treatment or procedure if properly informed


Factors at Play in Medical Malpractice Cases

Every case is different and, thus, it can be difficult to predict how long any given case might take. In some cases, it is a matter of waiting for paperwork to be processed or waiting for the hospital’s legal representation to accept a settlement offer, but other cases involve years of investigation–staff interviews, professional testimony, examination of medical reports, and more. 

Standard of Care

One of the central factors in a medical malpractice case is whether the healthcare provider’s actions met the standard of care expected of a reasonably competent practitioner in the same specialty under similar circumstances. Expert testimony is often required to establish the applicable standard of care and whether the defendant deviated from it. In most cases, establishing a standard of care is not a drawn out process, but gathering evidence to prove that this standard of care was not met might take a bit longer in other cases. 


Patients or their representation must demonstrate a direct connection between the healthcare provider’s negligence and harm suffered by the patient. This requires showing that the negligence caused or substantially contributed to the patient’s injury or adverse outcome. 


Because the human body is such a complex machine, this can be difficult at times. If a person is on multiple medications, for example, you might have to prove that the issues in question resulted from the medication prescribed by the practitioner in practice and not a different medication. 

Medical Evidence

The strength and quality of medical evidence, including medical records, diagnostic tests, expert opinions, and other documentation, play a crucial role in establishing your case and refuting defenses raised by the defendant.


This can also be one of the most tedious parts of the process. Gathering all necessary medical evidence may require filing requests for certain paperwork, seeing another healthcare provider for a second opinion, and other necessary moves could take months or even years. 

Expert Testimony

Medical malpractice cases often rely on expert testimony from qualified healthcare professionals to establish the standard of care, causation, and other critical issues. The credibility and persuasiveness of expert witnesses can significantly impact the outcome of the case, so finding the right expert for your case is crucial. 


While this search may not take long in some cases, for more specialized medical questions, the pool of healthcare providers knowledgeable enough to testify could be limited. The fewer options you have to choose from, the longer this search could take. 

Pre-existing Conditions

Pre-existing medical conditions may complicate the assessment of causation and damages in a medical malpractice case in several ways. The hospital or medical provider may argue that the patient’s pre-existing condition, rather than their negligence, was the primary cause of the patient’s injury or reaction in question. 

Affirmative Defenses

Defendants may raise affirmative defenses to challenge the plaintiff’s claims and avoid liability for medical malpractice. This means that the medical provider may argue that, although the patient’s allegations may be true, there are legal reasons why they should not be held responsible for the harm suffered by the patient.


Some common affirmative defenses include:

  • Assumption of risk
  • Statute of limitations
  • Lack of direct cause
  • Good Samaritan laws
  • Patient signed a waiver or release of liability

Do You Need an Attorney for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Medical malpractice lawsuits are some of the most complex and difficult to navigate. While you are not legally obligated to hire an attorney, it is highly recommended that you find a knowledgeable and experienced medical malpractice attorney before you begin the process of seeking justice for injuries received at the hands of medical professionals. 

Triumph in Your Medical Malpractice Case!

Finding the right legal representation can make all the difference in your medical malpractice case, but what if you can’t afford the up-front cost of additional medical expenses, attorney fees, and legal processing fees? Triumph Legal Funding has got you covered!


Our pre-settlement legal funding is not a loan. At Triumph, we provide funding for victims of medical malpractice to help cover your expenses while you await a settlement.  Our funding can help pay for medical costs and other out-of-pocket expenses.


You never have to pay back the money we provide for your case. Our company receives an agreed-upon portion of your recovery, meaning we only get paid if you win. For more information on how to gain funding for your medical malpractice case, give Triumph Legal Funding a call at (855) 936-0282 or apply online today!