Navigating a medical malpractice lawsuit in Pittsburgh can be a complex and challenging process. However, your Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyer will be by your side throughout the proceedings to help you win your case.
They may gather expert opinions from other healthcare providers to help you prove negligence or use other legal tactics to increase your chances of success. Since malpractice lawsuits differ from case to case, here is a short overview of what you should expect in most medical malpractice lawsuits:
Investigation and Filing of the Complaint
Before any lawsuit is initiated, you must file a complaint and gather evidence. Your medical malpractice lawyer will also conduct investigations to make your claim stronger and validate it.
They will gather evidence from you and other means to conclude whether the medical malpractice occurred or not. You can expect your lawyer to obtain various medical records, consult with medical experts regarding the issues at hand, and interview witnesses if any were present.
Once your lawyer determines that you have a valid claim, they will help you file a complaint with the appropriate court. All the medical malpractice allegations will be outlined in your complaints, and this file will also include the damages you seek.
Before a medical malpractice lawsuit ensues, both sides enter what is referred to as the discovery phase. This is a legal process in which both parties exchange information and evidence, such as written interviews, depositions, and requests for documents. Based on the results of this phase, you can settle your medical malpractice case without the need to go to trial.
Once the medical malpractice claim is submitted and parties undergo the discovery phase, both sides can file pretrial motions and settle their legal issues before trial. A defendant might file a motion to dismiss the case, or a plaintiff might file a motion to exclude certain evidence from being used in court.
There are various things that can occur during pretrial motions, but your medical malpractice lawyer will advise you on the best course of action and its repercussions, explain what the other side did, and more.
Medical malpractice cases rarely enter the trial phase, as parties typically reach a settlement before the trial occurs. This mostly happens when the at-fault party knows they have a weak defense against your evidence or simply do not want the issue to escalate further.
In the settlement negotiations phase, your attorney will negotiate with the at-fault party or their insurance company to reach a fair settlement that compensates you for all your damages. If both sides cannot reach a settlement, then you might have to take your case to court.
When a medical malpractice case reaches trial, both sides must present their arguments and evidence before a judge or jury regarding the matter. This is where your lawyer will shine. They will compile all the necessary evidence needed for your case and prepare witnesses or medical experts for testimony in your favor, showcasing the wrong that was done to you.
You don’t have to fear reaching the trial phase for your medical malpractice lawsuit since this is your best shot to receive justice if other means fail. Your lawyer will also coach you on how to act or respond to questions should you be put on the stand.
They will also let you know what legal strategies might be used against you by the at-fault parties’ legal team. At the end of the trial, the judge or jury will decide if medical malpractice indeed occurred, and if it did, they will decide on the amount of damages you should be awarded.
If you or the other side is dissatisfied with the outcome of the court proceedings, then you both have the right to appeal the decision and take the matter to a higher court. This rarely happens, though, since medical providers don’t have time or don’t want to risk losing again. Still, your medical malpractice lawsuit can take various turns depending on the strength of your evidence and the lawyer representing you.