How Long Does a Birth Injury Lawsuit Take?
A birth injury lawsuit typically takes anywhere between three to six months if the insurance company is willing to offer a fair settlement. If the case goes to trial, it could take a year to 18 months to reach a verdict. Each case is unique, and how long your case will take depends on a variety of factors. These include:
- Where you are located
- How many defendants there are
- The number of witnesses
- The number of expert witnesses
- How difficult it is to access your records
If your newborn was injured at birth and your family needs more information about the resources that are available to you, visit Birth Injury Lawyer to learn more about your options. Keep reading to learn more about what you can expect if you decide to file a lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations
The time period in which you can file a birth injury lawsuit is known as the statute of limitations. This applies to most types of lawsuits, and the laws will differ from state to state. It is important to know what your state’s statute of limitations is Once it has passed, you will no longer be able to file a suit in most cases.
Not all birth injuries are apparent right away. If your state has a “discovery rule,” the statute of limitations will begin once your baby’s injury is discovered or should reasonably have been discovered.
The sooner you begin the process of filing a lawsuit, the better. You’ll need to begin documenting your evidence right away if you want to have the best chance of getting adequate compensation.
What to Expect During Your Case
Once your personal injury attorney has reviewed your case, they will tell you what evidence needs to be collected. You will be asked to provide your child’s medical records. You should keep all documentation of any doctor appointments, your missed work, and any caregiver expenses.
Once the attorney has determined that the evidence shows that your medical provider’s substandard care caused your child’s injury, they will file a lawsuit with the court. The defendants will then answer the claim. Once that happens, your case has started.
During your lawsuit, the lawyer will contact expert witnesses to strengthen your case. These are professionals who are qualified to provide expert testimony to the jury. Their duty is to give an impartial opinion in their area of expertise. Some of the expert witnesses that may be called include:
- Developmental psychologists
- Hospital administrators
An expert witness may be contacted by your lawyer, or they may be called to testify via subpoena. When they are subpoenaed, they must agree to provide testimony and can not be forced to do so. An expert also has the right to charge for their services. The average price for a medical expert witness is $500 an hour.
The Discovery Process
During the discovery process, the plaintiffs and defendants will exchange evidence. This is typically the longest stage of the process, and the length will depend on the amount of evidence. During this part of the process, the parties involved may have to answer questions under oath or respond to an interrogatory, which is a written questionnaire.
In some states, you may have the option of using a mediator to resolve your case. If negotiations fail, a pre-trial hearing may be assigned to a judge. If a settlement still cannot be reached, a trial will be scheduled. In the majority of cases, however, a settlement can be reached.
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