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Home > Blog > Medical Malpractice > What Happens if My Medical Malpractice Claim Goes to Trial?
by: NPHM | February 6, 2023

What Happens if My Medical Malpractice Claim Goes to Trial?

When people file injury lawsuits, there’s a chance their claims will go to trial.

In most cases, that chance is small. Around 93% of medical malpractice cases never reach a jury trial, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Nearly 75% of medical malpractice cases instead finalize through out-of-court settlements, with the rest being dismissed.

At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we work hard to avoid going to trial. It’s our goal to get our clients the money they’re owed as quickly and easily as possible, and that usually means getting a settlement. But when insurance companies refuse to pay fair settlements, we don’t hesitate to go to trial to get our clients the money they’re owed.

If your case goes to trial, don’t worry. The information in this blog can help you understand what will happen, and your lawyer will walk you through every stage of the trial process.

Your Claim Doesn’t Have to Go to Trial

Going to trial is optional. It’s your medical malpractice claim, and you can decide to escalate your case to the courtroom. If you have a settlement offer on the table from the insurance company, you can accept it and your case will finalize without ever stepping foot in a courtroom.

Our attorneys are here to support you and advise you on your best options for getting the amount of money you deserve. We never push for trials unless we believe that they’re our clients’ best chance of getting fairly compensated for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

But we also never pressure our clients into going to trial if they don’t want to. In the end, the decision is yours and yours alone.

Your Claim May Settle Even After Trial Preparations Begin

Sometimes, the threat of a trial is enough to make at-fault parties and their insurers settle. It’s common for insurance companies to play hardball up until the moment a jury trial becomes a real possibility. Then, they suddenly change their tune and are open to a settlement.

Don’t be surprised if a fair settlement suddenly lands on your lawyer’s desk shortly after you notify them that you’re ready to go to trial. But if that doesn’t happen, know that your case is in good hands with our experienced trial lawyers.

If You Decide to Go to Trial, Your Job Remains the Same: Getting Better

If you decide to escalate your medical malpractice claim to the courtroom, not much will change on your end in the coming days or weeks. Although we always build our claims as if they’re going to trial, your lawyer and his or her support staff will begin transitioning certain aspects of your case to be heard by a judge and jury.

While there will be a lot going on at our office concerning your case, your day-to-day life won’t change much, if at all. We want you to get better, and your job will remain the same as it was from the day you called us. Continue going to your doctor’s appointments and physical rehabilitation sessions, and spending time with your friends and family while your case’s courtroom date approaches.

You May Need to Undergo a Medical Examination to Verify Your Injuries

To reduce the risk of fraudulent claims or misdiagnoses from doctors, medical malpractice trials often require claimants to undergo independent medical examinations (IMEs).

Your IME will be conducted by a neutral doctor who will examine you to verify your injuries, illnesses, or other health problems caused by medical malpractice. IMEs aren’t always required, and your attorney will notify you ahead of time if one has been requested by the at-fault party’s representation.

You’ll Need to Speak at Your Deposition and During Your Testimony

Depositions don’t take place in courtrooms in front of an audience or jury, but instead in a neutral location—often a legal office. Your attorney will be present, as will the legal representation of the defendant (the person or party you’re suing). The process is straightforward and strictly factual. You’ll be asked questions about what happened, and it’s your job to answer them as truthfully as possible.

If you’re well enough to go to court, it can help your case to do so. Giving your testimony about what happened to the judge and jury can paint a more personal picture of how you and your family have suffered as a result of the medical malpractice incident. Your lawyer will help you prepare for this, including advising you on how to dress and how to respond to questions.

Trust Our Experience in and out of the Courtroom—Contact Us Today

Although settlements are almost always preferable to trials, courtroom verdicts can be beneficial for injured victims. In addition to helping them get more money than the insurance companies offer, they can sometimes result in significantly larger awards than expected and even punitive damages, which are designed to punish at-fault parties.

If you’re thinking about filing a medical malpractice claim, don’t let fears of trial dissuade you. In addition to being rare, they’re not something to worry about. Our Ohio medical malpractice lawyers have decades of experience representing victims like you in the courtroom, and we’ll work hard to ensure you’re confident and comfortable every step of the way.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

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