Typically, a birth injury case will take between eighteen months and two years from the time the lawsuit is filed until the case settles or goes to trial. This timeline varies depending on a number of things—some of these factors may include the county where the suit is filed, the number of issues involved, and the number of experts involved. The process can be lengthened when, as time goes on, medical records disappear, witnesses fade away, and important people forget relevant facts. Every state limits the amount of time in which one can file a lawsuit after an injury occurs, so it’s best to contact a birth injury attorney as soon as possible to get the process started and avoid delays.
Stages of the Litigation Process in a Birth Injury Case
The first step in the birth injury litigation process is gathering the medical records and consulting with medical specialists and other experts. If injuries and negligence are apparent, then a notice of claim is filed. The exact procedure for filing a claim varies from state to state. Once a claim is filed, the defendants answer the claim or “complaint.” This brings the case “in suit,” which means active litigation has begun.
The birth injury lawsuit continues, with the longest part of the lawsuit process called “discovery.” This is where both sides exchange documents, answer written questionnaires (“interrogatories”) and oral questions (“depositions”). Depending on state statutes, mediation may occur in order to try and settle the case. If mediation does not resolve the case, a pretrial settlement hearing is held. If the case doesn’t resolve, trial is scheduled. The vast majority of cases do not go to trial, but rather settle pre-trial.
Reiter & Walsh, PC | Trusted Attorneys Exclusively Focusing on Birth Trauma
As you’ve learned throughout this page, birth injury cases tend to be long, complex lawsuits. Before choosing an attorney for your birth injury case, you’ll want to ensure that your prospective lawyer and law firm have plans to keep you informed throughout the litigation process. Open communication and a close relationship with your attorney will make the process of your birth injury case full of support, clarity, and confidence.
Should you have any legal questions, concerns or case inquiries, we encourage you to reach our to Reiter & Walsh, P.C. attorneys today. You may reach us in whichever way best suits your needs:
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Additional Resources and Reading
- Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers: About Our Birth Injury Law Firm
- Birth Injury Verdicts and Settlements
- Tips for Finding a Birth Injury Attorney