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Medical Malpractice Lawsuits are Expensive

Lawsuits to do with medical malpractice are more costly to prepare and to proceed with, than many other lawsuits. There are a number of reasons for this. The primary reasons are that an appropriately qualified medical expert is involved from the very beginning. Doctors, physicians, and other specialists have a right to fair compensation. And additional paperwork is required by law. The additional paperwork is the Certificate of Merit, and must be prepared and filed before the case can move forward. More on this, later.

As the case proceeds, the medical experts who have been consulted at the beginning of the process will:

  1. Continue their involvement as depositions are prepared.
  2. Provide further insight and opinion to assist the attorney as the matter proceeds to a court hearing.
  3. Prepare for the trial itself. Experts must be present to cover both their own testimony and the cross-examination by the defendant's attorney.
  4. Have their own administration staff clear their calendar and rearrange appointments, etc. for their day in court when they testify on the plaintiff's behalf.

The net result is that the medical professional must be compensated for their time and expertise.

The Certificate of Merit.

This is a legally-required document that must be filed with the court to accompany the lawsuit itself. It may be filed up to 90 days after the lawsuit if there is a statute of limitations issue involved. The Certificate must state:

  • The attorney has reviewed the pertinent facts and has consulted with one or more, if necessary, licensed medical practitioners.
  • Based on the consultation(s) the attorney believes there is a case to answer and there is a reasonable basis for saying so. This is to avoid frivolous cases being presented which would waste the court's time and the defendant's time and money.

OR the certificate must state that:

  • After three separate opinions from medical professionals, it has been impossible to comply with the consultation requirement. This, in itself, incurs cost as additional research, and time would have to be spent to discover and locate more medical professionals to see if the case is valid or not. 

In Conclusion

The preparation to file, the time taken to consult with an appropriate number of experts, the cost of those experts, and the documentation prep all cost money. For those reasons, medical malpractice lawsuits are more expensive than some other cases. "Now you are in the know." If you would like to discuss the matter in more detail or ask for an opinion, please click this link to contact us.