The process of an Atlanta medical malpractice trial depends on the specific circumstances. However, regardless of the circumstances involved in your case, a knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer can help. A dedicated attorney can guide you through the process to give your case the best chance of success.
The Litigation Process
Litigation in medical malpractice cases begins with fact discovery followed by expert discovery. This is followed by dispositive motions. There are generally then efforts at resolution. If all the efforts to resolve the case fail, there is then a trial.
At the trial, both sides present opening statements. The plaintiff then presents their case and evidence to establish a breach of the standard of care, causation, and damages. After the plaintiff presents their case, the defense presents their case. Once both sides present their case, both sides will present their closing statements. If there are multiple defendants, the claims against each defendant will need to filed and researched. However, typically there is an overlap between the claims and the trial is coordinated.
It typically takes a year for discovery in a medical malpractice case and the trial can last one to two weeks. However, the nature of the allegations, the number of parties, and scheduling issues for counsel and the court may all influence the length of the case.
Most medical malpractice cases are jury trials. However, should neither party request a jury trial, the case could be tried as a bench trial. Jury trials are stressful and uncertain; however, they are often necessary to obtain justice. A person should ensure their lawyer has the experience necessary to take a case to trial and verdict.
Expert Witnesses in Medical Malpractice Cases
An expert witness in an Atlanta medical malpractice case needs to have experience with the relevant procedure or care for three of the five years preceding the act at issue. The expert witness can be one of the medical professionals who treated the plaintiff but is not on trial, though typically treating physicians will be reluctant to serve as an expert against one of their colleagues.
A plaintiff is required to present at trial the testimony of a qualified expert to support the claim that the standard of care was breached. However, the weight given to the testimony varies based on the credibility of the witness and the reliability and relevance of their opinions.
Appealing a Case in Atlanta
If a medical malpractice case is dismissed or if the verdict was not optimal, the plaintiff appeal the case to the court of appeals. An appeal will not typically affect the amount of damages recoverable.
The typical length of time it takes for a case to go from notice of appeal to a decision by the court of appeals is one year. The case cannot be transmitted up to the court of appeals until the trial court record is complete. In the case of a large records and a busy trial court, this alone can result in months of delay in the appellate process.
If the appeal is lost at the court of appeals the party can seek review by the Georgia Supreme Court. However, such review is not typically granted. An experienced lawyer can help ensure the right to appeal is not waived and that the appellate argument is presented in the best light possible.
Ask an Attorney About Atlanta Medical Malpractice Trials
An Atlanta medical malpractice trial can be a long, difficult process. That is why it is important to work with an experienced professional who can help the process move as smoothly as possible. To learn more, call today for a free consultation.