Medical professionals in New York who face malpractice claims are usually understandably nervous about what the future might hold. After all, any medical malpractice claim can turn into a serious challenge to the person’s career – and life.
At the beginning of such a legal case, these individuals want to know what to expect. So, what can you expect from medical malpractice litigation?
Overview of a civil case
After the initial complaint and other initiating documents are filed in a civil case, the case will eventually move to the discovery phase.
In this phase of the case, both sides will attempt to develop the factual basis for their stance in the case, usually by sending written questions to each other for answers, sending requests for documents and, especially in medical malpractice cases, setting up depositions, which allow for direct, face-to-face questioning of potential witnesses on either side.
It is important to note that while a medical malpractice claim will proceed in many of the same ways in which any other civil legal claim might, there are differences.
Most importantly, expert witnesses will likely take on a huge role in medical malpractice cases. Examining the experts who support the case of one side or the other can become the crucial part of a medical malpractice case.
Eventually, all of this fact-gathering leads to either negotiation or a trial.
A bench trial is one in which the judge is the only fact-finder and decision-maker, while in a jury trial the case is ultimately left with the jury to decide a verdict.