Timeline of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Sep 5, 2021

Welcome to Baytowne Reporting, your trusted source for comprehensive court reporting services in the Law and Government - Legal category. In this article, we will guide you through the timeline of a medical malpractice lawsuit, shedding light on the various stages and important milestones.

1. Pre-Litigation Phase

Every medical malpractice lawsuit begins with a pre-litigation phase. It involves the initial investigation and evaluation of the potential case by the injured party and their legal representation. During this phase, the injured party consults with medical experts to determine if there is a valid claim.

If a valid claim is established, the next step is to file a Notice of Intent to sue or a complaint with the appropriate court. This serves as a formal notification to the defendant, typically a healthcare provider or institution, that legal action is being pursued.

2. Discovery

The discovery phase is a critical part of any medical malpractice lawsuit. It involves gathering evidence, conducting depositions, and exchanging information between the parties involved. Both the plaintiff and the defendant have the opportunity to request documents, interview witnesses, and ask interrogatories.

This phase plays a crucial role in building the case, as it allows the parties to uncover important facts, assess the strength of the evidence, and evaluate potential settlement options.

3. Expert Review and Mediation

In most medical malpractice cases, expert review is required to establish a breach of the standard of care. Medical experts analyze the evidence to determine whether the healthcare provider deviated from the accepted standard, resulting in harm to the patient.

After the experts have reviewed the case, the parties may engage in mediation to explore the possibility of reaching a settlement. Mediation provides an opportunity for negotiation outside of the courtroom, with the guidance of a neutral third-party mediator. If a settlement is reached, the lawsuit can be resolved at this stage.

4. Trial Preparation

If mediation fails to produce a settlement, the case proceeds to trial preparation. This involves finalizing witness lists, preparing exhibits, and developing a strong trial strategy. Both sides work diligently to present their arguments and supporting evidence effectively.

During this phase, the plaintiff's attorney may rely on expert testimony to establish causation and damages, while the defense focuses on refuting the claims and presenting their own expert witnesses.

5. The Trial

The trial is the central event in a medical malpractice lawsuit where the case is presented before a judge and, in some cases, a jury. The plaintiff and the defendant have the opportunity to present opening statements, examine witnesses, and present evidence.

During the trial, the judge or the jury evaluates the evidence, assesses the credibility of witnesses, and decides the outcome of the case based on the applicable laws and standards. At the end of the trial, a verdict is rendered, determining whether the defendant is liable for the plaintiff's injuries and if monetary compensation is awarded.

6. Post-Trial Proceedings and Appeals

After the trial, post-trial motions and proceedings may occur, depending on the outcome. The losing party might file a motion for a new trial, while the prevailing party may seek to enforce the judgment or collect the awarded damages.

In some cases, one or both parties may decide to appeal the verdict. The appeals process involves presenting arguments to a higher court, requesting a review of the trial court's decision. If the appeal is successful, the case may be retried or settled based on the higher court's ruling.


We hope this detailed timeline of a medical malpractice lawsuit has provided you with valuable insights into the various stages and important milestones involved. At Baytowne Reporting, we understand the complexities of legal proceedings and are committed to providing accurate and reliable court reporting services to support your case. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you.

Lindi Tan
Very informative! 👍🏻
Nov 11, 2023
Great overview of medical malpractice lawsuits!
Oct 6, 2023