What are the Steps to a Medical Malpractice Case in California?
The first thing that an experienced medical malpractice attorney does is to thoroughly interview the patient, or the patient family members, or person most knowledgeable concerning the care and treatment in question, and then we will obtain all the printed medical records and review those medical records, then go ahead and send those records to one or more experts.
It's after the experts have reviewed the case and rendered an opinion that we know either we have a case or we don't have a case. If, in fact, the review from the consultant/expert is that there was malpractice, then we file a lawsuit. Once that lawsuit is filed, then we're required to serve the lawsuit on the defendant or defendants in which if there's more than one defendant, oftentimes there is, then we engage in what they call the discovery process which means that we take depositions and ask for additional information from the defendants, the defendants' attorneys will ask us for information pertaining to our client including records and whatnot, and at some point, the case is set for trial.
When a case is properly and thoroughly worked up, the case will settle before trial. However, there are certain cases that preset on the trial if they are not settled pre-trial. Most cases, when properly worked up, are resolved short a trial, but there's a certain percentage, for one reason or another, that must go on to trial. In which case, the judge and/or jury will decide the merits of the case.