What To Expect From The Claims Process in a Fairfax Medical Malpractice Case

The first thing that people filing a medical malpractice claim in Fairfax need to be prepared for is a long process. The litigation process and the claims process in general is very slow moving. So, even though things tend to move much faster in Fairfax than in other counties, it will feel like a very long time, especially if you are not familiar with the litigation process.

  • With that said, the time will depend on a number of factors including:
  • How many defendants there are
  • What the theory of liability is

Additionally other factors unique to each defendant may matter such as:

  • Age
  • Prior work experience
  • Earnings history
  • Whether they are supporting children, family members, or others.

Where The Claims Process Takes Place

The claims process, if you have an attorney, is mostly handled behind the scenes, so to speak, in a sense that the back and forth between adjusters for the insurance companies and your attorney occurs in their offices and not in court. Your attorney will keep you updated with important developments and progress reports. Most attorneys will periodically call and let you know what is going on, whether they are gathering medical records, consulting with expert witnesses, preparing the demand package, or  negotiating with the defense. If you ever ask for an update, you should get one, but most lawyers will provide periodic updates to their clients even if it’s just to say that nothing has really happened.

How Long Will The Claims Process Take?

The claims process can be long and unfortunately litigation process can even be longer, but attorneys oftentimes will want to talk to other witnesses other family members, people who can say what the plaintiff was like before and after they’ve been a victim of medical malpractice just to sort of get a better picture of the injuries get to know the client better and to develop the claim fully.

Clients also need to know the role of expert testimony and understand how important it is for them to find the right expert for their case. Expert medical witnesses generally need to familiarize themselves with hundreds, if not thousands, of pages of medical records before they can form an opinion, so this takes time as well and can depend on the expert’s schedule. If the claim is not resolved prior to filing a lawsuit and you and your attorney decide to proceed with filing a lawsuit in circuit court, the litigation process starts and then you have a different set of timelines, deadlines, and expectations.

Should I Expect My Medical Malpractice Claim To Go To Court?

It depends on the facts of the case; sometimes yes, sometimes no. There’s always a chance that your case will go to court, that’s just whenever you’re involved in any claim process, there’s a chance it goes to court. It’s more likely a medical malpractice case is going to go to court than other types of personal injury actions, but that’s not to say you should expect it, you should just know that it is always a possibility.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Fairfax