Medical malpractice lawsuits take longer to resolve than any other type of litigation, even when fewer cases are filed, according to recent data from the NationalCenter for State Courts.
The study was aimed at analyzing Tennessee trial court workloads to figure out exactly how state judges spend a majority of their time. They found that in fiscal year 2012-2013, there were a total of 204,054 cases—both criminal and civil—filed in the Tennessee court system. A mere 385 of these filings were related to medical malpractice, representing just 0.18% of all court cases filed.
However, despite the small number of overall cases, medical malpractice lawsuits accounted for a much higher proportion of a judge’s time. Judges spent approximately 3.83% of their time of medical malpractice cases, which in terms of actual hours spent, equals out to be about 22 hours per case. The majority of time spent on these types of cases went to pre-trial work (2.45%), with post-trial labor barely taking up any time at all.
For a comparison, the next highest type of case that demanded the most court time was first-degree murder, which only took up about 13 hours of a judge’s time.
To establish these figures, the NCSC set up an 11-week time period spanning from June 16 to August 31 of this year, during which 95.3 percent of all Tennessee judges participated in supplying data concerning the way they processed cases and the amount of time it required.
Why do medical malpractice cases take the longest time to resolve?
One of the reasons why medical malpractice lawsuits are more prolonged than any other type of litigation is that they can be difficult to prove. To have a valid medical malpractice claim, you must first establish that a healthcare professional breached, or violated, the standard of care while giving you treatment. Then, you and your attorney must also prove that this breach directly led to your injury.
Learn more about the standard of care for medical malpractice on our website.
Proving negligence in medical malpractice cases requires extensive legal and medical knowledge, and victims fighting for compensation without experienced legal help are usually overwhelmed by the well-paid lawyers defending the other side.
If you want to stand a chance at winning your medical injury claim, then reach out to a medical malpractice attorney in Tennessee as soon as possible to discuss how you can begin strengthening your case.