Susan A. Capra, a Chicago medical malpractice attorney at Clifford Law Offices, answers the question, “How long do medical malpractice cases take to be resolved?” She covers the circumstances surrounding this type of litigation, describing its complexities, to give an estimate of how long it can take to resolve through the civil justice system.
SAC: Well John, that’s variable. Some of it depends on where you file the case. Some court jurisdictions are more crowded than others. I remember many years ago filing a case downstate in a county and were the fourth lawsuit filed in that county that year and we filed it in October. Now, if you were to file a medical malpractice case in Cook County in October, there would have been thousands of medical malpractice cases filed before October. So, it depends on where you file the case and a lot of it also depends on the complexity of the case. Some cases truly will involve one plaintiff, one doctor, and maybe very little subsequent treatment. Other cases are very complex and there may be a number of defendant doctors that caused or contributed to the injury. And the injury may be very severe and a lot of discovery will need to surround the severity, nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injury. In general, I would say a good rule of thumb is 2 to 5 years. Some take longer than that. But 2 to 5 years I think is a reasonable estimate.