Oklahoma City Medical Malpractice Trials
To proceed with litigation in a medical malpractice case, a lawyer must gather a plaintiff’s medical records and get an informal opinion from a doctor. They would then make a demand with the claimant’s insurance company to cover expenses incurred as a result of their medical provider’s errors. If an attorney cannot get the case settled, the next step is to file a civil suit for damages.
The initial phase of the local medical negligence case process is called discovery, which involves interrogatories, depositions, and getting the claim ready for litigation.
At some point, either party can file a motion to get all the scheduling orders from the court, which would establish the pretrial conference that is usually held right before Oklahoma City medical malpractice trials. Typically, legal representatives have everything done on a case before trial, but the pretrial summarizes it for the judge.
Opening and Closing Statements
A plaintiff must give the opening statement, as they have the burden of proof to state their case. The defense presents their case second. Usually, the plaintiff’s case will take a day or two depending on how complex the trial is, but a judge will read jury instructions and interview them about their experiences with the court system at the initial stage of the trial.
Each side has 20 minutes to present closing statements. The plaintiff presents their closing statement first, and then they have a rebuttal for the last five minutes or so. While this does not influence the outcome of a case, the claimant could have two final opportunities to present their claim. Although by that time, the attorney has likely exhausted all available legal arguments.
If there are multiple defendants, the plaintiff will present their case first, and the defendants will present their case afterwards. The first defendant would have a chance to cross-examine the witness, after which the second defendant could request to have the same opportunity.
Having multiple defendants can influence the outcome of an Oklahoma City medical malpractice trial. It can make the case more complicated for the jury, make it last longer, and give the defense multiple chances to try to poke holes in the plaintiff’s case.
When there are multiple defendants, they might be blaming each other, so it can be confusing to put together what their actual defense is. A lawyer would rely on the doctors to clarify what actually happened in the case and what went wrong medically. A well-versed medical negligence attorney would present their argument to multiple defendants the same way as they would to a single defendant. They would retell the story of what happened and present the witnesses, records, and expert opinions.
The Length of Litigation
Litigation in most Oklahoma City medical malpractice trials lasts anywhere from two to five days. Some take longer if there are multiple doctors testifying on each side.
The length of a case could be influenced by the complexity of the are of medicine. For example if a surgeon leaves something in their patient, then it is fairly easy to explain that something went wrong. However, if it is a complicated fact pattern such as a cancer misdiagnosis, then multiple experts might be needed for clarification.
Important Elements of an Oklahoma City Medical Malpractice Trial
The important elements of Oklahoma City medical malpractice trials that litigators always focus on are the duty of the doctor or hospital and what went wrong for the injured patient. In all cases, a lawyer has to show that the physician owed a duty of standardized medical care to their patient, breached that duty, and malpractice occurred as a result. They must also establish that the plaintiff’s losses are the direct result of the doctor’s or hospital’s medical negligence.
Doctors and hospitals have insurance to pay for claims that are brought for a healthcare provider’s errors. In other words, a negligent doctor would not be personally liable for a claim, but the insurance company’s attorney is going to try to minimize a claimant’s damages as much as possible to avoid paying compensation. You can call our firm today to learn more about what goes into Oklahoma City medical malpractice trials.