While many surgical error cases settle before they ever see the courtroom, there are certain situations in which a case may end up going to trial. Litigation can be expensive and time-consuming, which is why it is often avoided when possible.
At Lupetin and Unatin, we are prepared to review your case with you and help you understand your legal options. While we will do our best to keep your case out of court and get you a fair settlement, we are also prepared to fight for you if needed. To learn more about Pittsburgh surgical error trials and how we can help you recover the payments you need after a surgeon’s malpractice, give us a call today.
When Will a Pittsburgh Surgical Error Case Go to Trial?
Medical malpractice cases can be expensive, time-consuming, and risky, given certain biases jurors have against these types of lawsuits. Because of this, our team at Lupetin and Unatin generally only files cases that involve permanent, catastrophic harm. Otherwise, the significant costs associated with litigation could outweigh the potential recovery.
When a patient has an unexpectedly good recovery or certain evidence comes to light, which was not anticipated at the time of filing the lawsuit, that could change the path of the case and make it more difficult to achieve a meaningful settlement. In those cases, there is a good chance the case will go to trial.
How Litigation Proceeds in a Surgical Error Case
A surgical error trial in Pittsburgh will begin with both sides giving an opening statement. Every party in the case is entitled to their own lawyer, although sometimes parties will share a lawyer, such as a husband and a wife or a doctor and their employer. The plaintiff and defendant lawyers are each entitled to give an opening statement, and the opening statement is that party’s opportunity to provide a snapshot of the evidence the jury will hear at the time of trial and organize that evidence in a light that is favorable to their client. The injured party (plaintiff) presents their case first, followed by the defendant(s).
Just like the opening statement, every attorney who represents one or more defendants in the case has an opportunity to present a closing argument. A closing argument is an opportunity for each party to make their best argument for why their client or clients should prevail in litigation. It is also an opportunity for the attorney to highlight evidence that is favorable to their client and explain to the jury why the evidence presented by the opposing party is not sufficient.
In addition, closing arguments give the attorneys in the case an opportunity to discuss the damages that are claimed by the injured party. The plaintiff’s attorney will describe the different components of damages, which are claimed in the lawsuit and provide specific monetary values for items like past and future medical expenses and lost wages. The plaintiff’s attorney also uses the closing argument to help the jury understand the physical and emotional harm and that the plaintiff, and sometimes their immediate family members, have suffered as a result of the surgical error.
Pennsylvania is one of a minority of states that prohibits plaintiff lawyers from asking the jury to award a specific amount of money to their client. While we can discuss with the jury the amount of medical bills and lost income, we cannot suggest the jury award a specific amount of money for pain and suffering damages. Instead, the jury must listen to the evidence, the judge’s instructions about the types of damages that must be compensated, and the lawyer’s explanation for how the plaintiff’s injuries correspond with a significant amount of money without saying a dollar amount.
Speak with a Seasoned Pittsburgh Attorney About Surgical Error Trials
A surgeon’s malpractice can leave you with serious injuries, medical bills, and additional medical treatment for years to come. If you or a loved one are in this situation, it is important that you understand your legal options for seeking compensation, including a settlement demand or lawsuit.
Having a skilled lawyer in your corner during this time is crucial. If you pursue a settlement, your attorney can provide invaluable support, speaking with the necessary professionals and gathering evidence to support your claim. If your case does go to court, your attorney can help you determine how to present your testimony, decide what should be shared with the jury, and collect evidence that displays your case in the best possible light. To learn more about Pittsburgh surgical error trials and what our experienced team can do for you, contact us today to set up your free case evaluation.