The Legal Process: What To Expect When Filing A Medical Malpractice Claim

When you or a loved one experiences harm due to medical treatment, seeking legal recourse through a medical malpractice claim may be necessary. Understanding the legal process can help you navigate this challenging situation. A St Louis medical malpractice lawyer guides you through filing a medical malpractice claim.

Initial Consultation

The initial consultation is a crucial first step in the legal process of filing a medical malpractice claim. During this meeting, you will meet with a medical malpractice lawyer who will carefully review your case. They will examine your medical records and any other relevant documentation to determine the merit of your claim. It is essential to provide detailed information about your treatment and the harm you suffered to help the lawyer understand the intricacies of your case. The lawyer will use this information to advise you on the next steps and whether you have a strong case for pursuing legal action.

Investigation And Medical Review

Following the initial consultation, the lawyer will begin a thorough investigation into your case. This investigation may involve consulting medical experts to review your records and determine if malpractice occurred. These experts will help establish the expected standard of care in your situation. The lawyer will use this information to build a strong case on your behalf. This phase is critical in gathering evidence to support your claim and establish liability.

Filing The Complaint

If the lawyer determines that you have a valid claim, they will file a complaint in court on your behalf. This complaint outlines the details of your case, including the harm you suffered and the parties involved. The defendant, typically the healthcare provider or facility, will be served with the complaint and be able to respond. The filing of the complaint officially initiates the legal process of your medical malpractice claim and sets the stage for further proceedings.

Discovery Phase

During the discovery phase, both parties exchange information and evidence related to the case. This phase allows each side to gather facts, assess the strengths and weaknesses of their case, and prepare for trial. Depositions may be taken, where witnesses provide sworn testimony that can be used as evidence. Both parties may also request documents and other information from each other to support their case. The discovery phase is a critical part of the legal process as it helps both sides understand the scope of the case and the evidence that will be presented at trial.

Settlement Negotiation

Before going to trial, both parties may attempt to settle the case through negotiation. Your lawyer will advocate for fair compensation based on the damages you suffered. Settlement negotiations can be complex and involve multiple offers and counteroffers. If a settlement is reached, the case is resolved without trial. Settlement negotiations can be a faster and less expensive way to resolve a case than going to trial. However, the case will proceed to trial if a settlement cannot be reached.


If the case goes to trial, both sides will present evidence and arguments to a judge and jury. The jury will determine if malpractice occurred and, if so, the amount of damages to be awarded. The trial process can be lengthy and complex, requiring both parties to present their case thoroughly. Your lawyer will advocate for your rights and present evidence to support your claim. The trial outcome will determine if you receive compensation for your damages and losses.

Appeal (If Applicable)

If either party is dissatisfied with the trial outcome, they may appeal the decision. The appeals process involves reviewing the trial record and legal arguments, but no new evidence is presented. The appellate court will decide if the trial was conducted fairly and if the law was applied correctly. If the appellate court determines that errors were made during the trial, it may overturn the decision and order a new trial.


Filing a medical malpractice claim can be a complex and lengthy process. A St Louis medical malpractice lawyer recommends working closely with a qualified medical malpractice lawyer who can guide you through each step and advocate for your rights. By understanding the legal process, you can be better prepared to seek justice and fair compensation for the harm you have suffered.