The Litigation Process


A basic summary of the malpractice litigation process. Hover over each word to learn more!




Patient/plaintiff perceives that their care was substandard or was the proximate cause of injury and monetary damages.


Plaintiff files complaint stating allegations and naming defendant(s).


Court issues defendant a summons stating the plaintiffs allegation(s).


Defendant files an answer to the plaintiff's allegations.


Plaintiff's and defendant's attorneys develop their cases by gathering information through depositions and reviewing documents and other evidence.

Mediation / Settlement

Both parties try to resolve the case out-of-court by trying to reach a settlement.

Trial / Verdict

If the parties cannot reach an agreement in mediation, they may proceed to a trial where a jury reviews the facts of the case and votes on a verdict.

Case Closed

After the appeals process is completed, if there is an appeal of the verdict, or after a settlement is reached, the case is closed.