Medical malpractice cases take longer to resolve than any other type of legal case, even when fewer cases are filed, results of a recent study indicate.
The National Center for State Courts recently conducted an analysis of Tennessee trial court workloads to determine how state judges spend their time. In fiscal year 2013, a total of 385 medical malpractice cases were filed in Tennessee courts, representing a mere 0.18% of all court filings – both criminal and civil – in the state.
Despite accounting for a small number of overall cases, medical malpractice cases account for a much higher proportion of a judge’s time. Judges spent an average of 3.83% of their time on medical malpractice cases, with the majority (2.45%) spent on pretrial work, whereas post-trial issues barely used any time.
In terms of actual hours spent, each malpractice case took about 22 hours of a judge’s time. This number is higher than any other type of case, including first degree murder, which only took about 13 hours of a judge’s time.