My questions involve medical malpractice in the state of: Washington
A friend of mine suffered a large subarachnoid hemorrhage a few years ago -- after multiple trips to health care practitioners complaining of sudden onset, severe neck pain/stiffness, with headache radiating over the top of his head to behind his eyes. An aneurysm sentinel bleed was evidently never included in the differential diagnosis process as no imaging tests that would have identified an aneurysm were ordered.
He now has substantial cognitive deficits and severe motor skills impairment, and is unable to drive, and unable work in his previous capacity, where he made upwards of $60k annually. He was in his early 30s at the time of the rupture. Presently, he's living off social security disability -- he's not able to work.
On my second attempt, I managed to find for him a reputable firm who was interested in his case. Some months later, his lawyer filed a lawsuit against multiple parties. Interrogatories and requests for info from the defendants' lawyers have been completed, and my friend and the defendants have been deposed as of late last year (not sure if expert witnesses have been deposed). In February, "NOTICE OF ASSOCIATION OF COUNSEL" was entered in the online record of his case. Co-counsel is from a different (and also quite reputable, so far as I can tell) firm.
Unfortunately, my friend -- while extremely curious as to the time frame and likely outcome of his case -- is highly reticent to ask any questions of his lawyers, who seem happy enough to carry on with their business without volunteering much information to him.
1) Having come this far, and with his law firm no doubt having spent a substantial amount of money, what's the chance that something could yet derail the case entirely such that it's dropped by his lawyers or thrown out by the judge? As far as I can tell, this will either settle or go to court, but I might be missing something.
2) Now, his case doesn't seem to me nearly as complicated in terms of the medical issues as many malpractice cases. I've told him that he might expect as much as an additional year before his case is resolved (assuming a settlement). Does that seem about right? I know there are multiple variables.
3) With the limited information I've provided, any thoughts as to what percentage of cases like his settle and what percentage go to court?
4) His lifestyle has dramatically changed for the worse and he, naturally, finds himself thinking about possible settlement figures (not too inclined yet to think about the possibility of a trial). I've informed him that, in the state of Washington, non-economic damages -- while not hard-capped -- may not exceed economic damages. I've floated some (intentionally conservative) settlement numbers based on similar cases I've been able to find online, but I'm really not sure if I'm off-base. I would be interested in hearing any very rough and qualified ball-park estimates of what he might realistically receive in the way of compensation.
Thanks for your help.