Can You Choose Not To Appear in Court in Medical Malpractice Cases?

Can You Choose Not To Appear in Court in Medical Malpractice Cases?

Medical Malpractice Lawyer

One thing that frequently intimidates people considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is the possibility of appearing in court. Even if someone has a solid case, it is understandable to want to avoid walking into a courtroom and fighting for the compensation you are owed. This raises the question of whether or not it is really necessary. If you file a medical malpractice case, do you have to appear in court? This guide will provide all the information you need on this matter.

Appearing in Court

Chances are extremely high that you really will have to appear in court if you file a lawsuit. It is simply a requirement for the plaintiff to be present. If the plaintiff does not appear on the trial date, the case will simply be dismissed. However, if this happens, you do usually have the option to file another lawsuit and try again.

Even though it is intimidating, you should not be afraid to appear in court. Your attorney will do all the arguing on your behalf so very little will be required of you. You will know in advance if there is anything you are needed to do, such as provide testimony. You do not need to worry about an obligation taking you by surprise.


While it is almost a certainty that you will have to appear in court, there are a few situations where it is possible to avoid it:

  1. The defendant agrees to pay you immediately
  2. A settlement is reached prior to the trial
  3. Appearing in court would be exceptionally difficult

When you file a lawsuit, you are essentially demanding that someone compensate you. The case only goes to trial when the defendant refuses that demand. It is entirely possible that the hospital or physician you are suing will agree to pay you immediately without contesting at all.

The vast majority of lawsuits end in a settlement of some kind. This essentially means that both sides agree to end the lawsuit. Most of the time, this happens when it becomes clear that the court is going to side with either the plaintiff or the defendant. However, it is possible that a settlement will be reached prior to the trial.

Finally, in rare cases, the court can agree that the plaintiff does not appear in court. This will only happen if there is a medical reason why appearing would be dangerous, costly, or extremely difficult, such as being hooked up to life support systems. Your attorney, like a medical malpractice attorney in Memphis, TN, can give you more information about these possibilities.



Thank you to the Law Firm of Darrell Castle & Associates PLLC, for their insight into medical malpractice law. 

Greenberg Law Offices