There are many factors that go into this analysis. The building of a case requires a significant investment of time. This is based on obtaining all medical records, going through the discovery process, including depositions, enlisting the assistance of medical experts who can testify about standards of care and the nature of the breach of the duty of meeting the relevant standard, as well as other preparation. If the case proceeds to trial, it could be several years before there is a final resolution. There are other events that might happen, depending on the jurisdiction. This includes mandatory or voluntary mediation. However, it is possible to negotiate a settlement in a much shorter period of time. When a person has retained an attorney, the timeline and goals will be one of the most important discussions that takes place at the outset of the case. Even if there are decisions made at the beginning of an action to proceed to trial, it is possible to enter into negotiations for settlement during the entirety of the case.