In medical errors, the type of court is different when the other party is a Private entity, person or company (handled by Civil Courts) and when it is the Greek State, hence public healthcare facilities (handled by Administrative Courts).
The Civil courts, in 2016 began to apply the following new litigation process for compensation of medical mistakes.
First level: Court of First Instance.
The lawsuit is filed and within 100 days the proposals and opinions of both parties must be submitted: from those who support the claim, as well as from the defendants. Then, within two weeks, there should be a written rebuttal from both sides.
With these materials the case file is formed, and the court determines the day of court hearing. The goal of the new system was to set this trial within 7 to 12 months.
According to current data, especially in multi-member courts (where the majority of the important claims of medical negligence are tried) the trial date is set close to 15-24 months.
In single-member courts the process is somewhat faster.
Postponement occurs relatively rarely.
After the trial, the court usually issues the decision within 7 to 8 months.
Thus, in the first instance, the total time for a medical malpractice lawsuit is approaching 3 years.
Second degree: Court of Appeal
Due to the high compensation awarded for medical accidents, there is usually an appeal to the Court of Appeals. The process takes about 2 years, from the date of the determination of the appeal hearing and the issuance of a decision.
Tertiary level: Supreme Court
The degree of deviation from the first instance decision and the solidity of the substantiation by the Court of Appeals, influence the decision of appealing or not in the Supreme Court.
In Administrative Courts the procedure is different.
Firstly, the lawsuit for compensation for medical errors is filed and after 3 to 4 years the court day is defined / announced. In this case, the court day is approximately 2 years later (there is a difference between the Athens courts, where the bulk of cases are handled, and the regional courts which is shorter by 1-2 years).
There is a possibility of case deferral, but this is maximum 4 to 6 months.
Thus, in claims from the State, the first instance decision is issued after 5 to 7 years.
The State, as a rule, proceeds to the Court of Appeal and the Council of State.
In these cases, times are faster but can last, cumulatively on both levels, up to 7 years.
All of the above time lengths are estimates and do not in any way constitute any institutionalized dates.
It should be noted here that the long trial time of a medical malpractice case is offset by the payment of interest. Interest is calculated on a fairly high rate (5.25% for contractual interest and 7.25% for default interest) on the amount defined by the final court. However, it is calculated from the first day officially deposing the claim, which means that the interest can reach very high amounts.