To suffer a serious injury or experience the death of your loved ones, following medical malpractice is a traumatic experience for the sufferer and his family members. It is obvious that the sufferers demand compensation against the injustice done to them.
However, fighting for a medical malpractice compensation is not easy at all. It is time-consuming, expensive and often a rough ordeal for both parties – plaintiff and defendant. Hence, if you wish to seek monetary or service compensation, then the law provides for an out of court settlement to both parties. The procedures, regulations and implications for medical malpractices settlements differ from claims. Here is a help guide for you.
Factors to consider before you opt to settle a case of Medical Malpractice
Settlements and claims follow distinct style of regulations and effects. Hence, you need to consider the effects a claim or settlement will bring forward before you choose the most viable option.
Validity of the Case – Study the nature of the case and the proofs in hand against the offender. Take opinions from different lawyers regarding the validity of the case to win the trial. Certain insurance agencies and lawyers may confuse you into believing that your case is not strong enough, if they stand to gain from the settlement. Hence, verify if your case is strong enough to win over the defense and prove the defendant as guilty.
Amount of Settlement v/s Amount of Claims – If your case is strong enough, then you have the opportunity of making strong claims against the guilty. Most the defendants will opt for settlements as it is faster, cheaper and allows a chance to negotiate. However, you ought to consider if the settlement is in your favor as well. Refrain from a settlement if it promises to pay you only a little of your claim. Also, if you think the case is not going to bring results or will cause you financial loss, opt for a settlement.
Case closes after Settlement – Remember that once you settle a case, the case closes forever. In order to receive the settlement papers, you need to sign a letter of release, after which you cannot pursue the defendant for compensation again. Hence, if you are ready to end the matter without much fuss, then a settlement is the right option for you.
Expenses and Time – Filing a medical malpractice case and claiming compensation includes a lengthy procedure. It demands appointing a lawyer, filing lawsuits, gathering evidences, attending court trials, making accusations, counter answering the defense and waiting till the court announces its verdict. Hence, if you wish to take respite from such a lengthy procedure, and from the resulting mental trauma, a settlement makes a better option.
Settlement Coverage Calculations
There are several considerations to be made while calculating the settlement coverage amount. The settlement amount should cover for all the losses incurred as a result of malpractice – both, economic and non-economic expenses.
Total amount of the past, present and future medical expenses incurred by the injured
Economic losses arising out of the incapacity to go to work and earn, up till the recovery period
Compensation towards the pain and emotional trouble suffered due to the injury
Geographic location where the injury took place – weather, state, standard of living, etc.
Jury’s perception of the injured party- any special circumstances
Medical Malpractice settlements are a way of finding relief from the lengthy legal procedures, expenses and mental hassles that go through during the settlement procedure. However, few plaintiffs and lawyers seek to earn from these cases by making false allegations. Hence, doctors should not opt for a settlement merely out of fear of loss of reputation, when they know that the case is false. Settlements should not be treated as a money-minting procedure but a dignified attempt at finding solutions to legal quarrels.