What is the Average Settlement for Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Posted: Sep 25, 2017 9:36 AM
Most victims of medical malpractice prefer settling their case out of court. This is because most malpractice cases take a lot of time and resources, thus out-of-court settlement seems to be the best option. Coming up with the average settlement for a medical malpractice lawsuit is determined by several factors, for instance the degree of harm or injury that resulted from the alleged malpractice, the additional care needed, and whether the malpractice will interfere with the quality of life or cause permanent/long-lasting disability.
How long does it take to settle?
This is another factor that determines the kind of settlement. The complexity and strength of the case is what determines the time it takes for a lawsuit to be settled. Depending on the complexity of the case, it can take a few months or a number of years to be settled. Although most malpractice cases require both parties to file motions and uncover the truth through a court process, most of these cases end up being settled outside the court.
A medical malpractice attorney works towards ensuring that the victim in question gets a fair settlement in the shortest time possible. In cases where the malpractice resulted in death, the money is paid to the bereaved family. The best thing that can happen is both parties coming to a settlement that is reasonable. Nothing can drain victim money and resources like a prolonged malpractice lawsuit. You don’t want your resources to end up paying lawyers and judges. The case can only take a few months if both parties come to an agreement, but in case the parties can’t agree, the case will be settled in court, which can take years to be finalized.
Medical malpractice will emotionally and financially drain the family affected. For a family that is struggling, dealing with a malpractice case can be very hectic, especially if it will take years to be settled. You can talk with your attorney to have the case settle out of court, and this will help keep your family from losing all the money.
Negotiating a Settlement
The initial process of a medical malpractice lawsuit includes a discovery period and the opinion of a medical expert. The discovery process involves gathering the facts of the case, whereby both parties will request evidence, information, and documentation regarding the case. During this process each party will hire a medical expert to advise them on the way forward. Afterwards, the two parties will hire a neutral expert medical witness to establish and determine whether the alleged malpractice occurred.
If the case in question has merits, the negotiation process will start as the defense looks for all means to settle the case out of court. The defense attorney will do their best to ensure their client does not end up paying a huge amount of money. In addition, the defense will avoid going to trial, as this will be more costly and their client's reputation is at risk. This is one of the reasons why most medical malpractice cases are settled out of court.
In case the defense does not offer a reasonable settlement, the victim's attorney will weigh the strength of the case and the settlement amount being offered, and may decide to take the case to trial. However, going to trial is usually the last option, as both parties tend to avoid it because it is time consuming and expensive. The average settlement one can get out of court is $425,000, while if you go to trial, it is $1 million.