Why is Out-of-Court Settlement for a Medical Malpractice Case a Good Idea?
No one wants to be involved with a medical malpractice suit. Severe pain and injury aren’t worth any possible financial compensation. Once a person suffers from negligent medical care, however, seeking financial compensation becomes highly worthwhile. Simply put, the injured party ends up needing the money. Poor medical care frequently leaves the injured party with expenses.
Visions about receiving a massive jury award often sway plaintiffs to turn down out-of-court settlements. Refusing to settle, however, can be a major mistake. Depending on the case and financial offer, an out-of-court settlement may be preferable. Here are five reasons why:
Litigation Can Drag Out for Years
Civil court cases usually take a long time to complete. Several years can go by before a case eventually reaches the jury. Even with a successful jury award, the litigation might still drag on. The defendant reserves the option to appeals.
Appeals can last years. A decade could pass before the case finalizes. When you sue a defendant with “big pockets,” the chances of a long, drawn-out series of cases increase. With a settlement, all litigation ends once the parties agree to the settlement. Once the settlement agreement finalizes, you receive your payment.
Legal Fees Might Be Enormous
Suing someone costs money. Lawyers bill their fees by the hour. Legal bills pile up quickly and massively when months and months turn into years and years of litigation.
All those legal fees reduce whatever money ends up awarded by a jury. The primary purpose of filing a lawsuit involves receiving compensation for injuries. Becoming indebted to an attorney doubtfully ranks high on any plaintiff’s list of priorities.
Funds Go Immediately Towards Care
Injuries resulting from medical malpractice comes with costs. You may require physical therapy, in-home care, compensation for lost wages, and more. The longer you spend time in court, the longer you must pay out of pocket — or borrow — to cover all the resultant expenses. With a settlement, you gain access to the funds necessary to cover your expenses.
The Settlement Proves More Generous
A jury could award ridiculously low damages. That’s another risk you take when headed to court. In a number of states, limits exist on how much money can be paid out in a medical malpractice case.
Comparing the settlement offer vs. the maximum award limit might prove the obvious: a settlement seems to be the better plan.
The Plaintiff Can Lose
A defendant would only offer to settle if a loss in court was imminent, right? Don’t make this assumption. The defendant may just wish to cut legal costs by settling. Also, you cannot predict how the jury will decide. Despite the evidence proving negligence, the jury could still levy a judgment in the defendant’s favor.
Another disaster emerges for the plaintiff. If you don’t receive any money from the jury, you find yourself owing all your attorney’s legal fees. Remember, filing a lawsuit and heading to court comes with risks.
When involved in a medical malpractice case, discuss the merits of settling with a qualified and experienced attorney. Sometimes, settling delivers the best outcome.