Here’s How Medical Malpractice Settlements Work

Here’s How Medical Malpractice Settlements Work

Jul 12, 2018 | Malpractice Lawyer

Are you involved in a medical malpractice case? You may be wondering how medical malpractice settlements work.

Medical malpractice is a serious issue, and you deserve to be compensated for your strife. By knowing how the settlement process works, your case will be much easier to handle.

We’re here for you. In this guide, we’ll give you everything you need in order to understand medical malpractice settlements. Keep reading to learn more.

Medical Malpractice Settlements in Three Steps

Sometimes, a medical malpractice case works pretty much like any civil injury settlement. But at other times, there are specific details of the case that can be different. For example, sometimes state requirements can make it harder to get a medical malpractice settlement.

However, they all essentially have the same three steps, no matter what. Let’s take a look at what those are.

1. Negotiation

First, the total monetary amount of the settlement gets negotiated between the defendants and the plaintiff. This is based on the value of the damages in the case.

It’s pretty easy to calculate the amount of economic damages that were incurred. These include any measurable or provable losses or expenses caused by the medical malpractice. However, the non-economic damage amounts are more likely to be negotiated.

The plaintiff might place a certain value on their suffering or loss of enjoyment. However, the insurance company or medical office might have a very different idea of what that amount should be. Some states also limit the amount that can be awarded in a settlement.

2. Doctor Approval

Next, the settling doctor typically has to approve the medical malpractice settlement. This is different from most personal injury claim types.

The doctor might actually get the last word on the settlement’s approval. Medical malpractice settlements tend to be less confidential than other types of settlements. This can cause big problems for a doctor, which is one reason why they get to approve these cases.

Sometimes, the physician would rather go to trial than settle. They might also fight the case if they don’t agree that malpractice was committed. Some insurance companies also lean toward going to trial, rather than settling.

When both parties have approved the settlement, court approval is often needed as well. This helps make sure that the settlement amounts don’t get out of hand.

3. Payment

Sometimes the payment is given in a lump sum. Other times, you might get a structured settlement, or a combination of both.

You’ll often negotiate the way your settlement amount will be paid out, as well as the full dollar amount. The insurance company might be willing to take a discount on the dollar amount if it’s paid out quickly.

The check usually goes to the attorney first. The attorney takes out their legal fees and expenses, and then sends the remainder to the plaintiff.

Need Help with Medical Malpractice Settlements?

As you can see, getting medical malpractice settlements can be simple or convoluted – but it’s more likely to be the latter.

Having a good attorney on your side can help. Contact us today to learn more.