Most medical malpractice cases settle out of court. In many situations, reaching an out-of-court settlement benefits both the defendant and the plaintiff. The plaintiff gets paid faster without having to wait for their case to travel through the legal system. The defendant might also benefit from settling. By settling, a doctor or healthcare provider avoids the legal expenses and often the unfavorable publicity that comes with a court case.
A host of factors determine why some medical malpractice cases go to trial when others settle. A medical malpractice lawyer from Medical Malpractice Help can provide a free case evaluation and advise you of your best option to recover damages. Call us today at 888-526-8947.
Why Do Some Medical Malpractice Cases Settle out of Court?
As most medical malpractice cases settle out of court, it stands to reason that plaintiffs and defendants must have good reasons for wanting to avoid a trial. In fact, both parties often push for out-of-court settlements, and several factors motivate this decision.
The Defendant Wants to Limit the Damage Award.
Recent data suggests that the average jury trial award is much higher than the average medical malpractice settlement. Many defendants believe they can save money by offering a settlement and avoiding a trial.
Aside from the higher awards that come from jury trials, the legal process itself can be expensive. The cost to pursue a case goes up with time. If the jury returns an unfavorable verdict from the defendant’s perspective, there is always a chance that the plaintiff will win compensation for their own legal fees, as well.
The Defendant Wants to Avoid a Long Legal Process.
How long medical malpractice cases take to resolve can also prompt a defendant to offer a settlement. If a doctor is facing litigation, it can disrupt their entire career. Taking the time to mount a defense in court takes the doctor away from their practice, in addition to creating high legal costs. Many defendants opt to settle a case to avoid this time-consuming process.
The Plaintiff Wants a Sure Thing.
If the defendant agrees to settle, the plaintiff is essentially guaranteed payment. A jury trial, on the other hand, involves an element of risk.
Even if the plaintiff feels they have a compelling case, the outcome is ultimately unknown. If the plaintiff’s case is not completely airtight, a jury might favor the defendant. If the plaintiff loses their trial, they would walk away with nothing to pay for their losses. Settling the better choice in many cases.
The Plaintiff Wants to Get Paid Quickly.
Although a jury trial often results in a larger damage award, the process can drag on for months, even years. With a settlement, the plaintiff can wrap things up quickly and get compensated.
Why Do Some Medical Malpractice Cases Go to Trial?
Medical malpractice cases typically go to trial because the defendant believes the case is without merit, or the plaintiff is looking for a larger damage award.
If the defendant believes the case is frivolous, they might insist on a trial to clear their name and avoid paying what they believe is a meritless settlement. If the plaintiff is seeking more compensation than what the defendant is offering—and they have a strong case—they might decide that a lawsuit is their best option to recover a fair payout.
If you have been a victim of malpractice, going to trial is essentially a high-risk, high-reward decision. You could win substantial compensation in a jury trial, but you could also walk away empty-handed. An attorney can help you determine if the potential reward justifies the risk.
How Can I Get Legal Advice About My Options?
The Medical Malpractice Help team wants to help you pursue fair compensation for your injuries. Our lawyers have experience at trial and with out-of-court settlement negotiations.
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