Getting the Most Out of a Medical Malpractice Settlement

By Jonathan Soto posted 10-20-2020 01:48 AM

  

No one ever wants to find themselves in the middle of a medical malpractice lawsuit. Apart from the process being a long and drawn-out affair, it usually goes together with some serious medical issues. The sad part about medical malpractice is that it happens all too often. 

In some cases, the events that lead up to medical malpractice could have been avoided entirely and the patient could have come from the condition unscathed or cured. What is even worse is that the victims are often completely oblivious about what happened and the medical professionals continue as normal. 

Knowing what to do when malpractice is suspected is crucial, especially when a settlement is on the cards. Here are some details about what happens during such a settlement.

Negotiations

When a medical error has occurred, you want to have someone who knows the game to handle your malpractice case. Hasting Firm is one such firm that has helped many clients in Texas. The reason for their success is that they are invested in each case as they only charge their clients if the case is won. 

The plaintiff will go toe-to-toe with the defendant and, in most cases, their insurance company to decide on a claim based on the damages that the plaintiff incurred. The economic damages are easily calculated as it can be proven when one looks at the loss of income, medical bills and other economic damages. 

Non-economic damages

The negotiations regarding non-economic damages are where the problem comes in and the skill of the lawyer will have a great influence on the outcome. The emotional damage of the plaintiff and their definition of pain and suffering is often not the same as those of the insurance companies. 

State law limits on the amount can also come into play, but it all comes down to how well the lawyer can convince the insurer or doctor of the value of the pain and suffering of the plaintiff. 

Doctor’s approval

As opposed to normal medical injuries, the settling physician has to sign off on the settlement amount before anything is finalized. Normal slips and falls are dealt with by insurance companies directly, but when it comes to medical malpractice, the doctor is in the thick of things. 

Malpractice settlements are linked to a massive database of settlements, which allows the physician to work towards a similar amount as what was settled on in the past. 

On the other hand, a physician’s reputation is on the line whenever a malpractice case comes along. In these cases, instead of settling, they will fight it out in court in the hopes of not letting the plaintiff walk away with anything. 

Certain insurance companies also favor trying cases instead of rolling over and settling. This is often a front to scare the plaintiff into submission, but when your case is founded on infallible proof, you can walk away with a handsome settlement. 

Settlement payouts

Once the settlement is reached, the payout is often a point of debate. Some states favor a lump sum payout, where others prefer structured payment options. When it comes to cases where minors were involved, the court will often rule that the current medical expenses be paid as a lump sum and the rest of the amount only when the minor reaches a legal age of majority.

Insurance companies are not fond of dishing out money, so they will try and negotiate a reduced or discounted amount for early or speedy payment. Once the payment structure is settled, the money will usually go to the plaintiff’s lawyer, who will deposit the funds into an escrow account.  

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