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Out of Court Settlements in Medical Malpractice Cases

If you are injured due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice claim against the healthcare provider and other parties, including the hospital where you received care. By initiating litigation, you are asking a judge or jury to review your case and make a determination regarding whether the healthcare provider and other defendants are liable for your injuries. If the defendants are found liable, you are also asking the judge or jury to make a determination regarding the monetary award you should receive in order to compensate you for your injuries and losses.

60 percent of medical malpractice claims settle out of court.

However, prior to the court ruling on your medical malpractice case, you may also have the option of entering an out of court settlement with one or more defendants. An out of court settlement is an agreement between parties which resolves legal disputes before the court issues a final decision. According to a report published by the Harvard School of Public Health, approximately 60 percent of all medical malpractice lawsuits are resolved through out of court settlements, rather than by a judge or jury at trial.

An out of court settlement may be reached at any point during the lifespan of a medical malpractice case. However, out of court settlements are usually finalized during the later stages of a medical malpractice lawsuit. This is because the information gleaned through the pre-trial process, including the court’s ruling on preliminary motions and evidence collected during the discovery process, can be helpful during the out of court settlement negotiation process.

An experienced attorney can determine whether entering a settlement agreement is right for you.

If you file a medical malpractice claim, your attorney can help you decide whether an out of court settlement is the best way to resolve your case. In order to do so, your attorney will have to consider several factors, including:

  • Whether the defendant(s) is amenable to an out of court settlement. In some case, medical malpractice insurers require healthcare professionals that face allegations of negligence to proceed to trial.

  • What the likely out of court settlement award would be.

  • The estimated length and cost of litigating the medical malpractice case to trial.

  • The likelihood of prevailing at trial.

  • What the likely court judgment would be if the case prevailed at trial.

The answer to these questions could change at various points during the lifespan of your medical malpractice claim. As such, your attorney will have to use their knowledge and expertise in order to determine the best timing for negotiating and entering into a settlement agreement.

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical negligence, you should contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can review the facts of your case and provide you with advice and guidance regarding the best course of action and how to receive the compensation you deserve.