When medical negligence occurs, it can result in devastating consequences for patients and their families. In such cases, seeking justice through a medical malpractice lawsuit is a viable option. However, most medical malpractice cases are resolved through settlement negotiations rather than going to trial. Let’s take a look at the settlement negotiation process and factors involved.
The Initial Assessment
Once you believe you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, you should consult an attorney specializing in medical negligence cases. The attorney assesses your case’s merits, including your medical records, expert opinions, and other relevant evidence. If the attorney determines that your case has a reasonable chance of success, the lawyer proceeds with initiating settlement negotiations.
Gathering Evidence and Expert Opinions
Before entering formal settlement negotiations, your attorney will work diligently to gather evidence to strengthen your case. This may include obtaining medical records, consulting with medical experts to evaluate the standard of care provided, and securing expert opinions supporting your claims of malpractice. The strength of the evidence greatly influences your negotiating position.
Preparing a Demand Letter
The attorney prepares a demand letter outlining your allegations, injuries suffered, and the damages sought. The demand letter typically includes a detailed explanation of the medical malpractice, the impact of that malpractice on your life, and the associated financial losses. It’s essential for the demand letter to be comprehensive and well-supported by evidence to maximize the chances of a successful negotiation.
Upon receiving the demand letter, the defendant’s legal team reviews it thoroughly and responds with a counteroffer. The negotiation process begins with a series of back-and-forth exchanges between the parties. These negotiations are often facilitated by the attorneys representing each side, with the goal of reaching a mutually agreeable settlement.
Evaluating the Risks and Benefits
Throughout the negotiation process, both parties evaluate the risks and benefits of going to trial versus settling the case. In particular, you and your attorney consider the potential compensation you could receive against the risks of losing at trial. The defendant typically weighs the costs of litigation and the potential harm to his or her reputation. These considerations often motivate both parties to reach a settlement agreement.
Reaching a Settlement
If a mutually acceptable agreement is reached, the parties sign a settlement agreement. This legally binding document outlines the terms of the settlement, including the compensation amount, any non-financial terms, and the release of liability. Once signed, the settlement is typically paid out to the plaintiff within a specified timeframe.
In many medical malpractice settlements, the parties may include confidentiality or non-disclosure provisions to protect the reputation and privacy of all parties involved. These provisions restrict the disclosure of the settlement terms and prevent either party from discussing the case publicly.
Note that settlement negotiations play a crucial role in medical malpractice cases, offering an opportunity for resolution without the need for a lengthy and costly trial. By understanding the process and factors involved in settlement negotiations, patients and their families can navigate the legal system more effectively and seek fair compensation for the harm they have suffered.
Contact Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC
Please know that our firm is here to help if you suffered an injury because of a medical professional’s malpractice. Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC provides free consultations to all our potential clients. The attorneys at our law firm also have over 120 years of combined experience representing injured parties in medical malpractice cases. They never back down to insurers and fight for their clients’ interests every step of the way. Do yourself a favor and contact them now for the quality legal representation you deserve.