Ask a Surgical Error Lawyer: When Should I Settle a Case Outside of Court?

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Many types of medical malpractice cases can be settled outside of the courtroom, but whether or not you can settle outside of court depends on a variety of factors. Contacting a surgical error lawyer in Baltimore will give you a good idea of whether or not your case can be settled outside of court.

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Ask a Surgical Error Lawyer in Baltimore: When Should I Settle the Case Out of Court?

You can typically settle the case outside of court if the liable party’s insurance company is willing to pay out the full extent of your damages. This happens in many cases where both economic and non-economic damages are easy to calculate. Cases that are more complex need to go to trial more often. Cases with larger settlements need to go to court more often, too.

For example, if a surgical error left someone paralyzed for life, then the damages the plaintiff may be entitled to will likely be very high. It can be difficult to negotiate with an insurance company to get them to pay out six-figure or seven-figure settlements, so court appearances may be needed to win these substantial sums.

Should I Work With a Medical Malpractice Attorney If My Case Probably Won’t Need To Go to Court?

You should always seek help from a malpractice attorney when seeking any kind of compensation. You’ll likely need a lot of help from an attorney even if your case doesn’t go to court. Visit this page to learn more about why you should work with a medical malpractice attorney, regardless of what type of malpractice case you’re dealing with.

What Can Cause a Medical Malpractice Case to Need to Go to Court?

1. High Settlements

As mentioned above, a plaintiff seeking a substantially high settlement may need to go to court. Insurance companies can be very hesitant to pay out large sums, even when the sums are fair based on your damages. Highly skilled attorneys can negotiate pretty substantial settlements without you ever having to go to trial. Still, there’s always a chance you’ll need to take your case into the courtroom when you’re seeking a significant amount of money.

2. Refusal to Accept Liability

If the defendant refuses to accept liability for your surgical error, then they may request that the case goes to trial. They usually do this to try and clear their name and prove that your claim is false. However, don’t let this get you down. One study has shown that if you have strong evidence proving you suffered damages due to medical negligence, then a judge and jury are at least 50% likely to side with you.

The stronger the evidence you have and the better your attorney is, then the higher your chances of winning the settlement you deserve.

Is It Worth Taking a Malpractice Case to Court?

Going to court with your case can be high risk, but if you have substantial evidence, then it’s well worth the high rewards you may receive. The only way to know for sure whether your case is worth taking to court is by speaking to an attorney. If your attorney doesn’t believe you’ll win your court case, then they’ll recommend against going to trial. They want what’s best for you, and they don’t want you to risk losing out on your settlement.

Furthermore, many medical malpractice attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that unless you win a settlement, they don’t get paid. They won’t risk going to trial if they don’t think they’re going to get paid for their efforts.

When Is It Worth Taking a Lower Settlement to Avoid Going to Court?

Insurance companies won’t always offer you a sum adequate to cover all economic and non-economic damages. However, negotiations can get them to raise their offer. Your attorney can usually tell when they’re unlikely to go any higher. After negotiations, the settlement will usually be plenty to cover all of your economic damages, which are essentially financial losses.

If the settlement the company offers is only a couple of thousand dollars less than the sum you’re seeking, then your attorney may advise you to accept it as long as your economic damages are covered. In many cases, it’s better to take a small loss than to go to court.

What Damages Will My Settlement Cover?                

Most settlements will, at minimum, cover your medical expenses and the income you lost out on while recovering from your injuries. You’ll also probably win at least some compensation for your emotional distress.

A very small amount of medical malpractice cases have to go to court, and your attorney will let you know when it’s best to stay out of the courtroom. However, if your attorney feels you’d benefit more from the case going to trial, then they’ll be with you every step of the way.