Virginia Medical Malpractice Settlements

Deciding whether you should settle your medical malpractice or not can be difficult. A settlement has a more assured outcome whereas going to trial allows you to tell your story and pursue the damages you want. Although it is a tough decision, it is not a decision that you have to make alone. A skilled medical malpractice lawyer can talk you through your options, and help you if you want to settle. Contact an attorney if you wish to pursue a Virginia medical malpractice settlement and would like to know more about the process.

Options for Medical Malpractice Settlements

There are a variety of options, depending on the case, for properly settling a medical malpractice action. These include working with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier and working with their attorneys and a variety of other entities to try and determine what the best course of action is to make a recovery.

Deciding Whether to Settle or Go to Trial

The decision whether to pursue a Virginia medical malpractice settlement or litigate it is always the client’s choice. It is a common misconception, but the client has complete control over their case in the future. If a client tells an attorney they are satisfied with the current offer to resolve the case and they do not want to move forward, that is what an attorney will do.

Often times, it is a misinterpretation that attorneys will settle the case and tell the client how much they will receive. That is not true. The attorneys are there to work for the clients. While their interests are aligned and they are trying to pursue the best outcome that they can for their client, it is not done without the expressed consent of the client.

Motivation to Settle

Trials are a risky proposition. Anything can happen. Judges and juries are hard to predict. No attorney, regardless of how skilled or how experienced in law they are, can predict exactly what is going to happen at trial.

A Virginia medical malpractice settlement before trial is a known outcome. Many times, the price for a known outcome is better than the unknown. There are a lot of costs involved, and these costs may include expert witness fees that may go up by requiring the expert witness to appear at trial.

In addition to being unpredictable, trials are highly stressful. Having to go through multi-day or multi-week trials, dealing with the stress of everything that happened to them, having to relive every minor detail is stressful enough.

That stress is compounded by having to hear that the injuries either were not the fault of the person that they are claiming they were, or the person was not injured as they are claiming can be detrimental to the client. Many times the outcome versus avoiding both the cost and the stress of the trial is in the best client’s interests.

Motivation to Go to Trial

Many times the reason why the parties refuse an offer and go trial is that they feel that the settlement offered does not adequately reflect the damage that occurred.

They look back at being seriously injured and all of the things they had to go through, including the damages and the future damages, and the numbers do not add up so they do not believe it is fair.

Another reason would be that certain individual wants their day in court. They want the opportunity to have a trial to allow fact-finders this time and to present their case to a jury or a judge of their peers.

Settlement Process

There are a variety of different processes in a Virginia medical malpractice settlement, depending on the type of case, the history of the case, as well as the type of defendants involved. Some settlements need court approval. Some do not.

An individual should talk to an attorney about whether or not any of these apply.  The amount of settlement is determined through the negotiation process. Both parties have input on the amount and the client often decides either to accept or reject the amount.

Benefit of a Medical Malpractice Attorney

A person can give as much information as they can gather about the case, including their medical history, any relevant medical records, as well as an opinion on what happened, why it happened, and specifically how the person has been injured.

Any witness information and anything the person may think an attorney may want to look at, they should bring with them and allow the attorney to go through it and determine how they can use that information properly.  They also can help the person understand the figures, evaluate the risks, and determine what those risks mean and how they translate into the money situation.

A lawyer can help a client determine if there is an offer of care and whether it meet the goals of the client and their case, current fees, or medical expenses. A lawyer will also examine whether the settlement covers the damages that they suffered. If you are considering pursuing a Virginia medical malpractice settlement, get in touch with an experienced attorney who can advocate for you.