Durham Personal Injury Lawyer
As a Durham personal injury lawyer has seen in past cases, medical malpractice lawsuits typically end with settlements before or during a trial. However, plaintiffs and defendants should consider the following factors when deciding whether to settle or go to trial. If you or a family member has been harmed from what you suspect is medical malpractice, call Ted A. Greve & Associates today.
The Settlement Amount
Settling out of court involves the defendant paying the plaintiff a negotiated sum of money to make the plaintiff whole. In most cases, this arrangement is advantageous to both sides because:
- Plaintiffs receive a guaranteed payment
- The defendant’s out-of-pocket expenses might be higher with a trial
- Both parties can put the matter behind them quickly
- Juries can be unpredictable
Plaintiffs and defendants typically negotiate a settlement amount agreeable to both sides. Still, when either side is inflexible or unreasonable, a trial is the likely next step.
Willingness To Take a Financial Risk
Plaintiffs who win at medical malpractice trials can expect significantly greater damages than they might receive through settlement. Therefore, defendants who do not want to risk a jury’s unfavorable decision should consider settling to minimize their out-of-pocket expenses. On the other hand, there is a strong possibility that a judge or jury will not award any damages to a plaintiff.
Financial Risk Tolerance
Although plaintiffs can potentially win substantial damages at trial, a case can take years to go through the court system. Moreover, even when a jury decides in favor of either side, appeals can keep plaintiffs and defendants in court, raising the possibility that another jury will overturn an earlier decision. Alternatively, a settlement ends the possibility of further negotiation or risk.
The stress of airing grievances in court or reliving unpleasant circumstances before a judge and jury could affect the testimony of a plaintiff or defendant, costing them the outcome they seek. But with help from a Durham personal injury lawyer, rest assured that we can take the lead so that you have more time and energy to take care of yourself.
The Strength of the Evidence
Plaintiffs with tenuous evidence to support their claims are most likely to walk away from medical malpractice trials without any damages. However, defendants found guilty of egregious behavior might pay punitive damages. The burden of proof is always on the plaintiff, who must prove the following four points:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a standard duty of care
- The defendant did not adhere to acceptable medical practices that other practitioners in the same field would observe
- The plaintiff’s injury was directly due to the defendant’s negligence
- The plaintiff’s injury resulted in financial losses and pain and suffering
Seek Professional Advice
Medical malpractice cases pose risks for both sides. Speak with a Durham personal injury lawyer about how to proceed in your unique circumstances. Ted A. Greve & Associates is ready to take your call. Let us learn more about what is going on and see if there is enough reason to file a medical malpractice case.