Are There Alternatives To Taking Your Negligent Doctor To Court?
Going to court against your doctor in a medical malpractice case could be a risky move. The jury could decide in your doctor's favor, which would leave you without compensation for the injuries you incurred from his or her negligence. Before heading to court, you and your attorney can possibly use an alternative method of settling the case to ensure that you get some sort of compensation. Here are two alternatives to consider.
Settling With the Doctor
There is a possibility that the doctor might be willing to negotiate a direct settlement with you. There are several reasons for your doctor to be willing to negotiate a settlement, including keeping the case out of the public eye. If you head to court, the information disclosed in court could become public record and damage the doctor's reputation.
The doctor also has the added incentive of keeping his or her insurance provider out of the process. After losing a case in court, it could be impossible for the doctor to get coverage in the future or he or she could be faced with higher than average premiums due to losing the case. Financially, it might make more sense for the doctor to pay you directly and avoid reporting the incident to the insurance company.
Medical malpractice cases can be stressful for both sides. With the added pressure of running a practice, your doctor could be stretched to the limits. To avoid this stress, he or she could offer to settle.
Settling With the Insurance Company
Like other personal injury cases, many medical malpractice claims are settled long before they head to court. It is highly beneficial for the insurance company to settle, too. There is a chance that the jury that hears the case is more sympathetic to you than the insurance company and decides in your favor.
There is also the possibility of a high punitive award. If the jury feels that the actions of your doctor were particularly egregious, it could award you a large monetary amount as punishment to the doctor. Depending on the amount of coverage the insurance company has with the doctor, it could end up paying a large share of that award.
You should never accept a financial settlement without first talking to your attorney. There is a possibility that the award you are offered is far less than your case is really worth. For more information about medical malpractice cases, contact a professional like R.J. Marzella & Associates, P.C.