Medical malpractice cases can take a long time and be taxing on both parties. To avoid the stress and reduce the time it may take to receive compensation, some victims may choose to settle their case, especially if they are presented with a fair offer. Victims should always do what they feel is best for themselves and their families. An experienced attorney can only offer advice about settling a cervical cancer malpractice case in West Palm Beach, but ultimately the victim needs to make a decision to take a settlement or proceed to a trial where a jury will make the ultimate decision.
When it comes to a cervical cancer malpractice case in West Palm Beach, sometimes the best option for the plaintiff and the defendant is to agree to settle.
The Differences Between Settlements and Verdicts
Successful medical malpractice cases can end in either a negotiated settlement or with a jury verdict. Settlements are usually attempted before proceeding to trial. In fact, Florida Statutes §766.106 requires a 90-day period for the defendant to determine if they want to settle the case prior to the plaintiff filing the lawsuit.
If the defendant does not want to settle or attempts made within those 90 days fail, the plaintiff may then file their case in court. Even if the case proceeds to trial, though, though, it could still be settled at any time before going to a judge or jury for a final decision.
Negotiating a Settlement
Settlements can be attempted in both formal and informal ways. For example, settlements can be negotiated strictly between attorneys for both parties or sometimes may involve the assistance of a professional mediator.
Quantifiable economic damages such as medical expenses and lost wages are usually the easier part of the negotiations. However, problems may arise when negotiating non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or loss of fertility, as these damages are difficult to quantify and may be subjective.
Unlike other personal injury cases in which insurance companies decide upon a settlement without involving the defendant, settlements in West Palm Beach cervical cancer medical malpractice cases usually require the approval of the physician being sued. The physician’s insurance policy language will dictate who makes the final approval for a settlement. Due to the extreme cost of medical malpractice insurance premiums and the risk of being dropped by their insurance company, some doctors chance a trial rather than settling a claim.
Settlement Opinions from Medical Malpractice Insurers
Even if a physician welcomes a negotiated settlement for malpractice, their medical malpractice insurance carrier may not. These carriers typically want to give the impression they do not give up under any circumstance in an attempt to reduce future lawsuits against their policyholders.
For these companies, the financial risk of taking their case before a judge or a jury is worth it to avoid the potential for unmerited lawsuits down the road. As such, receiving a settlement from a defendant represented by such a company may be challenging.
Making the Decision to Settle or Sue in a Cervical Cancer Malpractice Case in West Palm Beach
While a lawyer can give you an opinion on any settlement offer you receive, the final decision is yours to make. Either way, whether you accept a pre-trial settlement or opt to take your case to trial, a skilled medical malpractice attorney can provide guidance and support every step of the way.
Should you decide that the settlement offer is not fair, your medical malpractice lawyer could stand up to large malpractice insurance companies on your behalf to protect your rights. To learn more about settling a cervical cancer malpractice case in West Palm Beach, call today.