Factors To Consider When Settling A Florida Med Mal Case
The thought of settling a Florida medical malpractice claim is attractive, as there is more certainty in the outcome, the process can be resolved faster than a trial, and you do not need to go through the stress of testifying in court. Yet another reason is that these cases do not fare well at trial: The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) states that plaintiffs win medical malpractice cases just 37 percent of the time when they go to trial. Clearly, there is a risk that the jury will side with the health care provider.
However, despite the benefits of settling a med mal claim over litigation, there are still important factors to consider. It is a mistake to agree to a settlement amount that will not cover your losses, and insurance companies will always make a lowball offer to protect their own financial interests. Retaining a Tampa medical malpractice lawyer ensures fairness in settlement discussions, and the following factors could impact negotiations.
Your Treatment: Medical errors can cause a wide range of injuries and ailments, some of which will require several weeks or months of treatment. If you are still being treated by health care providers and different specialists, it may be too early to consider settlement. You do not know what additional medical costs you will incur as you return to health, and it is not possible to accurately assess what care you will need if you do not fully recover. Details about your treatment are also important when discussing the pain and suffering component of your compensation.
Strength of Evidence: Under Florida’s medical negligence statute, you must prove that you were harmed because a health care provider deviated from the applicable standard of care. Therefore, you need solid evidence with respect to two elements:
- You need to prove the standard of care that applies to the situation, which usually involves comparison of your physician to another doctor with similar training, education, and experience.
- You must have evidence showing the specific ways your health care provider deviated from this standard through errors or omissions.
If there are weaknesses with either of these factors, you may choose to settle rather than risk a loss at trial.
Your Future: No discussion about settlement would be effective without considering how your med mal injuries affect your future. You may be unable to return to your job or be limited in what you can do at work, which affects your wages and earning capacity. Some injuries from med mal could lead to disability, requiring in-home health services, assistive devices, and other accommodations. These matters must be addressed during settlement negotiations.
Our Florida Medical Malpractice Attorneys Will Guide You Through Settlement
The settlement amount offered by an insurer may seem attractive, but it is critical to view the bigger picture before accepting. To learn how Greco & Wozniak P.A. will assist with negotiations, please call 813.223.7849 or visit our website to set up a free case evaluation. A skilled medical malpractice lawyer will meet with you at our offices in Tampa, FL.