Risks Of Settling A Florida Medical Malpractice Claim Too Early
Your life can be turned around if you suffer Injuries from a negligent health care provider, so it is reassuring to know that Florida medical malpractice laws allow you to seek compensation for your losses. There are generally two ways of resolving these claims, either by settlement or pursuing a lawsuit. Though every case is different, you should be aware of the data on these two outcomes. According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), plaintiffs do not fare well when taking cases to trial: They win in just 37 percent of cases, and the physician is not liable for any damages.
Still, this is not to say that you should rush to an agreement on your med mal case. Generally speaking, the primary risk of settling too early is that you will not obtain sufficient compensation to cover your losses. However, there are also some specific factors that could affect your interests. You should consult with a Tampa personal injury lawyer about the following considerations.
You are still being treated. Even though getting started with the legal process promptly is wise in a medical malpractice case, you might still be receiving care to correct the error. Plus, it is possible that health care providers do not have full grasp of the harm done, or your injuries could worsen. This means you could generate expensive medical bills for future treatment. You would be responsible for paying them if you incur them after settling.
You have not yet returned to work. Part of your compensation in a med mal claim is lost wages for the time you missed work, which you will not know until you get back to the workforce. You might also qualify for future earning capacity in some cases, such as where you will not fully recover from injuries caused by a negligent physician.
The insurance company protects its own interests. When the health care provider’s med mal insurer makes a quick offer to settle, it might seem like the company is looking out for your needs. The opposite is true. Insurers are in the business for profit. They communicate an immediate offer because they know you will be tempted to accept when your bills are piling up and you cannot work.
An initial offer is just the start to negotiations. The timing of settlement may be right at some point, but it certainly is not after you receive the first offer from the insurer. Companies initially lowball to protect their interests, but you will also have the opportunity to counteroffer. The back-and-forth often does result in an agreement, but you will need to sue in court if the settlement offer is insufficient.
Contact a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney to Discuss Settlement Options
The risks of settling too early are considerable, but you can trust our Greco & Wozniak P.A. to advise you throughout settlement discussions. To learn more about the legal process, please call 813.223.7849 or visit our website to set up a free consultation. We can meet with you at our Tampa, FL offices to discuss details.