Settlement Versus Trial in a Florida Medical Malpractice Case
Many victims of medical malpractice will consider taking legal action to recover compensation for their injuries, but most aren’t familiar with where to start. As a victim, you may wonder whether it’s in your best interests to settle or go to court to pursue your claim for damages. The truth is that many medical malpractice disputes are resolved out-of-court, while others that do lead to litigation are settled before a verdict. Still others will go to a jury after a full trial on the merits – at which point there may be a finding in favor of the health care provider and against the claimant.
Unless you have a legal background, it’s wise to trust a Florida medical malpractice lawyer to determine whether settlement or litigation is a wise strategy. Still, some general information may be helpful.
Statistics on Medical Malpractice Trials and Settlement: A recent article in Becker’s Hospital Review, which reports on data and trends in the health care industry, is insightful on resolution of medical malpractice claims. In 2018, Florida ranked in the Top 5 highest medical malpractice payouts, at $346.9 million. Breaking down these figures, the statistics indicate that 93 percent of these claims were resolved through settlement. Around 5 percent resulted in a jury verdict, while the remaining 2 percent were a loss for the claimant.
Weighing Your Options: It’s impossible to tell you whether you should settle or go to trial, because every case is different. What you CAN do is discuss your situation with a medical malpractice lawyer, and get the details you need to make an informed decision regarding your rights. It helps to weigh the pros and cons of each scenario.
Settling Your Medical Malpractice Claim: It may be advantageous to negotiate a settlement before going to trial because there are no guarantees in the courtroom. From the statistics above, you can see that there’s a possibility – however minimal – that you could walk away with nothing. Once you agree on an amount to settle your claim, you know you’ll receive a payout. The other key benefit with settling is that the matter concludes much faster as compared to long, protracted litigation.
The downside to settling is that you’ll never know how much you could have received through a trial. A jury might be profoundly moved by your situation and come back with a verdict that’s much higher than your settlement amount.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit: When the opposing party doesn’t offer a fair, reasonable amount to settle, you may consider going to court. There’s a significant amount of risk, but there’s also the potential for a considerable reward if you can convince the jury. Ultimately, the decision is a risk-benefit analysis that a lawyer can assist you in navigating.
Discuss Strategy with a Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you suffered bodily harm and suspect medical malpractice is to blame, please contact the Florida medical malpractice lawyers at Freidin Brown, P.A. to set up a free evaluation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers. We can examine your circumstances and explain the best strategy for obtaining compensation, whether it means working on an agreement to settle or taking the matter to court.