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Medical Malpractice Cases: How Settlement Negotiations Work

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Attorneys frequently resolve medical malpractice cases by negotiating a settlement with the practitioner’s insurance company. However, because malpractice is a highly complex area of the law, getting a favorable outcome is rarely easy.

Experienced medical negligence lawyers understand what it takes to get the best possible settlement for their clients. The Tennessee injury lawyers of Batson Nolan PLC, fight tirelessly to get justice for our clients. Our highly personalized approach places your needs and objectives above all else. We understand the challenges you face as you fight to recover from your injuries. We put the depth of our knowledge and experience to work, negotiating to get you every possible dollar for your damages.

Establishing a Medical Malpractice Case

Sometimes, doctors and other medical professionals make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes cause harm or death to patients. If you sustained serious injuries or an existing condition worsened due to the actions of a practitioner, they may not necessarily have committed malpractice. Based on the legal definition of medical malpractice, you have a valid cause of action whenever a duly authorized treatment provider fails to provide a reasonable standard of care and, as a result, you sustain harm.

The reasonable care standard is established by determining the type and level of care that a similarly situated professional would deliver. So, would another treatment provider, if they had the same level of training, knowledge, and experience, have acted differently in the same situation?

Any duly authorized provider of medical treatment or care can potentially commit malpractice if they have established a treatment provider relationship with the victim. In addition to doctors, surgeons, and nurses, any of the following providers could potentially commit malpractice.

  • Anesthesiologists,
  • Nurse practitioners,
  • Physician’s assistants,
  • Radiologists,
  • Phlebotomists,
  • Pharmacists,
  • Dentists, and
  • Psychiatrists.

Whether you pursue a claim against an individual or a practice depends on the details of your case. You might also have the legal right to pursue a malpractice claim against a hospital, testing lab, nursing home, residential care facility, etc. The best way to determine your options for medical malpractice settlement negotiations is to speak to an experienced malpractice lawyer.

Getting to Medical Malpractice Settlement Negotiations

Before your attorney can sit down to negotiate a settlement with the insurer, they must demonstrate the strength of your case.

When you choose a medical negligence lawyer to handle your case, they begin an in-depth investigation. Your attorney will gather documentation and evidence to establish the doctor or practitioner’s negligence. Your legal team will also gather all the necessary information to document your damages and establish your claim’s value.

Once your lawyer builds the strongest possible case on your behalf, they submit a demand to the insurance company. At that point, the two sides will begin negotiations.

How Long Does It Take to Negotiate a Medical Malpractice Settlement?

Settlement negotiations in medical malpractice cases typically take place over the course of weeks or months. No insurance company wants to pay a victim any more than necessary. Consequently, the insurer (and their attorneys) will do everything they can to deny your claim or minimize its value.

Insurers often draw out negotiations extensively. They know that victims can be desperate for economic relief. Victims often need a way to pay for medical treatment and care immediately. If you cannot work, you also need the financial capacity to pay your rent or mortgage and other living expenses. By drawing out the process, the insurance company recognizes the mounting pressure you face. In fact, increasing that pressure is often their goal as it makes it more likely you will take a lower offer just to get money in the bank as soon as possible.

However, the insurer must negotiate in good faith or face potential legal repercussions. Your attorney will push as hard as possible to keep negotiations on track. Your attorney will try to move your case quickly through negotiations but will not sacrifice the amount of money you are rightfully owed.

What Can Be Included in a Medical Malpractice Settlement?

The details of your case will determine the potential value of your medical malpractice claim. In most cases, you may have grounds to seek compensation for some or all of the following.

  • Medical treatment;
  • Hospital stays;
  • Surgical procedures;
  • Doctor and surgeon services;
  • Prescription medications;
  • Medical devices;
  • Lost income and benefits;
  • Pain and suffering; and
  • Emotional trauma.

Depending on how your injuries will affect your life going forward, you may also pursue compensation for the following.

  • Future medical treatment;
  • Future lost income and benefits;
  • Diminished earning capacity; and
  • Diminished quality of life.

If you suffered any permanent damage, disability, scarring, etc., ask your attorney if you can seek compensation for those losses also.

Why Negotiate a Medical Malpractice Case?

Sometimes malpractice cases must be fought in court. However, negotiating a settlement is almost always preferable for the victim.

Filing a civil lawsuit and fighting for justice in court can lead to a favorable jury decision and a substantial award. However, the decision could also go against you and leave you with no compensation at all. No injury attorney can accurately predict the outcome of a court case because juries are unpredictable. With a negotiated settlement, you know you will recover some amount of compensation. A settlement also gives you control over the outcome of your case.

Going to court takes time, effort, and money. Whereas your attorney might negotiate a settlement in only a few months, the trial process can take years. Preparing a case for trial also requires hundreds of hours of time and significant resources, all of which cost money. The victim must also invest more time if the case goes to trial.

Before your case ever gets to court, you will likely have to participate in depositions and other obligations necessary to prepare for trial. You will likely have to testify under oath during your trial, as well. These activities can cause emotional trauma to malpractice victims, as it forces them to relive the trauma of their injuries and the harm they suffered.

Sometimes it does make sense to fight a malpractice case in the courtroom. However, as you can see, negotiating a settlement almost always presents a preferable alternative.

Talk to a Tennessee Medical Negligence Lawyer Today

Before you speak to the insurance company or provide any statement regarding your injuries, contact one of the experienced medical negligence lawyers of Batson Nolan PLC. For more than 150 years, our firm has fought to get justice for the wrongfully injured. We will fight to get you the justice and financial compensation you deserve.

With two convenient Tennessee locations—in Clarksville and Springfield—we can assist you anywhere in the state. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation to discuss the potential of negotiating a settlement for your medical malpractice case.