What are the Advantages of Settling Your Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Outside of Court?


Settling your medical malpractice lawsuit before trial–is that a good idea?  There is good reason why most medical malpractice lawsuits settle before trial.  Settling out of court provides a number of advantages compared to litigating a case through to the end.

Trials are expensive.  Settling a case can be far more economical.  In most cases an injured person will enter into a contingency fee arrangement with their attorney.  Defendants will generally hire an attorney on at an hourly rate.  Therefore, the very time-intensive trial process can be a significant out-of-pocket expense for defendants when compared to settling.  Attorney’s fees are not the only costs.  Expert witnesses, court costs, travel and lost time from work can add up significantly.

The earlier a case settles, the less expensive the process of litigation is for both parties, especially the defendant who is paying their attorney by the hour.  The discovery process can involve depositions, including those of experts.  In some cases, a plaintiffs’ attorney will agree advance pre-litigation expenses, such as expert witness fees, however some do not.  If fees are advanced, then they come out of any award or settlement.  If it is clear what the defendant’s liability is and the extent the plaintiff has suffered damages early in the process, then both parties will benefit from an early settlement.

Trials can also be very stressful.  While the trial itself can last only for a few days, the process leading up to it can be extremely stressful for all involved.  Both sides may be subjected to examination and cross-examination on the witness stand and have their character questioned in public.  In addition, it can be labor intensive for both parties and their attorneys in the weeks leading up to the trial.

What a defendant will be held liable for, and the damages a plaintiff may receive, can be unpredictable at trial.  There are times when a jury will award plaintiffs higher damages than the defendant offered to settle the case.  Out-of-Court settlements mean that both parties have control over the amount the defendant must pay out.  Additionally, both trials and appeals can take years.  This can take a toll on the plaintiff.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com.  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.