After reaching a settlement agreement, you may feel relieved and satisfied. If you are deciding on how to take your settlement, that may cause a whole new wave of stress. By contacting a caring medical malpractice attorney, you could learn more about the Hudson Valley medical malpractice settlement process, and how they could guide you through it.

Settlement Options

When a case settles, there may be up to three options. A person could also do a combination of the three options, or they could choose to do just one. The options are as follows:

  • Take the settlement money in a lump sum cash settlement
  • Structured settlement annuity
  • Structured settlement preservation trust

Lump Sum Cash Settlement

A lump sum cash settlement means the person signs a release agreement to release their claims against the settling defendant. Once that document is received by the defense, the defendant may have only 21 days to issue the settlement check.

Structured Settlement Annuity

For structured settlement annuity, someone could agree to a stream of payments over a course of time. It could be 10 years, 20 years, or for the rest of the person’s life. Once settled it could lock in a certain interest rate that will apply for the life of the annuity.

The downside of an annuity is that the person may be locking in a very low rate of interest for the life of the annuity. It does not change, so if someone is getting 2% on annuity when interest rates go higher, the person may still be locked in and stuck at 2% for the life of the annuity.

Structured Settlement Preservation Trust

Structured settlement preservation trusts mean that the money could be set aside into a trust to help finance the necessities of life, including health insurance premiums, tuition payments for college, down-payment for a home or a car, etc. The benefit of a structured settlement preservation trust is that the person could be protected from themselves. The funds are controlled pursuant to a trust agreement that defines when the person could access the funds and could assure its growth over time.

Condition of Confidentiality

Confidentiality has two aspects that may cause an issue. One is the idea that although one patient may get justice, the standard of care for other patients may remain the same. Since there are strict rules of confidentiality surrounding both the legal and medical fields, it may not be possible to share the malpractice that took place. If the plaintiff wants to share their story with others, they may refuse confidentiality.

Another reason the plaintiff may want to avoid confidentiality is that the settlement may become subject to income taxes. The IRS does not tax settlements for physical injury or death. If there is a condition of the Hudson Valley medical malpractice settlement process such as confidentiality, that part of the settlement that may represent payment or compensation for confidentiality becomes taxable income to the injured person.

Consulting a Hudson Valley Medical Malpractice Attorney

When you see an attorney for the first time, you may want to bring any medical records. You may also want to discuss with the attorney whether they could consult with a board-certified physician. You may benefit from not just an opinion of the attorney but the assessment and evaluation of a board-certified physician.

A talented medical malpractice lawyer may have experience dealing with settlements and could advise you accordingly. Reach out to an accomplished personal injury attorney that could guide you through the Hudson Valley medical malpractice settlement process.

Hudson Valley Medical Malpractice Settlements