Although medical malpractice cases are similar to other personal injury cases, they also differ in many ways. Medical malpractice victims often suffer serious physical, mental, and financial hardship, and these cases can involve extensive discovery and expert medical witness testimony.
These types of cases often have specific jurisdiction requirements and state-specific insurance reporting guidelines that must be followed. If you have suffered damages because of the negligence of a medical professional or institution, it’s important to understand your options for receiving compensation.
The Process of Receiving a Malpractice Settlement
Because there are so many medical malpractice cases in U.S. courts, it could take six months to a year to settle your claim. This long process places a burden on struggling patients and families, yet over 90 percent of these cases settle out of court.
Let’s review the process of receiving medical malpractice settlements to better understand each step along the way.
Negotiating Your Settlement
A significant amount of negotiation is involved in determining the final dollar amount that you will receive for your malpractice settlement. This negotiation is based on economic and non-economic damages. Pain, suffering, and loss of quality of life are examples of non-economic damages that are difficult to quantify in negotiations. Depending on what state you live in, the law may also limit the amount that you are able to receive for your case.
Obtaining Your Doctor’s Approval
One of the biggest ways that medical malpractice cases differ from other types of personal injury cases is that a medical professional being sued must approve your settlement amount and terms. Once an agreement is reached, you may have to seek court approval for your case.
Receiving Your Settlement
After this process is complete, the plaintiff will receive the malpractice settlement. The defendants will typically send settlement checks to the plaintiff’s attorney to deposit in an escrow account and then deduct the legal fees and expenses before releasing funds to the injured party.
Lump Sum and Structured Settlement Options
There are two ways to receive a medical malpractice settlement: a lump sum and a structured settlement. It may be possible to receive your payment as a combination of the two, with a smaller lump sum now and structured payments for the remaining balance.
Lump sums are the simplest way to collect the malpractice settlement money you are owed, and this option helps many plaintiffs pay for the current and future medical bills as a result of the negligence incurred. However, some cases are best served by a structured settlement arrangement, especially if the plaintiff will need to pay for long-term or permanent care.
Medical Malpractice: Selling a Portion of Your Structured Settlement Payments
If you have a structured settlement as a result of a medical malpractice suit but need cash now to cover your costs, you have the option of selling a portion of your future structured settlement payments for a lump sum of cash. Call Novation’s team of experts today at 1-888-979-3740 to learn more about this option.
*Novation is not a financial advisor or consultant and strongly recommends that you speak to a lawyer or accountant before making any significant financial decisions.