Medical Malpractice Claims: What You Need to Know
Medical malpractice is, unfortunately, a more common occurrence than you may realize. When patients are injured due to medical malpractice, getting a settlement through a trial can sometimes be difficult.
Many victims choose to negotiate a settlement with the facility or medical provider to get a faster outcome. The following is some information you need to know before you move forward with a medical malpractice settlement negotiation.
What Is the First Step in Medical Malpractice Negotiations?
Before anything can happen with your medical malpractice case, your attorney must prove that the doctor or medical provider was negligent in your care and that your injuries and subsequent losses are a direct result of that negligence.
To prove negligence, you have to show evidence that the doctor or provider did not act with due care in your case. Essentially, you have to show that the provider did not act in a way that another, similar provider would have in a case like yours. Citing proof of the generally accepted medical practices for your condition is one step in gathering your proof.
Another factor to consider is any preexisting conditions you have. The defending attorney can easily cite your previous issues as the cause for your current condition rather than anything done by the medical provider. However, the provider can be responsible for exacerbating your condition in a way that would not have happened if not for negligent care.
How Do You Determine the Value of a Malpractice Claim?
Once liability is proven, the next step is to figure out how much your case is worth. A medical malpractice claim compensates you for all you lost as a result of negligence. This includes additional pain and suffering outside of your original condition if you already were sick or injured; your lost wages due to missed work; and the loss of your future earnings if the injury is permanent.
When it comes to figuring out an actual dollar amount that your case is worth, no one method works. For example, you cannot attribute a figure that represents the value of a missing arm or leg. Value can be difficult to determine. Oftentimes, during a negotiation, time is spent focusing on the hypothetical value of the actual losses.
To help determine exactly how much a medical malpractice case is worth, insurance companies use a formula that involves adding the economic and noneconomic damages. The economic damages are those which can be easily determined, such as past and future salaries, retirement, and pension payments. Noneconomic damages are those which are attributed individually to each person, such as pain and suffering.
What If Someone Dies as a Result of Medical Malpractice?
If the victim passes away as a result of the malpractice injury and there is proof that malpractice was a primary cause, the victim’s estate can be paid for the wages he or she expected to earn if he or she had survived.
A spouse or children left behind could potentially have a claim after the death as well. The family left behind can receive compensation for the loss of a companion and the protection he or she would have been able to provide had the death not occurred.
The Cochran Firm is one of the largest law firms handling personal injury claims across the United States. At the Cochran Firm, we work with you one on one while still tapping into our national resources to help you get the best legal representation possible. If you have suffered any form of medical malpractice, please contact us for assistance.