How Much Can You Expect to Earn From a Medical Malpractice Settlement

Medical Malpractice Settlement

Victims of medical malpractice go through a lot of difficulties, including health problems and financial drawbacks. They have to deal with a lot of expenses and lost income. Plaintiffs are always eager to know how much they’ll get after the lengthy claim process.

Of course, everyone imagines they’ll get a lot of money from medical malpractice settlement. But sometimes, this is not the case as you might realize that the case is not worth the time or the money. The settlement amount varies depending on many factors, with other cases ending without the complainant getting anything.

So does your case stand a chance of success in court or out of court? Here are some factors that determine how much you’re going to get as compensation for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The Average Value of Medical Malpractice Settlement

The average amount that victims of medical malpractice get ranges between $300,000 and $380,000. The median value is around $250,000. The jury verdict can be somewhere over $1 million for cases that end up in court. 

All these values vary depending on an individual case, the severity of the case, and the state. The negotiation skills and the expertise of your attorney will also determine the amount.

Malpractice Value for in Court Settlement

Winning a medical malpractice case in court is not easy. Few plaintiffs manage to pull it through because the jury will most likely rule in favor of the doctor or the hospital. 

If you happen to win a malpractice settlement in court, you’ll walk out with good money. The medical malpractice settlement amounts for cases that win trial have risen to 23% from 2009 to 2014. 

Winning a malpractice case in court depends on different factors, including the expertise of your attorney. Most of the time, the court rules medical malpractice cases in favor of the physicians unless the mistake is clear enough. 

But when you happen to get in the jury’s favor, you’ll win a much higher amount more than what you’d get for of court settlement. The average price for in court settlements is over $1 million.

The Value for Settlements Out of Court

One thing you’ll love about medical malpractice settlements that take place out of court is that they have the highest success rates. No hospital wants to deal with inconveniences and the financial burden; hence will get rid of the problem right away. Plaintiffs also want to get their settlements as soon as possible and are likely to accept the low amounts.

Some of these cases lack a jury; hence out of court settlement becomes the only option. Juries are always skeptical of such cases unless it’s a clear mistake. If you settle your medical malpractice case out of court, the average settlement is around $425,000.

External Factors That Affect Medical Malpractice Settlement Value

There are other factors that will affect how much you’ll get as compensation if you win your medical malpractice lawsuit. Some of these factors are within your control, while others are outside. Here are some of them.

The Expertise of Your Attorney

The quality of your attorney matters a lot in regards to whether you’ll receive a high settlement value or you’ll go home empty-handed. Remember, you’ll be fighting against experienced insurance agents and defense lawyers that don’t have your best interest at heart. You need an expert who understands the law to tackle your case.

Work with a personal injury lawyer who doesn’t take low offers and can fight tooth and nail to win a court case. Looking at the experience of your lawyer and their portfolio is essential in such a case. Don’t overlook the track record of your lawyer if you’re looking forward to getting a higher value settlement.

The Quality of the Plaintiff or the Defendant

Before any settlement, the court will listen to both the defendant and the plaintiff. They’ll determine who has a stronger statement and who to dismiss.  If your side as the plaintiff happens to be more believable, you’ll likely get a higher settlement.

Your Geographical Location

Medical malpractice settlement amounts vary from state to state. There are patterns attributed to each geographical region, and you must put that in mind. Lawyers and adjusters from different locations place different settlement amounts base on what they think their state’s jury will decide.

Attorney Fees and Legal Expenses

Many attorneys charge their clients on a contingency fee basis. This means you won’t have to worry about legal service fees and other expenses until the case is over.

Once the case is over, you’ll pay your attorney according to the agreement during the hiring process. The attorneys will first recoup all expenses of the entire lawsuit. After expenses, you’ll then pay them a percentage of what remains as legal fees.

Most lawyers will take 33% of the amount for cases settled out of court. If the case goes to trial, lawyers are likely to get 40% of the settlement. They’re also likely to take a total of $100,000 to cover their expenses.

When computing the amount you’ll get for a medical malpractice case, don’t forget to take out the lawyer’s fees. Your lawyer can help you figure out the amount you’re likely to get after studying the case.

Should You Pursue the Case?

Having a rough idea of the amount you’ll get from a medical malpractice settlement will help you determine whether to pursue the case or not.  If you have strong evidence, don’t back down on a malpractice lawsuit even if the figures are not promising.

Take time to meet your attorney and discuss the details of the case before deciding on the way forward. Consider talking to other experts if there’s confusion about medical malpractice claims. You can also go through some articles on this site for more information on the claim process and what warrants a lawsuit.

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About the Author: Piran Tarapore