Many factors can affect whether a medical malpractice case will go to trial, so there is no single answer that will apply to all cases. Sometimes a case that you thought would settle right away will drag on and end up in trial, and other cases that you expected to involve long trials will settle without the need to go to court. Call the personal injury lawyers at Montero Law Center today at 954-767-6500 to discuss your legal options.
Variables That Can Make a Case More Likely to Settle
Although there are many factors that can lead to a settlement, some of the more frequent ones include:
Common injury types. Every field of medicine has typical complications that insurance companies anticipate. If your injury is one of these usual situations, such as infection after surgery, the insurance company is more likely to pay a settlement rather than go to trial.
A doctor’s or medical professionals extensive claims history. Every profession has some “bad apples.” After a doctor or hospital has developed a track record of negligence, the insurance company might not feel it is worth it to pay for an expensive medical malpractice trial. The insurer might pay to settle the case and then refuse to insure the careless doctor or hospital in the future.
A plaintiff’s minimal claims history. If you have never sued a doctor or hospital before for medical malpractice, the insurance company will find you a more credible plaintiff than someone who has a long history of filing claims against members of the medical community.
Time of year. Surprisingly, if your case is ready to settle or go to trial, the time of year can be the deciding factor. Insurance companies are large corporations that must answer to their shareholders. They want to report a low number of outstanding claims in the annual report, so sometimes they settle cases to get them off the books.
Variables That Can Make a Case Less Likely to Settle
Rare injury types. If a person experienced an extremely rare side effect or is far more debilitated than people usually are from the complication, the insurance company will want to investigate the case thoroughly. The more questions the medical malpractice insurer has, the longer the case will take, and the more likely your claim will go to trial.
A doctor’s or medical professionals minimal claims history. The insurer will be less likely to believe that a doctor or hospital with an excellent reputation has committed malpractice than a professional or facility on their “usual suspects” list. A case against one of the highly respected members of the medical community might have to go to trial.
A plaintiff’s extensive claims history. The insurer is less likely to believe a person who files one lawsuit after the other than a person who has never filed a personal injury lawsuit. The insurance company might force a case to trial, even when convinced of the validity of the claim, just to send a message to a plaintiff who has filed previous personal injury claims.
Insurance company or adjuster. If the insurance company wants to discourage medical malpractice claims or you have an adjuster who wants to make a name for himself, your medical malpractice case might have to go to trial.
With all the variables at play in medical malpractice cases, it helps to have the advice of an experienced attorney. Call the Montero Law Center today at 954-767-6500, and we will set up a time to talk with you about your case and whether it will go to trial. There is no obligation, and the consultation is free.