No. In Los Angeles, all medical malpractice cases do not go to trial. They are often settled outside of county court. A settlement is an agreement between you and the medical professional who injured you. That medical professional would be a doctor who treated you, a nurse or the hospital where you received treatment.
What is Medical Malpractice in Los Angeles?
Medical malpractice is a personal injury where a medical professional fails to provide you, the patient, with standard care. Standard care is medical treatment that does not cause an additional injury. You may have heard a lot about surgeons who keep fail to remove surgical instruments from a patient’s body during surgery. The patient endures years of pain and trauma until the surgical instrument is discovered. That is one example of medical malpractice.
What is a Medical Malpractice Settlement?
A medical malpractice settlement is an agreement between you and the medical professional. You agree not to start, continue or resolve your case in court for money. The medical professional gives you either a lump sum payment or a series of payments to cover damages such as:
• Medical bills
• Extra prescriptions needed
• Lost wages
• Decreased earning capacity
• Pain and suffering
The medical professional does not have to admit fault.
The Settlement is Negotiated between You and the Medical Professional
The settlement must cover all past, current and future bills connected to your injuries. Remember, you are not allowed to ever sue for the injury you sustained in a medical malpractice claim. You give up that right in a settlement so you have to get a fair settlement to cover your injuries.
The actual dollar amount is negotiated between both parties. A judge does not have anything to do with it. It is vital to have an attorney negotiate the settlement for you. The medical professional’s attorney will not have your best interest in mind during the negotiations. They are solely interested in their client paying as little as possible for your injury.
Negotiations are not quick. Negotiations typically start with an offer. The offer may be from you or the medical professional. The person receiving the offer can decline, accept or provide a counteroffer. The counteroffer will generally be more or less depending on who makes the second offer.
For instance, if you decline the offer and provide a counteroffer, it will generally be more than the previous offer. The opposite will happen with the medical professional. They are looking to pay less.
To submit a counteroffer, you have to decline the offer given to you. Your attorney will advise you whether the offer is good or bad.
If you agree to the offer, the next step is getting the medical professional’s approval.
The Medical Professional Must Approve the Offer
Medical malpractice lawsuits are not like other personal injury claims like a car accident. The car accidents or slip and fall claims, the insurance company can negotiate and settle without the at-fault party wanting to settle. In medical malpractice claims, the medical professional must approve the settlement.
Your attorney may offer a settlement. The medical professional may initially agree to the settlement, then change their mind later. They can decide to take their chances at trial. They could also refuse to settle because they do not want to pay higher insurance premiums.
A Settlement can Happen at Any Time in a Medical Malpractice Claim in Los Angeles
There is no timeline for a settlement. A medical professional may refuse to settle prior to trial, but agree to a settlement later. You may do the same thing. Sometimes it depends on how well it goes in court.
Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney about Your Medical Malpractice Claim
You need money to cover your injuries. You have the right to pursue your case in court or settle you case. Before you decide what to do, contact a medical malpractice attorney about your injury. You need a legal representative to protect your rights and fight for a fair settlement.
The stakes are high when negotiating a settlement. If it does not cover your expenses, you are left paying bill. Contact an attorney immediately and start getting the money you need.