Medical malpractice lawsuits have a relatively lower chance of success than other types of lawsuits. According to research, defendants win approximately 74% of medical malpractice cases that go to trial.
But, as a victim of medical malpractice, you could secure compensation through a medical malpractice settlement. Learning about the average settlement for medical malpractice cases can give you a better idea of what to expect from your medical malpractice case.
Common Types Of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is defined as the wrongdoing or negligence of a healthcare provider that results in a patient sustaining preventable injuries or losses. Here are the common types of medical malpractice cases:
- Incorrect Dosage: Errors by medical professionals could lead to incorrect medication dosage, leading to different types of complications for the patient.
- Misdiagnosis: While patients must disclose their complete medical history to the doctor, doctors are also responsible for the proper diagnosis of the patients. Their failure to do that could result in a malpractice lawsuit.
- Anesthesia Errors: Another fairly common type of medical malpractice is the healthcare provider not administering the correct dose of anesthesia.
- Surgical Errors: Surgeries are often complicated, and any mistakes within the procedure, including the surgeon operating on the wrong body part or not sanitizing the area and equipment before use, could cause serious harm to the patient.
Damages In A Medical Malpractice Case
According to the lawyers at Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky, P.C., if healthcare providers caused the medical errors, you may be entitled to compensation. Victims of medical malpractice can receive compensation for their economic and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages include all past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning potential, compensation for prosthetic and medical devices, specialized transportation, and other out-of-pocket costs.
On the other hand, noneconomic damages include pain and suffering, compensation for loss of enjoyment, emotional distress, disability, and disfigurement.
The Average Medical Malpractice Settlement Amount
The average settlement payout for medical malpractice lawsuits is around $242,000. However, each medical malpractice case is unique, so your settlement amount could differ. For example, minor malpractice cases that result in the patient suffering from short-term disabilities can have an average payout between $10,000-$30,000.
Patients who sustain permanent injuries due to medical negligence can receive a payout of around $1,000,000, while medical malpractice cases that result in death can have a much higher settlement.
Factors That Affect The Settlement Amount
Generally, in other types of civil lawsuits, settlements are handled by the defendant’s insurance company. However, in medical malpractice lawsuits, the defendant’s approval is required for a settlement payout because it can impact their insurance premiums. Most defendants also prefer that their malpractice case goes to trial because it can increase their chances of obtaining a favorable verdict.
Additional factors can affect medical malpractice settlements, including the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries, whether they can fully recover from the damages, witnesses present, the accuracy of the plaintiff’s claim, the number of anticipated damages, and any aggravating factors. For example, medical malpractice cases that include severe surgical errors or a physician’s previous record of malpractice can result in a higher payout.
Another factor that can contribute to medical malpractice settlements is state law. For example, some states require defendants to pay the entire settlement amount at once, while others can have defendants pay a structured settlement.
A common reason for unsuccessful medical malpractice cases is that plaintiffs don’t have the required knowledge of the law, so they fail to gather sufficient evidence or expert witnesses to support their claims. Getting guidance from an experienced attorney will increase the chances of obtaining a full and fair settlement from the medical malpractice lawsuit.
When you hire an experienced malpractice attorney, they can use their expert negotiation skills during settlement talks and help you receive full compensation for your damages. They can also help you prepare for trial if the defendant or insurance company refuses to agree to a settlement.
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