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Should I Let My Medical Malpractice Case Settle or Go to Trial?

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When it comes to personal injury cases, medical malpractice lawsuits tend to be more complex. However, if you suffered a severe injury or health complication while under the care of your healthcare provider, a successful medical malpractice lawsuit can ensure that you are financially compensated for your medical expenses and other losses.

While most medical malpractice cases are settled out of court, some cases go to trial if the plaintiff has an airtight case and seeks considerable damages. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can review the details of your case, explain the pros and cons of settling versus going to trial, and recommend the best legal course of action.

What Are the Components of a Viable Medical Malpractice Claim?

To have a successful medical malpractice claim, several requirements must be met, including the following:

  • The health care provider owed you a duty of care. In most cases, this is simple to prove by obtaining copies of medical records.
  • There was a breach of duty. This is more challenging to prove since it can be difficult to identify precisely how the injury happened and which healthcare provider was responsible. Examples of medical negligence involving a breach of duty include:
    • Misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis.
    • Prescription errors.
    • Medication or dosing errors.
    • Operating on the wrong body part.
    • Failure to recognize symptoms.
    • Failure to provide the necessary follow-up care.
  • The breach of duty caused your injuries. All medical malpractice cases must involve injuries. You cannot file a medical malpractice claim simply because you were unhappy with your care. You can prove this element by getting copies of your medical records and obtaining an Affidavit of Merit from an expert witness.
  • You suffered financial damages as a result of your injuries. You must be able to show the value of your cases to recover financial compensation. You can help do this by collecting the following:
    • Copies of medical bills.
    • Evidence of loss of wages.
    • Receipts for out-of-pocket expenses.
    • Proof of other losses you experienced as a result of your injuries.

What Are the Benefits of Settling Out of Court?

The main benefit of settling your medical malpractice case out of court is that you are more likely to be awarded financial compensation than if you go to trial. While the total damages you receive could be lower than a successful court case, you will still have a good chance of being awarded a significant settlement amount. In addition, you will receive your financial settlement much quicker than if your case goes to trial. When a medical malpractice case goes to trial, it can take months and even years to conclude. By settling your case out of court, you will also avoid the stress of a court battle.

When Should I Consider Taking My Case to Trial?

While most medical malpractice cases are settled out of court, there are benefits to going to trial in certain circumstances. For example, if you believe that you have an extreme chance and are seeking more financial compensation than the defendant will pay, you may pursue a fair payout by taking your case to trial. Keep in mind, however, that there is a high risk and reward associated with this action plan. You could either walk away with a substantial settlement or leave the courtroom empty-handed.

Why Would My Healthcare Provider Agree to Settle Out of Court?

Generally, many healthcare providers prefer to avoid the time-consuming process of resolving a medical malpractice case in the courtroom. They may agree to a settlement. There are several reasons why this is often the case. For example, a healthcare provider may want to avoid the time-consuming and expensive litigation process. Settling the case means that they can save time and money, resolve the dispute, and get back to treating their patients. In addition, a court case can damage a healthcare provider’s reputation.

What Damages Could I Be Entitled to in a Medical Malpractice Case?

If you reach a successful outcome in your medical malpractice claim, you will be eligible for financial damages. However, Ohio recognizes the doctrine of modified comparative negligence, which means that if the court finds that you were 50 percent or less responsible for your injuries, your damage award will be reduced by the percentage of your apportioned fault. Based on the outcome of your case, you may receive compensatory damages, including the following:

  • Economic damages: This includes reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses like medical bills, prescription medication, lost wages, and physical therapy.
  • Non-economic damages: These expenses are more difficult to quantify but impact your quality of life, including pain and suffering, loss of consortium, future medical bills, and loss of future earning capacity.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim?

If you are filing a medical malpractice claim in Ohio, you must file the claim within one year of the date that the injury occurred and no more than four years from the date that the alleged malpractice occurred unless a foreign object was left inside your body. If you file your claim after the deadline, your claim will likely be denied, and you will be unable to recover damages.

Dayton Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Wright & Schulte LLC Represent Clients Injured by Medical Negligence

If you suffered an injury or a health complication while under the care of a healthcare provider, you are urged to contact our Dayton medical malpractice lawyers at Wright & Schulte LLC. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 937-222-7477 or contact us online. We are located in Dayton, Ohio, and we serve clients in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Centerville, Toledo, Youngstown, and Miamisburg.