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Accepting a Medical Malpractice Settlement vs. Filing a Lawsuit

Published on April 8th, 2022

Most cases are often settled out of the courtroom; however, it’s not uncommon for a medical malpractice case to make it to trial. A lawyer will likely present the victim with two options, pursue a settlement through an insurance claim or file a lawsuit. Typically most cases begin with an attempt to settle in some way. If each side cannot reach an agreement, they may take the next step towards a lawsuit. However, understanding the differences between the two is essential: 

Filing a Claim: Involves requesting the insurance company for damages sustained from the accident. Advantages and disadvantages include:

  • The opportunity to settle out of court
  • You are likely to walk away with a settlement of some kind
  • Often resolve more quickly
  • Are usually less expensive than litigation
  • Fewer limitations if you are looking for the behavior to stop

Lawsuit: When an outcome is not reached through settlement negotiations, the plaintiff may choose to pursue litigation in the form of a lawsuit. These cases are heard by a judge and sometimes a jury. During this process, parties may reach an agreement outside of the courtroom, but the judge presiding over the case will make a ruling if they do not. Advantages and disadvantages include:

  • May yield a high amount of compensation
  • Help hold providers accountable to the medical standard of care
  • You risk walking away with nothing if the judge and jury do not rule in your favor
  • Lawsuits are often more costly
  • It can take longer to resolve

The process of case negotiations between parties can be stressful, and at times it can be challenging to determine whether to accept a settlement or escalate the case to trial. Having the guidance of an experienced lawyer can offer recommendations regarding possible outcomes based on your options.

Choosing Experience

Because of the nature of malpractice claims, choosing quality legal representation is one of the most critical decisions. Not all lawyers have the experience of representing cases of this nature. Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols has the tenacity and experience victims deserve when pursuing damages after medical negligence. Schedule a consultation with our Bloomington, IL medical malpractice lawyer to learn more about how our team can assist you. 

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