How Settlement Negotiations Work in a Medical Malpractice Case in Jacksonville
If you have been injured because of medical malpractice or negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. Many medical malpractice cases in Jacksonville are settled through negotiations with the medical malpractice insurance company. However, the settlement negotiations for medical malpractice claims involve several complex issues.
Proving Liability for Harm Caused by Medical Malpractice
The first step is to prove that the doctor is guilty of medical malpractice. The doctor is not legally liable for your damages until you prove your case. Therefore, your Jacksonville medical malpractice lawyer investigates the cause of your injuries to gather evidence supporting your claim.
Evidence in a medical malpractice claim can include:
- Medical records
- Testimony from expert witnesses and medical specialists
- Documentation of economic and non-economic damages
- Testimony from the patient, family, and friends
- Photographs and videos of the injuries
The evidence must establish the legal elements of medical malpractice. Those elements are:
- The doctor owed you a legal duty of care
- The doctor’s conduct breached the duty of care
- The doctor did not meet the standard of care for your case
- The doctor’s breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your injury
- You sustained damages because of the doctor’s actions
The strength of your evidence regarding each required element impacts settlement negotiations. The insurance company may be more willing to offer a fair settlement amount if you have strong evidence proving your case. If your evidence is weak, the insurance company might lower the settlement offer because it believes it has a good chance of winning the case if it goes to trial.
Establishing the Value of Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case
Victims of medical malpractice in Florida can seek compensation for their economic damages. These damages reimburse the victim for their financial losses. Economic damages in a medical negligence case could include:
- Medical bills for treatment related to the injuries caused by the malpractice
- Occupational, physical, and other rehabilitative therapies
- Cost of ongoing medical treatments and care
- Loss of income, including benefits, future lost wages, and diminished earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses, including household services and personal care
- Long-term skill and/or nursing care
- The cost of medical equipment, medications, and supplies
Victims can also seek compensation for non-economic damages in a medical malpractice case. These damages compensate the victim for the pain and suffering caused by the malpractice. The damages include impairments, disfigurement, decreased quality of life, emotional distress, and other intangible damages.
Settlement negotiations for medical malpractice cases in Jacksonville often focus on determining the value of future damages and non-economic damages. Your attorney may hire expert witnesses to provide evidence documenting damages, including financial professionals, medical specialists, economists, vocational experts, and more.
What Factors Impact Settlements for Medical Malpractice Cases in Jacksonville, FL?
Your Jacksonville medical malpractice lawyer analyzes how each factor in your case impacts settlement negotiations. Factors that can affect how settlement negotiations work in medical malpractice cases include, but are not limited to:
- The type of injuries or harm the malpractice caused
- The severity of the losses and injuries caused by the malpractice
- The duration of your recovery and the types of medical treatments you received because of the malpractice
- The loss of income and cost of medical care you have incurred
- Whether you sustained permanent impairments and disabilities and the extent of those conditions
- Your ability to return to your job or perform any activity that could earn an income
- Whether you have any blame that contributed to your injuries (contributory fault)
- The strength of your evidence proving medical malpractice
The willingness of the parties to negotiate a fair settlement is also a factor. If the insurance company and/or medical provider refuses to negotiate in good faith, your attorney may advise filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. The parties can settle the lawsuit through mediation or negotiations before trial.
Medical Malpractice Settlement Timeline in Jacksonville, FL
A medical malpractice case could take years to settle. It is important to understand the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Florida.
In most cases, a lawsuit must be filed within two years; however, exceptions exist. Discussing your case with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible is essential to avoid missing a deadline.
Two factors that significantly impact the settlement timeline in a medical malpractice case are:
Your Recovery Period
You do not want to settle your claim until you recover from your injuries. Knowing the extent of your injuries and damages is impossible until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). However, that could take months or more than a year, depending on the type and severity of your injuries.
During your recovery, your attorney investigates your claim and gathers evidence proving malpractice. Therefore, your attorney can prepare a demand settlement when you complete your medical care.
The Complexity of the Case
Medical malpractice claims are complex personal injury cases. They require hiring medical experts to review and analyze the medical evidence in your case. A medical expert must determine that your doctor failed to meet the standard of care and that failure caused your injuries.
Most medical malpractice cases take longer to resolve than your average personal injury case. Therefore, patience is required when pursuing a doctor or other medical provider for negligence.
Knowledgeable Jacksonville Medical Malpractice Lawyers Are Experienced in Settlement Negotiations
Negotiating a settlement for a medical malpractice claim requires knowledge of the laws governing malpractice claims. It also requires understanding the medical terminology and the damages involved in a medical malpractice case.
An experienced Jacksonville medical malpractice attorney has extensive knowledge that benefits their clients. If you hire a lawyer with little to no experience handling malpractice cases, the attorney must spend a great deal of time researching the law to understand the elements of the case. Inexperienced lawyers could miss a crucial element that improves your negotiation position.
Medical malpractice lawyers have extensive negotiating skills. These skills help them to present a compelling argument as to why the insurance company and/or doctor should settle the case instead of taking it to court.
If you have questions about how settlement negotiations will work in your Jacksonville medical malpractice case, you can schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney.
Contact the Jacksonville Medical Malpractice Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Jacksonville
121 W. Forsyth St. #170,
Jacksonville, FL 32202