Medical Malpractice Defense: What Physicians Should Know

Law Blog

As a physician, a medical malpractice lawsuit is always a concern. If you have never been sued for medical malpractice, you may not be aware of the potential outcomes or what to expect. In many cases, medical malpractice lawsuits never go to court and are often settled. Before you settle a medical malpractice claim, there are some things you need to know:

What Is a Medical Malpractice Settlement?

A settlement is an agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant to the terms of a lawsuit. For medical malpractice lawsuits, the settlement involves how much the defendant pays the plaintiff for the negative outcome he or she experienced during a medical procedure. The terms of the agreement are determined by the attorneys for each party to the lawsuit with necessary input from each of the clients as well as the medical malpractice insurance provider.

What Is the Benefit of Settling a Malpractice Claim?

The most important benefit is a settlement essentially ends the medical malpractice lawsuit. It also is ideal for a physician who believes the care they provided was adequate and appropriate. Some physicians agree to a settlement to end the stress of a lawsuit and to avoid the long process and time it takes to endure a lawsuit.

Insurance providers may also prefer to settle the lawsuit if they believe the claim will ultimately result in a monetary payment to the plaintiff if it were to go to court. You also risk a higher payout to the plaintiff if a jury decides the outcome of the case.

Keep in mind, however, a settlement is not an admission of guilt by a physician. A settlement is simply a mechanism to end the lawsuit as quickly as possible in a way that is beneficial for all parties involved.

What Are the Drawbacks of Settling a Malpractice Claim?

If you believe you were not at fault for the outcome of the plaintiff, the idea of settling a lawsuit can be upsetting. Additionally, any money paid to a plaintiff for a medical malpractice claim has to be reported to your state's licensing board. This means you may receive additional inquiries about the circumstances of the case. If you have more than one medical malpractice settlement in your career, it can impact you professionally.

When Should You Settle Your Medical Malpractice Claim?

There is no right or wrong answer as to when you should settle a claim. Every case is different. For that reason, you need to work with a medical malpractice defense attorney to determine whether or not settling a lawsuit is in your best interest based on the circumstances of the case.


23 July 2021

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