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Out of Court Settlement

Definition - What does Out of Court Settlement mean?

A medical malpractice out of court settlement allows both the plaintiff and defendant in a medical malpractice case to reach a financial agreement for a pending lawsuit without filing a lawsuit and asking the court to intervene, supervise, or approve of the settlement offer.

Advantages of an out of court settlement

Today more than ever medical malpractice claims are settled out of court, allowing both parties to avoid a protracted legal battle.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional there are several reasons to consider settling out of court.

First, going to court can be very expensive and can reduce your final payout. Whether it is hiring trial attorneys and expert witnesses or paying for expensive depositions, if you decide to take your case to court, you will pay.

Next, before deciding whether or not to take your case to court it is important to consider the stress and publicity of a public trial. Consider whether or not you want a witness to take the stand and share their story or whether you would rather keep your case off the public record.

Next, you will also need to consider how sure you are that you will win your lawsuit if you go to court. Unfortunately, juries can be fickle. Choose to settle and you will know exactly how much you will receive for your settlement. Take your case before a jury and you may win nothing.

Finally, consider whether you have one to three years to wait for a court decision. If you are facing a financial crisis, time may be of the essence. Maybe you want to settle your claim as soon as possible with the certainty that you will be compensated at least in part for your injuries and loss.

Disadvantages of settling a medical malpractice case

If you are the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case, although you may be able to settle your case more quickly and for less money, you may face several disadvantages in settling. Research has found that defendants often fair better in settlements and on average may be able to settle their cases for much less than the expected value of the injury.

Defendants may also have superior bargaining power, higher risk tolerance, better access to information, and more experienced attorneys to negotiate a settlement offer.

Additionally, medical malpractice cases can be tough to win at trial, giving the plaintiffs additional incentive to avoid trial and accept an undervalued settlement offer.

Regardless of whether you decide to take your case to court or settle, research has shown plaintiffs with strong cases are more likely to win higher settlement offers. They are also more likely to win in court.

Talk to a lawyer if you have questions about the validity of your medical malpractice case.

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