If you or a loved one has been injured in the midst of medical treatment or care, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be an option. A medical malpractice suit can result in compensation for your medical bills, any lost income, pain and suffering, and any other damages that resulted from your injury. A lawsuit can provide you with the money you need to care for yourself or your family if your injury was caused by a mistake made by your medical provider or through negligent care. There are a variety of factors to consider when you are thinking about filing a malpractice claim.
The odds of winning your claim is a common question, so you should consider the following before you make a final decision on moving forward.
Statistics of Medical Malpractice Case Outcomes
When studying the outcomes of different malpractice cases over 20 years, it was found that the courts rule in favor of the doctor the majority of the time. Statistically, doctors win between 80% to 90% of cases with weaker evidence. They win 70% of cases with mediocre evidence, and 50% of trials that have solid evidence of negligence or mismanagement. Those cases attorneys classify as defensible will have a high percentage of dismissals without payment, typically 80% to 90%. This shows the difficulty patients have when trying to reclaim damages due to malpractice, no matter the strength of the evidence.
The study shows a variety of possibilities for the physician’s success rates in malpractice cases. One reason is the theory that the jury is skeptical of anyone who would sue a doctor. A jury is also likely to be more empathetic to a doctor. One reason for the distrust with jurors is the fact that there are so many fraudulent malpractice cases against physicians. This problem has made the process very hard for those who have true suffering due to the negligence of a medical provider. There is also evidence that doctors will spend much more money on their defense team than a plaintiff will.
The plaintiff has the burden of proof in a malpractice lawsuit, which the jury takes very seriously. A jury will typically provide benefit of the doubt to the defendant if each party shows verifiable evidence. Trends among juries show that malpractice cases through time are more difficult for a plaintiff to win no matter the strength of the evidence. A plaintiff has 50% more of a chance to win at trial before a judge rather than a jury. Dairn Shane of Preszler Law of Vancouver says that surprisingly, claims of medical malpractice do not extend to cases where the doctor made the wrong diagnosis or recommended a treatment that didn’t work, since they can’t be faulted for a reasonable judgment call. If you are going to move forward with a malpractice case, you must have an attorney on your side to help you build a strong claim.
Challenges with Malpractice Cases
To have a win in your malpractice case, you have to convince the jury that a medical provider did not take his or her duty of care reasonably. You also have to show that a provider who acted reasonably would not have acted the same way in which your provider did, thus causing you injury. This is the primary piece of proof you need to establish when you file a malpractice lawsuit. To prove negligence occurred, you may need to have experts as a part of your legal team. You must establish a strong legal team, including your attorney, when you plan to pursue a claim for malpractice. The odds of winning are statistically lower if your case goes before a jury, so your best chance at winning compensation is for a settlement before it gets to that point.
Improving Your Odds of Winning Your Case
To better increase your odds of winning your claim, you first need to mail a demand letter to your medical provider. This is the first step in the settlement process. The demand letter will describe the situation and will demand a settlement figure. This letter is something many people do not do, which lowers the odds of receiving payment.
To win your case, you need solid evidence, proof of significant injuries, lost past and future compensation and wages, along with a skilled lawyer. Your lawyer will be your biggest tool in ultimately getting money for your injuries. He or she can negotiate with malpractice insurance companies to help you obtain a settlement without stepping foot inside a courtroom. If you think you have a case for a medical malpractice lawsuit and you need compensation for your injuries, do not wait to contact an attorney. You need to begin work on your case right away to increase your chance for a settlement.