Medical malpractice lawsuits can take a long time, depending on the complexity of the case. Most, but not all, cases are settled out of court. The settlement is usually the result of negotiations between the involved attorneys and the negotiations don’t begin until after the end of medical treatment so all of the expenses are covered. Even so, the patient should seek the advice of an attorney as soon as possible. The patient is entitled to compensation for expenses, lost wages and damages for pain and suffering. The extent of the injury must be known before a lawsuit can be filed.
Medical malpractice is a form of personal injury law. An injury is a wrong that causes damages to the person, property, rights or reputation of the victim. The action that caused the injury may be intentional or accidental. The action happened and the result is that injury has been sustained. The individual who sustained the injury may be entitled to compensation as a result of the injury. This is why the individual needs to seek legal advice.
When you find the attorney that you can work with, be sure to follow his advice. The attorney and his staff are the experts in this area. They know the procedure and the protocol. Make sure they explain this to you so you know what to expect. You and your attorney should privately discuss what you want in the form of a settlement amount. The attorney should tell you what you can realistically expect. Once you’ve decided on the amount, he will present the amount to the other party’s law firm or insurance company. They usually take about thirty days to respond. They may accept the proposed settlement or, more likely, they will propose a counter-offer. Your law firm will relay this information. They should handle all contacts with the other party’s representatives. They are the experts in this kind of negotiation process. If the counter-offer is acceptable to you, then a settlement is reached. If not, the negotiations continue. Only you, the client can make the final decision regarding settlement. The attorney can’t make the decision. He can only relay the information and offer advice.
Before hiring the attorney his fees should have been discussed. In malpractice cases the attorney’s fees are usually about one-third of the settlement amount, but this is negotiated between attorney and client. It is in the attorney’s best interest to do a good job for you.
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