What is a settlement?
A settlement is an agreement between the parties to resolve a case.
The defendant doctor and/or hospital agrees to pay a specific amount of money to the plaintiff in order to avoid an arbitration proceeding or trial before a jury. A settlement ends the case and the plaintiff is required to dismiss the action in court. As part of any settlement, the defendant doctor and/or hospital will specifically deny any negligence or liability for the plaintiff’s claim of injury or death. In addition, most settlements are confidential so that the specific facts of the case and the amount of settlement are not made public. While most plaintiffs prefer the certainty of a settlement over the uncertainty of a jury trial, it is important for a victim of medical negligence to have an attorney who understands how to obtain maximum recovery from a settlement and is also willing and capable of pursuing the case through a jury trial when a settlement offer is not reasonable. Unfortunately, many attorneys who pursue a medical malpractice case are not prepared or capable of pursuing the case through trial and will therefore settle a claim for less than reasonable value, at the client’s expense.