The decision about whether to accept a birth injury settlement always rests with you, our client. We understand how difficult and expensive it can be to provide for a child with extraordinary medical needs, and our goal is to make it as easy for you as possible. We want your child to live and to achieve. Sometimes that is best accomplished by going to trial; sometimes that is best accomplished by negotiating a settlement.
Risks And Benefits Of Settling Your Birth Injury Malpractice Case
When the medical provider’s insurance company makes its final offer, the choices are to accept a settlement or to continue on toward trial. Our clients must understand the ramifications of their decision, either way. We will give you our recommendation—when a settlement offer is extremely low, it will be clear that acceptance is not advised. If the settlement offer is high enough, we will let you know if we recommend accepting it. Sometimes, the settlement offer is somewhere in between—it is high enough to make a reasonable offer, but it may be worth moving forward to trial.
Whether to accept a settlement often depends on your tolerance for risk. A settlement offers many things. Most importantly, it offers security. You can be confident knowing the amount of money you are going to get. There is no element of chance—no reliance on a judge, a jury, or the fortunes of trial. It is a guarantee. That said, a low settlement offer is rarely worth taking.
At trial, you might receive nothing, less than the offer, equal to the offer, or more than the offer. Your lawyer can explain to you the typical verdicts in the same place as your trial, but every case is unique and every jury is unique. When the settlement offer is very low and will not have a lasting impact on your child’s life, you will clearly want to move forward to trial. Trial is also the only way to get a public ruling. Whereas a settlement is a compromise and the medical provider will not admit guilt, a verdict is a public decision about whether your child’s injuries were negligently caused.
Breakdown Of A Birth Injury Settlement
Unlike a verdict, there is no breakdown of a birth injury settlement. The person representing the defendant medical provider’s interests will not offer a settlement that is divided into categories. They will not tell us how much they are allocating to previous or future medical expenses, to pain and suffering expenses, or to lost wages. Instead, they simply negotiate the final, total amount.
Calculating The Value Of A Birth Injury Settlement
When the settlement is being worked out, your medical malpractice lawyers will let you know how the money breaks down. Importantly, you’ll want to know how much money will be used to pay medical bills, insurance or governmental assistance liens, and case expenses and fees. You’ll need to know how much money will be available for your child’s use, and whether there will be any restrictions on that money (for example, a special needs trust or structured settlement). Your lawyers should let you know these figures, at lease preliminarily, before you accept any settlement.
Our medical malpractice lawyers have years of experience in negotiating birth injury malpractice settlements. We know the value your child’s claim, and we can help to guide you through the process of determining whether settlement or trial is in your child’s best interest. For more information, contact our birth injury lawyers at (440) 252-4399 or online.