Most Pennsylvanians likely understand that professionals such as doctors are usually held to higher standards than other people would be, with regard to their work. This is important because of the amount of training medical professionals receive, and the fact that they quite often hold the lives of their patients in their hands. When a person sees a physician or enters a hospital, he or she is likely in a vulnerable state and expects to receive adequate care and treatment. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, and doctors and other hospital staff can make mistakes.
When someone is injured by the malpractice of a medical professional or institution, he or she may have the right to compensation for extra medical expenses incurred, as well as possibly pain and suffering. However, medical malpractice claims can be complicated, and the time and expense they require can be daunting, both for the injured individual, and the person who committed the malpractice. This is why, in many cases, the parties agree on a settlement amount.
One reason medical malpractice plaintiffs might consider settling before trial is that trials can be unpredictable. In fact, according to the court system of Pennsylvania, out of the 120 medical malpractice cases that went all the way to a jury verdict in 2015, 80 of them, or about 78 percent, resulted in a verdict for the defense. Almost 12 percent of verdicts awarded the victim between one and five million dollars, and only about five percent gave plaintiffs over five million dollars.
Given the above statistics, it is important to make informed decisions about when it is a good idea to settle a hospital or medical malpractice case. However, being willing to take a case to trial if necessary can be a key component of negotiating such a settlement. Pittsburgh residents who have been injured by a doctor’s malpractice may wish to consider seeking out an experienced personal injury attorney who understands how to evaluate these cases and maximize the chances of being fairly compensated.