What is the Average Settlement for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

In 2018, the Medical Malpractice Report from the National Practitioner Data Bank revealed that an average payout for medical malpractice cases was around $348,065. People suing for medical malpractice got over $4 billion.

Over 95 percent of the cases concluded into settlements while 5 percent proceeded to court for a final decision.

When a healthcare professional fails to provide proper care, takes the wrong steps, or offers below-par treatment that harms someone, that’s medical malpractice.

Usually, it involves errors in diagnosing problems, giving medication, managing health, treatments, or post-treatment care.

How much one expects for compensation or settlement from a medical malpractice lawsuit depends on how much you’re hurting and if you can settle things without going to court or if you need to go to trial to get compensation for your injuries.

This article will discuss the average settlement for a medical malpractice lawsuit and the factors that influence the amount of compensation a plaintiff can get.

Medical Malpractice Settlement
What is the Average Settlement Amount for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit? Photo Source (Freepik)

What is a Medical Malpractice Settlement?

A medical malpractice settlement is an agreement in which the hospital or insurance company offers a financial payout to the harmed patient or their family.

This agreement takes place in place of a court proceeding.

It involves getting compensation for injuries caused by medical errors or negligence.

They offer financial support for patients and their families due to harm caused by medical errors and negligence by covering medical expenses, loss of income, and other damages.

In medical malpractice cases, settlements happen through negotiations between the injured person’s lawyer and the accused healthcare provider’s insurance.

They discuss and agree on a fair amount to compensate for the harm caused.

What is a Medical Malpractice Settlement?
What is a Medical Malpractice Settlement? Photo Source (Freepik)

What are the Average Settlement Amounts for Medical Malpractice Cases

According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, typical medical malpractice settlements in the US may amount to around $400,000.

Medical malpractice trials can leap to an average of about $1,000,000, but smaller settlements might just cover out-of-pocket costs.

Let’s look at the typical payouts for different cases:

  • Minor cases: Up to $10,000
  • Short-term disabilities: $10,000 to $30,000
  • Cases needing fixes: $30,000 to $100,000
  • Severe cases: $100,000 to $500,000
  • Permanent injury: Over $1,000,000

Every case is different, so the amount of compensation one gets can be very different.

This depends on how bad the injury is, what went wrong, and other specific issues in that case.

How can Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) be used in Medical Malpractice Cases

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods, such as mediation and arbitration are alternative methods that can be used to resolve medical malpractice disagreements without going to court.

Mediation involves discussing and coming up with a solution in which all parties agree. On the other hand, arbitration is a bit more formal where an arbitrator decides after hearing both sides.

ADR methods are faster and less expensive as compared to taking the case to court. This is because you have more say in what happens, unlike the unpredictable court process.

ADR methods also encourage fairness and finding a solution that everyone agrees with.

It’s a win-win situation because both sides have a say, and they’re more likely to come to an agreement that suits everyone involved.

What are the Factors that Determine the Settlement Amounts?

The factors that determine the settlement amount from a medical malpractice claim include:

  • The seriousness of your injuries. If the injuries are very serious and change your life a lot, you might get more money. For example, if it’s something that stays with you forever, you could get money for future costs, lost earnings, and the pain you’ve been through.
  • How much your treatment costs. The more money you spend on getting better, the more money you might get. This includes things like staying in the hospital, getting surgeries, taking medicine, and rehab.
  • Loss of income and future work. If your injuries stop you from working and you lose money, you might get paid for that. This includes what you’ve lost and what you might have made in the future.
  • Showing proof of what happened. Being able to prove what happened and how you got hurt is really important. Things like papers from the doctor and what experts say matter.
  • Showing proof of the mistake. It’s important to prove that the healthcare professional made a mistake. Showing their actions caused the harm is really important.
  • Laws about money. Different states have different laws which can affect how much money you might get.
  • Feeling bad. Things like how much it hurt, how it made you feel, and how it changed your life are hard to measure. But they can affect how much money you might get.
  • Who is responsible? If the healthcare person is seen as making a mistake, you might get money. But if not, you might not get anything.
  • The strength of the plaintiff’s case. When there’s a lot of good evidence backing up the person’s story, they might get more money.
  • The negotiation skills of the attorneys: If the lawyers are highly experienced in negotiating, they can get better results for the person they’re helping.

How can I Seek Help from a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

To prove medical malpractice, you need a good lawyer to show if the doctor didn’t give the right care and if that caused your injury.

They compare what the doctor did to what another would’ve done.

Every case is different, so it’s smart to talk to a skilled lawyer to make sure you get what you deserve for injuries caused by a careless doctor.

Talking to a lawyer is super helpful as:

  • Lawyers know a lot about these laws.
  • They’ll search and find all the proof you need.
  • They talk with insurance companies to get you a fair deal.
  • If things go to court, the lawyer stands up for you.
Seeking Legal Counsel from an Attorney
Seeking Legal Counsel from an Attorney. Photo Source (Forbes)

In Conclusion

How much a person gets in a medical malpractice case changes based on how bad the injury is, the treatment costs, lost income, and proving the mistake.

The average amount varies because each case is different.

Good lawyers are important to make sure someone gets the right amount by showing what went wrong and why, with evidence.

Different rules, time limits, and emotions also show why a lawyer’s help is needed in these cases.