By Perika DeRoche
This is often an inaccurate statement, even if an individual claimant suspects that he/she has a very solid case for medical malpractice. There are many reasons why a legitimate medical malpractice case may not be settled quickly.
- Many times, the first roadblock to an expeditious case is the debate over who ( if anyone) was responsible for the harm that was caused. Even when harm is established, it must be determined that there was actually negligence.
- When dealing with multiple offices/agencies, there is usually a delay in the retrieval of information. One has to minimally deal with varying legal and medical departments within the hospital or clinic, the insurance companies, governmental agencies, and in some cases law enforcement agencies.
- In the event that malpractice exists, and culpability is established, compensation is often contested. The amount of a monetary award may be challenged, as well as the type of damages this award might cover. Will the individual be entitled to actual compensatory damages (for an injury) or general damages (pain and suffering or loss of the ability to care for oneself)?
- Medical professionals are VERY resistant to being tagged as having committed malpractice. Once a medical professional has been charged with a malpractice, this becomes part of that individual’s professional record, and may have long-term consequences such as the ability to acquire insurance coverage, and employment. Future litigants may also use a previous charge of malpractice against a medical professional to bolster their own claim regardless of whether or not they have a valid claim. Additionally, medical professionals (particularly physicians), pay high premiums for malpractice insurance-which often comes with aggressive legal representation.
The only cases that get settled expeditiously are cases in which there is no dispute as to the damages that were incurred and negligence is obvious. It is customary for most medical malpractice cases to take some time for an award recovery. However, with the right legal counsel, successfully pursuing a medical malpractice case will not prove daunting. Call Simmons Grant with any questions regarding your medical malpractice claim.