A settlement is reached if both parties in a medical malpractice case can resolve their issues during mediation. Settlements are reached in approximately 95% of cases that go to mediation according to some estimates.
You should understand settlements and how to reach them if you’re considering filing a medical malpractice suit for your child with cerebral palsy.
In-Depth Look at Settlements
The symptoms of cerebral palsy can vary significantly from person to person. Because of this, settlement amounts can also vary significantly, as the amount of compensation awarded is often linked with the severity of the plaintiff’s brain injury.
It’s also difficult to estimate how much typical cerebral palsy malpractice settlements are, because they are often confidential. Settlement amounts are only published when a government institution is involved.
Assessing some of these published settlements, however, can give some indication of the potential amounts families affected by cerebral palsy stand to gain.
The Washington Times reported that the family of a boy with cerebral palsy received a $9 million settlement in 2014 from the Honolulu military hospital where he was born.
The family’s lawsuit alleged that the hospital failed to respond to indicators that the boy’s mother’s uterus had ruptured and delayed performing a caesarean section (C-section), leading the boy to develop cerebral palsy so severe that he’ll require 24-hour care for his entire life.
Having to appear in court can be so stressful that it causes a psychological disorder called “Litigation Stress Syndrome”. This condition affects defendants as well as plaintiffs because the trials force them to relive traumatic moments and can even cause flashbacks and nightmares.
For this reason, most cases settle out of court. Negotiating that settlement can be difficult. Both parties typically string out negotiations, as they believe that they have a better chance of winning than their opponent.
Parties should weigh the risk of an unfavorable outcome when negotiating a settlement. During a long negotiation there’s more of a chance that new evidence will be unearthed, which could deplete the settlement amount.
What is Your Case Worth?
A number of factors can influence the value of a medical malpractice case. These factors include:
- Medical Expenses, incurring of all costs associated with your case.
- The type of CP you have is a direct determinate of your case value.
- Stress emotionally, socially, physically that would impact your overall quality of life.
- How in depth medical negligence has been impacted.
Considering these factors, it’s unsurprising that a Chicago family received an especially large settlement in February 2016. The six-year-old boy developed an irreversible brain injury and cerebral palsy when his physician allegedly performed experimental surgeries.
The brain injury was believed to be the result of the 25th surgery, to correct a leak in the boy’s esophagus and other non-life-threatening conditions. As a result, the boy will now need lifelong care. The family received a $30 million settlement, the fourth largest payment for a medical malpractice case involving a child. Reach out to a cerebral palsy attorney to learn more about your options.