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Negotiating a Settlement in a Medical Malpractice Case

medical malpracticeVictims of medical malpractice deserve compensation for their injuries, but insurance companies will do everything they can to settle on the lowest amount possible. This is why working with a medical malpractice lawyer is so important. An experienced legal professional has the knowledge and resources to investigate the incident, present convincing evidence, and negotiate a fair settlement.

Proving Medical Malpractice Negligence and Causation

Before settlement negotiations begin, you and your lawyer must prove that the doctor was negligent and that their action or inaction directly caused your injuries.

Proving negligence involves demonstrating that the doctor failed to act with “due care.” This means they did not behave how a sensible, responsible doctor would. New Jersey operates on a “modified comparative fault” framework, which states that the injured person must be less than 50% responsible for their injuries to seek compensation.

Proving causation is even more complicated. To win a medical malpractice case, you must show that the injury directly resulted from the doctor’s action or inaction. Sometimes, superseding causes are to blame for medical injuries, leaving you without a viable case despite your doctor’s apparent negligence.

Negotiating a Medical Malpractice Settlement

After establishing that your doctor is liable for your injuries, it’s time to determine the value of your claim. This includes all losses sustained as a result of your doctor’s negligence, including:

  • Medical bills to correct the problem
  • Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity due to long-term disability
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Pain and suffering beyond the original condition

Some of these losses don’t have a definitive dollar amount, thus complicating settlement negotiations. After all, how do you define the value of a wrongly amputated arm or leg, or the emotional distress of permanent facial paralysis? The bulk of medical malpractice negotiations focus on determining the hypothetical values of the patient’s non-economic losses. A medical malpractice attorney can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

How Settlements are Paid Out

Once you reach a settlement, you will be issued payments for your losses either as a lump sum or in structured payments for the next several years, minus any legal fees, court costs, and taxes. Your lawyer for medical malpractice can help you determine what type of payout is best for your situation.

When You Can’t Reach a Settlement

In regular personal injury cases involving minor incidents, insurance companies usually settle the claim whether the doctor accepts fault or not. However, the doctor often has the final say in a medical malpractice case. If the medical professional strongly believes they were not negligent and did not cause harm, settling out of court may be difficult.

Whether your case ends in a settlement or goes to court, Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC can represent you. We have over 70 years of experience as a medical malpractice attorney in New Jersey, so we’re more than ready to fight for you! Call us at 862-263-0770 or contact us online to schedule your free, one-hour consultation. A Spanish translator is available upon request.

  • In 2022, a year in which New Jersey courts were basically closed for trials, our firm still settled almost 100 cases for in excess of 8 million dollars.
  • Discuss the firm's 2022 settlements.
  • Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
Our Offices
  • Elmwood Park Office
    One Broadway
    Elmwood Park, New Jersey 07470
    Phone: 862-263-0770
    Fax: 973-813-3360
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    401 Hackensack Ave
    Suite 706
    Hackensack, New Jersey 07601
    Phone: 201-488-3366
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    19 Cattano Ave.
    Morristown, New Jersey 07960
    Phone: 973-922-3900
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    425 Eagle Rock Ave
    Suite 100
    Roseland, New Jersey 07068
    Phone: 973-274-5200
  • Bridgewater Office
    440 Route 22 E
    Suite 170
    Bridgewater, New Jersey 08807
    Phone: 908-927-0200