Medical malpractice cases include claims against healthcare providers who are making a mistake or were negligent while providing care to a patient. A claim can range from negligent to severe negligence for cases that lead to death or a serious complication. These cases can be life-altering for many of the victims. The victim’s lawyer and the representatives of the healthcare provider’s insurance company deliberate and agree upon payouts/settlements.
SETTLEMENTS VS. TRIAL
According to the National Practitioner Data Bank or NPDB, over 96% of all medical malpractice cases will end as a settlement, before ever reaching a trial. NPDB says that from the data they have collected it is apparent that most healthcare providers prefer to settle a case outside of court for a range of reasons. These include the fact that the physician doesn’t have a good chance of winning the case because they did make a mistake and most physicians do not want to deal with long and drawn-out legal battles. Healthcare providers who are covered by insurance companies can also be sued for bad faith by those insurance companies if they are involved in a grossly negligent malpractice suit.
The amount of each payout can be difficult to compare between states. Many states have laws that aim to protect the plaintiff or the defendant and set payment caps. Currently, there is not much correlation between state legislation, the size of the state or the number of cases in regards to the amount of payouts total. Maryland is in the top 5 states in terms of medical malpractice payouts per capita. Maryland’s total payouts for medical malpractice totaled $91 million in 2014 for 308 payouts.