Calculating the Payout of a Medical Malpractice Suit
One of the most common questions that victims of medical malpractice have for their legal team involves the ultimate payout of the lawsuit. Many individuals begin to add the numbers up themselves, which isn’t always accurate. Unfortunately, there’s no firm answer to this question as each case is unique. You must take the case to a lawyer who can take a look at all the evidence and legal bills and give you an accurate number. Only a lawyer can best estimate what the court will do. That being said, the total payout of your medical malpractice suit is calculated based on a few different factors.
Settlement Vs. Trial
A settlement is when you come to an agreement with the insurance company or those at fault for a certain amount rather than going to trial. This amount is usually less, but it is guaranteed, whereas the results of a trial are not always certain. Those that aren’t sure if the trial will be profitable usually settle. Going to trial takes longer, but if you have enough evidence to thoroughly prove your case, you may be compensated at a much higher rate than you would in a settlement.
Your lawyer should go through the ins and outs of a settlement vs. a trial, along with the expected payout of each option. Always ask questions to make sure that you understand everything that will happen, step-by-step.
Factors in a Malpractice Case
When you first meet with your lawyer, they will explain how the total of a lawsuit will be calculated. Amounts are split into two categories: damages that you can calculate and damages that cannot be calculated.
Damages that are calculable will include most of what you’re seeking. Medical bills, lost earnings, and lost future earning capacity are all calculable because they have an exact amount. Medical bills that you incurred from the medical procedure in question will be included in their exact amount. Future medical bills, such as long-term care will be calculated based on the current bills.
If this accident has left you disabled or in any way unable to work or earn in your current capacity, this will be calculated based on your pay stubs and financial records. For families where malpractice led to the death of a loved one, “loss of consortium” covers that loved one’s lost current and future wages. This amount must be calculated by an expert because inflation is taken into account. So, if you’re getting paid $30,000 a year, for example, and you’ve lost the ability to work in this field, you’ll need a professional to factor in “present-day value,” which is a rough estimation of how this amount would grow for the next decade or amount of years until you retire.
Damages that cannot be calculated include pain and suffering. Depending on how grave the medical error was, how injured you are, and how the factors of your case line up, this may be a substantial part of your case.
Finding the Right Legal Advice
You’ll need an experienced legal team on your side to make sure that you’re fairly compensated after a medical accident. Your doctor’s insurance company has a team of lawyers protecting them, and you should have the same. To talk to a lawyer that understands your case, call Alexander Law Group, PLC, at 804-271-1969 and speak to an expert today.