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Should I take a settlement?

Filing a lawsuit against a doctor or health care facility can be especially intimidating because the defendants are often corporations who have a dedicated legal team to handle accusations of medical malpractice. However, this should not discourage victims from pursuing legal recourse. Instead, it should demonstrate the importance of hiring your own legal counsel who can use their resources to protect your rights and interests.

Many personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court, and this is especially true for medical malpractice cases. One reason for this is because doctors and hospitals generally do not want the negative publicity that a trial would bring. While a settlement can definitely be a good option for the victim, it's important not to even consider this path without first talking with your attorney.

Whether a settlement is even a possibility depends on many different factors, including the strength and/or weakness of the evidence, what juries have decided in similar cases and whether the facility or doctor in question has a history of medical malpractice complaints. One of the most important factors to deciding whether to take a settlement is also the amount of money being offered.

These types of cases often involve large amounts of money, and seeing those figures can be very enticing for the victim. However, it's important not to sell yourself short. Your attorney can be an invaluable resource in helping you understand whether the settlement amount is acceptable or whether you should counter or decline the settlement and proceed to trial. It's important to explore all of the options and possibilities before making a final decision.

Source: FindLaw, "Resolution Before Trial: Settlement," accessed June 17, 2015

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