Why More Medical Malpractice Cases are Settled in Mediation

Human error plays a significant role in medical malpractice lawsuits. While accidents can happen in any industry, medical specialists are held accountable for protecting the health and safety of patients in various stages of diagnosis and treatment. When something goes wrong, a patient or family member often discusses the problem with medical malpractice lawyers to determine if a medical professional made a mistake that negatively impacted a loved one’s well-being. If a claim is filed, more court systems now assign cases to legal mediation for the following reasons to try and avoid court proceedings by settling the case.

The claim is clear-cut.When medical malpractice lawyers believe that a claim is not particularly hard to defend, the court may assign the case for mediation to bring the matter to a swift conclusion. This saves time for all parties involved and reduces pressure on the court schedule. With evidence in place and no overt controversy, the matter can possibly be resolved with the help of a neutral negotiator. If there are loose ends that need to be dealt with, mediation is a good place for them to come out so both sides can address them before going to trial if no resolution is reached.

The claim is complicated.

Conversely, if a medical malpractice suit is fiercely debated with uncertain or hotly-contested evidence on either side, the matter may be sent to mediation to dispose of it as neatly as possible. Although neither side may get exactly what they want, the end result could lead to compromise for both and avoid a jury trial where the matter may become even more confusing to everyone present. At mediation, no further testimony is presented, although sticking points that emerge as part of the settlement discussions help both sides to clarify their argument’s strengths and weaknesses before going to trial, if mediation efforts fail.

Time is important.

In cases where the patient is in failing health or there is pressure from either side to settle the case quickly due to challenges in finding expert witnesses or other related issues, mediation can cut to the chase and enable medical malpractice lawyers to resolve the matter within a limited time span.

Contributory factors.

If the plaintiff travels frequently with a job or may otherwise be less available for court proceedings, mediation may be preferable. Sometimes the plaintiff is dealing with other health issues that make it difficult to endure long waits for a court date or a complicated legal proceeding. In such cases, mediation may be able to settle the matter more efficiently and with less stress.

Medical malpractice lawyers are sometimes assigned mediation or they may elect to attempt mediation to resolve simple or difficult cases.

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