What Factors Affect a Medical Malpractice Settlement?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 02 March 2020
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There are many factors that may influence a medical malpractice settlement. Among them are the ability of the plaintiff to prove his case and the extent of the injury to the patient. Any expenses incurred by the patient, or those pursuing the case on his behalf, may influence the settlement amount as well. For example, medical bills and lost wages or profits may influence the amount of settlement a person is awarded. Likewise, willful misconduct or an extreme case of neglect on the part of the defendant may also affect a medical malpractice settlement.

The ability of a plaintiff to prove his case in court is one of the factors that can affect medical malpractice settlements. In order to receive a settlement, the plaintiff in a case typically has to prove some important things: He has to show that he was injured in some way and prove that the defendant caused the injury or harm. He also has to demonstrate that the injury he suffered was because of the neglect or incompetence of the defendant. If a plaintiff is unable to convince a judge or jury of these three things, he is unlikely to win his case and receive a medical malpractice settlement.


If a plaintiff is able to prove that he has been harmed because of the medical malpractice of a defendant, there are several things that may influence the settlement he is awarded. For example, the extent of the injury may play a role in the amount of money a person is awarded. An individual who has suffered moderate injuries may receive less than a person who has been disabled or permanently disfigured because of medical malpractice.

The amount of a medical malpractice settlement may also be influenced by expenses a plaintiff, or those suing on his behalf, have paid. For example, a medical malpractice lawsuit may include compensation for medical fees and legal costs the plaintiff has incurred because of the malpractice. Likewise, compensation amounts may include money to cover lost wages or profits from a business. Other expenses the plaintiff had to pay out of pocket may be included in a medical malpractice settlement as well.

Sometimes punitive damages, which are compensation amounts that exceed actual damages, affect a medical malpractice settlement as well. For example, if a defendant injured the plaintiff because of extreme negligence, the defendant may have to pay punitive damages as punishment for his actions. Likewise, punitive damages may be awarded when a judge or jury believes the defendant was willfully negligent.


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