A lawsuit over a child’s birth injuries that led to cerebral palsy has been settled. The birth of the baby, one of a pair of twins, was reportedly rife with problems. Doctors used a technique called a Pitocin augmentation to facilitate delivery, which under the circumstances, was not a recommended procedure. The child was born with serious brain injuries, which resulted in the development of cerebral palsy.
This lawsuit was ultimately settled for $2.8 million. In cases where the defendant (doctor/hospital) has good reason to believe that the plaintiff (victim) will win, a settlement is sometimes offered in order to avoid a costly and public trial. This is a complex affair that must be discussed with a lawyer, but there are some things you should know about settlements.
There Are Tradeoffs
When you take a settlement, it will be for less than the total amount you’re seeking in court. The tradeoff is that you do not have to pay court fees and that you’re guaranteed to collect at least a portion of what you’re seeking. As you can see in the case above, these settlement offers are often quite substantial.
There is almost no chance that you’ll be offered a settlement if you do not have an attorney handling your claim. Medical malpractice claims are incredibly difficult to win without a solid foundation and plenty of expert witness testimony, and the insurance companies know this. Luckily an attorney can help you determine if you’re being offered a fair amount or if the potential defendant is simply trying to avoid any court cases because they know that you stand to win quite a lot more.
There’s no way to guarantee that any lawsuit will win, so this sometimes makes settlements very attractive. If your attorney can negotiate an acceptable sum, you might find that this is a better course of action for you.
Talking to an Attorney
The parents of children with cerebral palsy have plenty on their minds, obviously, and that means that it’s sometimes difficult to imagine taking on the stress of working on a lawsuit. Most cerebral palsy lawyers work on contingency. This eliminates the upfront costs, as you don’t pay a penny in fees unless you win. Above all, having an attorney handle your claim means less stress on you, and a better chance at success.