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Why do medical practitioners offer to settle a lawsuit?

New Mexico medical practitioners will sometimes opt to settle a medical malpractice lawsuit outside of the courtroom. When making the decision whether or not to accept the settlement offer, injured patients might want to gain a better understanding of why a doctor or hospital would choose to settle a medical malpractice case.

One of the most common reasons a medical practitioner might decide to settle a case is because they want to save time and avoid the hassle of participating in court proceedings. By making a quick compensation payment to the injured patient, the institution may also end up saving money on defense costs. Furthermore, if there is strong evidence that the doctor deviated from performing the expected standard of care to a patient, settling outside the courtroom may be a viable choice.

Although a medical practitioner might see some benefits to settling a case quickly, there are drawbacks for them as well. For instance, choosing not to litigate a case may negatively affect a doctor's career in some cases. In addition, a medical malpractice settlement might lead to investigations by state licensure boards that could result in disciplinary actions.

In the event a patient suffers additional injuries or has a worsening condition due to a medication or surgical error, a consultation with an attorney may be of benefit in order to discuss the legal options available to hold the liable parties accountable for their actions. Depending on the facts surrounding a case, an attorney could determine if a settlement offer addresses and accounts for all the damages suffered by a patient or if litigation is warranted.

Source: Family Practice News, "Settling a malpractice suit is seldom a straightforward decision", Alicia Gallegos, August 12, 2014

Source: Family Practice News, "Settling a malpractice suit is seldom a straightforward decision", Alicia Gallegos, August 12, 2014

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