Say you were injured in a hospital. The staff may rush to rectify the issue promptly. While you definitely deserve quick and efficient medical treatment, you may also find yourself receiving calls or visits from the hospital’s attorneys. This is because the hospital wants to determine how much liability they hold for your injuries. If possible, they may immediately offer you a settlement to keep you from filing a lawsuit. While this may seem like a godsend, you should always consider speaking to a lawyer first.
Why You Should Never Accept the First Offer
When a hospital notices medical malpractice, it immediately goes on the defensive. Administrators understand the high costs associated with medical malpractice claims and lawsuits, which is why they will do everything they can to minimize the amount of money they have to pay out to a victim. This means they will have their insurance company lawyers step in to investigate the case. These parties may wish to speak to you as soon as possible with the goal of convincing you to accept a settlement.
It is important to understand that the hospital or its insurance company is not making this offer out of the goodness of their hearts; they are almost always trying to avoid a costly lawsuit. Their initial offers may be only a fraction of what they would have to pay if they went to court, which is why they will do everything they can to convince you to take it. If you accept a lowball offer, you will be required to sign a contract stating that you will not file a lawsuit against the hospital. After this point, even if you do realize the hospital lowballed you, you will not be able to receive any more money from them.
We at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, know firsthand how devastating hospital negligence can be. Victims immediately rack up thousands of dollars in medical bills because a doctor or nurse failed them. You may be in desperate need of quick cash to cover these bills and get back on your feet. But accepting a lowball offer is never the answer. These settlements will never match the long-term costs of your injuries, and hospitals only offer them to avoid further litigation.
However, the situation can change drastically if you contact an attorney before signing anything.
What Can a Med-Mal Lawyer Do for Me?
As experienced medical malpractice lawyers, the team at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, is dedicated to serving the best interests of people injured due to medical negligence. If you bring your case to us rather than working with the hospital’s insurance company, we can handle the legal burdens of filing a claim. This can include:
- Calculating the proper amount of money you are owed for your injuries
- Investigating the hospital for negligence
- Collecting evidence of medical malpractice
- Speaking to medical professionals about your condition
- Negotiating with the hospital’s insurance company
- Diligently representing you in a medical malpractice trial
While this process can be long and complex, the reward for working with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer far outweighs any drawbacks. Our firms offers every potential client a free initial consultation, so there is no cost to sitting down with us to discuss your case and learning how we can advocate on your behalf.
What Is a Fair Offer?
No two cases are the same, and we cannot tell you what your case is worth without looking into the details of your scenario. That being said, we can tell you what your case should include.
For starters, the hospital that injured you should cover all of the medical expenses you suffered as a result of their mistake, including surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and any future treatment. In addition, if your injuries affected your ability to work, either by causing a disability or forcing you to take time off to recover, you can include all of your lost wages and lost future earnings in a claim. By combining your medical expenses and lost wages, you can determine the economic damages of a medical malpractice claim, but they are not the only costs you can pursue.
In addition to the financial costs of your injury, our legal team can advocate for your personal costs, or non-economic costs. Generally described as pain and suffering damages, these costs can include financial compensation for the physical pain of your injuries, any mental anguish or emotional distress caused by your trauma, and any impact your injuries had on your personal life.
Together, the economic and non-economic damages you have suffered will make up the bulk of your claim, which will be significantly larger than whatever the hospital’s insurance company initially offers you.
If you or someone you love was injured as a result of hospital negligence, you may be eligible to pursue a medical malpractice claim. To do that, you will want to work with the knowledgeable New York medical malpractice attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP. With our more than 50 years of experience, we can diligently advocate on your behalf in an insurance negotiation or jury trial. We will never undervalue your case or dismiss your injuries or trauma. To sit down with a compassionate team of lawyers, call our office at (212) 986-7353 and schedule a free consultation.