A vast majority of medical malpractice / nursing home abuse and neglect cases in this country settle before trial.
This means the parties, on their own (and sometimes with an Arbitrator who orders payment on a case) agree to a certain amount of money to give / accept to end the lawsuit.
There are many reasons to discuss settlement.
– reduces risk
– costs are less
– it might take months / years to get a trial date
– with trial comes the right to appeal (sometimes) which would take additional months / years
– person may need the money now
Most settlements are confidential. This means that the parties agree not to tell anyone (newspaper, family, friends, etc.) how much the case settled for.
There are many reasons to discuss confidential settlement.
– if the paper prints you have just won thousands of dollars in an injury settlement – can you imagine who will call you? stop by? Want to be friends again?
– sometimes, the confidential nature of a settlement gives the medical provider some peace in knowing their reputation won’t be as damaged, etc.
We typically agree to keep names of parties, amounts, etc. confidential.
Sometimes, when we have cases against the VA (Veterans Administration) the agreements cannot be confidential because tax dollars are being used to pay the claims.
If you have a potential medical malpractice case and think it will benefit all if you can shout it from the rooftops – you may be surprised to find when parties discuss their case, concerns, allegations, settle it themselves and agree not to tell the world, it can be positive as well.