Close to a quarter of a million people die each year from some type of medical malpractice. This includes misdiagnoses, surgical errors, misinterpreting lab results, and prescribing the improper medication or dosage. Medical malpractice is the number three most common cause of death in the U.S.
Incredibly, a mere 2% of those who suffer an injury from a doctor or healthcare facility’s medical malpractice will pursue a legal claim for compensation. Still, fewer actually will see an award for their injury, unnecessary healthcare bills, corrective procedures, treatment, or pain and suffering.
The defendants—usually a surgeon, hospital, or lab—win 80% to 90% of the jury trials where the plaintiff (patient) has a weak case of medical negligence, about 70% of the close cases, and just half of the trials in cases where a patient and his or her personal injury attorney has compelling evidence of medical negligence. Research shows that these numbers have remained about the same for the past 30 years.
An option the doesn’t involve this type of high risk at trial is medical malpractice mediation.
What is Medical Malpractice Mediation?
Mediation is a kind of alternative dispute resolution or “ADR” where a neutral third-party facilitates discussions to try to get the injured patient and the health care provider or physician to come to an agreement on compensation.
In most instances, the facilitator in a medical malpractice case mediation is an experienced medical malpractice attorney or retired judge who can appreciate the technical medical aspects of these cases. The objective of medical malpractice mediation is to speak with the parties about the strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions, and to help motivate each side toward a settlement that’s mutually acceptable.
Who Pays for The Cost of the Mediation?
Medical malpractice mediation typically involves a private mediator. As mentioned above, this individual is frequently a retired judge or a medical malpractice attorney with significant experience in medical malpractice personal injury litigation.
Mediators will usually charge an hourly rate. These fees may be split equally between the parties. However, at the end of the mediation, one of the points of compromise maybe to propose that one party pay the entire fee.
When is the Best Time To the Begin Mediation Process?
In most cases, mediation does not occur until both sides have gone through the discovery process in the lawsuit, and have a better indication on liability, causation, and damages. Nonetheless, it is smart to start preparing for the mediation process early in a case.
It’s true that in many straightforward medical malpractice cases, the issues cannot be settled in a single session. Moreover, even when a case doesn’t settle in a session, the process can be leveraged to refine the issues and determine what can be done to make a follow-up mediation worthwhile. Mediation in a complex medical malpractice case where there are numerous issues and a number of defendants should be looked upon as a process rather than as a one-time event.
Mediation may be the right first step in securing the compensation you deserve for your medical malpractice injury.
For a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Grand Rapids, contact Buchanan Firm. We can discuss your situation if you believe you’ve been injured as the result of a misdiagnosis, missed diagnosis, or an error in lab results.
Our injury lawyers in Grand Rapids proudly serve people all across Michigan, including major cities like Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Detroit, Lansing, Holland, St. Joe, and Ann Arbor, and rural towns such as Lowell, Ada, Fremont, Newaygo, Grand Haven, Rockford, and Cedar Springs. We will meet you after-hours, at home, or in the hospital to accommodate you.
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