Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States following heart disease and cancer. With over a quarter of a million deaths each year, many patients are also left with chronic pain, a worsening of their original condition or the development of a separate condition.
Many of these situations can give rise to a medical malpractice claim where the health professional is sued for their negligent actions, or inaction, which resulted in injury to the patient. Law firms such as The Tinker Law Firm PLLC are experienced in handling such cases which may involve surgical errors, failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis, incorrect medication and medical malpractice in the delivery room.
If you believe you have been injured as a result of medical malpractice you may be able to resolve the matter through mediation. An alternative to lengthy and costly litigation, mediation offers a more human element to proceedings, as it keeps the channels of communication open between the patient and doctor. In this article, we will look further into some of the benefits of resolving a medical malpractice claim through mediation.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution and involves both parties coming together to resolve their claim through communication and negotiation. The process is facilitated by an impartial third party who does not act as a decision-maker or judge, but rather helps both parties resolve their dispute and reach an agreement.
Meditation is an option when both parties are willing to negotiate in good faith, and have a genuine and sincere desire to find a resolution to their dispute. This outlook differs greatly from the adversarial approach often associated with litigation.
Mediation offers the patient an opportunity to put forth their case and express their grievances in a confidential and relatively informal way before the other party. Similarly, the medical professional is allowed to explain their actions and affirm that they did their best while offering an apology and expressing compassion for any unintended consequences. Despite the outcome, they may still assert there was no negligence on their part and can explain their defense to the patient.
An experienced medical mediator can help both parties discern the strengths and weaknesses of their case and facilitate communication and negotiations in a constructive and dispassionate way. By understanding the merits and flaws in their arguments both parties are more likely to reach a settlement.
Taking a medical malpractice claim to court can be costly. In addition to the cost of filing the lawsuit, which is between $100 and $500, both parties must hire expert witnesses, pay their attorneys and prepare for a lengthy hearing.
The complexity of medical malpractice cases means that such cases often involve testimonies from multiple experts in different medical fields to prove negligence. Oftentimes, a report is required from each expert and with high hourly rates the costs can easily add up. Mediation can eliminate many of these expenses, making it a more cost-effective route for both parties.
Going to trial and being cross-examined can be emotionally traumatic for the litigants. Mediation offers a confidential and less aggressive way for both parties to be heard and reach an agreement without undue anxiety and stress.
As outlined in this article, mediation may offer you an alternative mechanism to resolve your medical malpractice dispute.