Medical malpractice lawsuit funding exists to provide liquidity to malpractice plaintiffs while they wait for their case to be resolved. Personal injury lawsuits, including “med mal” cases, make up the vast majority of lawsuit settlement funding transactions. However, because malpractice cases are normally more complicated than the standard negligence proceeding, providing “lawsuit loans” for med mal plaintiffs requires a slightly different process. This post will identify some important things to keep in mind when attempting to secure a lawsuit loan on a medical malpractice case.
The American legal system places a duty of care upon all of us to protect our fellow citizens. Drivers on the roadways, business owners, as well as product manufacturers must take steps to ensure this duty of care is being met as they interact with others. Physicians must also make sure that their interaction with their patients meets the standard of care. Medical malpractice lawsuits occur when this duty is breached. The breach must be of the standard of care for similar professionals in that specialty and in the geographic area in which the treatment occurred.
In order to sustain a cause of action for malpractice against a medical professional (doctor, nurse, etc.), the negligence must be must have caused an injury or other damages to the plaintiff. In malpractice cases, plaintiffs allege many different types of damages. The most common, since we are dealing with medical care, is physical damage to the plaintiff’s body. In other instances, plaintiffs allege lost wages or other economic damages were caused by the negligence. In others, emotional or mental damages are sought.
Proving a Med Mal Lawsuit Can Be Complicated
Most states allow plaintiffs to pursue a lawsuit against a medical professional for the following reasons:
* Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a treatable condition
* Delay in the diagnosis of a treatable condition
* Misreading medical study
* Pregnancy labor & delivery malpractice
* Medication errors
* Other breaches of the applicable standard of care
There is a classic malpractice example in which a surgeon amputates the wrong leg during an operation. Obviously, a surgeon misread the chart and should have known which limb to remove. This type of clear malpractice is a rare case. Instead, most med mal lawsuits fall into an area in which lawyers, judges and juries could reasonably disagree about whether malpractice actually occurred.
Most health care professionals (including doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners) are simply trying to help. When something goes wrong with a patient’s medical condition, victims and/or their families sometimes place blame on the medical provider for these complications. However, simply because a patient gets worse does not necessarily mean the professional deviated from the standard of care and committed malpractice.
When the plaintiff proves the medical professional breached the standard of care, he/she must then prove that the breach resulted in damages. In medical negligence lawsuits, this task may not be as easy as it seems.
For example, if an oncologist misdiagnoses a patient’s Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and the plaintiff’s lawyers are able to prove the doctor was negligent, the lawyers may still find it difficult to prove damages. Due to the terminal nature of the illness, even if the patient ultimately passes on, defense attorneys will argue that any damages were not necessarily caused by the misdiagnosis. And a jury might agree.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Funding
Medical malpractice lawsuit funding is when a lawsuit “loan” company advances money to a med mal plaintiff prior to resolution. Lawsuit settlement funding outfits analyze the probability of success in malpractice cases as they do with all negligence lawsuits. One major difference however, is the complexity of issues surrounding the negligence and its resulting physical or economic ramifications.
This complexity is evidenced by the fact that medical malpractice lawsuits usually target multiple defendants. A lawsuit involving a surgery for example, requires the questioning of every medical professional present during the operation. The questioning can take many forms such as interrogatories, depositions, and other discovery requests. And only after a formal filing of the lawsuit can these parties normally be approached for examination.
Common considerations in a medical malpractice lawsuit which add to complexity include:
- drafting and filing of the Complaint
- service of the Complaint
- answering of the Complaint by defendants
- number of defendants
- addition of new defendants to the case
- naming expert witnesses
- filing and arguing motions to dismiss
- designation of trial counsel for plaintiff and defendants
- scheduling, including rescheduling witnesses, and parties to the case
- logistical issues such as travel for witnesses, experts, and parties to the case
- document compilation and production.
Simply put, there are a great deal of moving parts in a med mal lawsuit. It is no wonder that litigation can take years before the case is resolved.
Compounding the delays is the fact that many lawsuits involve very serious medical conditions which prevent plaintiffs from working or otherwise earning a living. This often results in financial difficulty for plaintiffs care not about a plaintiff’s financial condition.
Lawsuit loans arose as a way to ease these financial hardships. A lawsuit funding transaction occurs when a plaintiff assigns a portion of the future proceeds of the case to the lawsuit funding company. If the case settles, the “med mal lawsuit loan” is paid back according to the terms and conditions in the funding contract. The proceeds can be used at the plaintiff’s discretion and are repaid in the event there is no recovery. The money is normally used to pay bills, mortgage payments, car payments, groceries, insurance premiums or whatever the plaintiff deems suitable. This is great news for plaintiffs who fall behind on their expenses.
The bad news is that medical malpractice lawsuit loans are not your typical negligence case such as a car accident or slip and fall. Because of their complexity med mal lawsuit funding is more difficult to obtain. The reason is because they are so difficult to win. In many jurisdictions, the chances of prevailing in a med mal lawsuit is one out of three cases filed. When investing in med mal lawsuit loans, where any loss is a total loss of investment, one out of three is not the greatest gamble.
Regardless, lawsuit funding companies offer pre-settlement loans on medical malpractice cases every single day. While their complexity makes them difficult to litigate and thus difficult to approve for funding, plaintiffs still need support. The lawsuit funding business offers help while plaintiffs patiently wait for relief.
Thank you for your interest in the lawsuit cash advance industry.