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Can you settle your NY Medical Malpractice case while the jury is deliberating?

 

A:

The answer is yes.

You can settle your New York medical malpractice case at any time during the litigation process. However, you're playing a real game of chicken if you are trying to settle the case immediately before the jury comes back with a verdict. It's almost like playing high stakes roulette. You don't really know what the jury is going to do but you're taking a gamble and hoping that your settlement will be far in excess of whatever verdict the jury will come back with.

The defense, likewise, is taking a gamble that the jury will come back with much more than what they are currently willing to pay.

That's the inherent difficulty with deciding whether to settle your case while the jury is out deliberating.

There are some instances where the attorneys will agree on what is known as a “high-low” agreement as a hedge to protect all sides from an extreme verdict. For example, they may agree that if the jury returns a verdict of zero or a defense verdict, the injured victim will receive, let's say, $100,000. If the jury awards an outrageous verdict of let's say $200 million, they can agree that the maximum the insurance company will pay would be, for example, $1 million.

This creates artificial limits and reduces the risk to both sides in the event a jury either refuses to award money or awards a significantly higher amount than all sides were considering.