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Why Would the Defense Attorney Offer $1 Million to Settle Your Medical Malpractice Case?

There are a few answers to that question.

The first is that he thinks your case is worth more and he's trying to save some money on his clients' insurance policy.
The second is that there's no question his client, the doctor whom you sued, was careless.
The third reason is that he knows, based upon his research, that if he were to go to trial, the jury would likely come back with a higher amount of money to compensate you for your injuries.

Another reason might be to try and limit the amount of money the doctors' insurance company will have to pay if your case goes to a verdict. It might eliminate the need to pay defense counsel for the duration of trial and an appeal.

Then again, the one million dollar offer might be the total amount of the doctors' malpractice insurance policy.
If your injuries far exceed the amount of the available insurance, it might be to the doctors' benefit to offer up the full insurance policy so as not to get hit for a bad faith negotiation attempt.

But keep this in mind...

If your injuries are not significant, the defense and the doctors' insurance company will NEVER offer up this kind of money.
If it is questionable whether your doctor violated the basic standards of medical care, the defense will likely NEVER offer up this kind of money.
If you cannot show that you are more likely right than wrong that your doctor's carelessness was a cause of your injury, the defense will likely never offer up this kind of money.

You should also know that just because the defense offers one million dollars, doesn't mean that's their final offer.

Technically, in New York, a physician is required to have $1.3 million in insurance coverage for each claim. 
But just because that's the full amount of his policy, doesn't mean all of it will be offered.
If the defense does offer the full amount and your injuries are clearly worth more than the doctor's insurance policy, then you'd need to look to other sources to make up the difference. 

Typically, we look to the group in which the doctor practices as well as the hospital where the treatment happened.
If either the group or the hospital staff are partially responsible, there may be additional money available when negotiating or after a verdict.

I have one final word on this topic...

The defense isn't offering you $1 million dollars because they like you.
They're not offering you this money because they think you deserve it.
They making this offer as a business decision.

They've weighed the risks of going to trial and an unknown outcome compared to a known risk of you accepting this amount of money.
They have likely reached the conclusion that it's a safer bet for them to pony up the million dollars rather than risk the possiblity that a jury will come back with a significantly higher verdict against the doctor. That will require them to appeal and possibly wind up with a new trial on damages. That means they're back to square one and a new jury will consider the same testimony all over agatin.

The question for you is...will you accept their million dollar offer or will you opt for what's behind door #2, the unknown jury verdict?

To learn more about settlement negotiations, I invite you to watch the quick video below...


Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer