Should I settle out of court on a medical malpractice lawsuit against UCLA Hospital?

Asked about 2 years ago - Thousand Oaks, CA

My husband of 29 years was admitted to UCLA Hospital for seizures when he fell out of bed, landed on his head and died. My attorney, who is a personal friend and has no experience in this type of law, has advised me to make a settlement offer of $200,000.00 to keep expenses down. I believe I made a huge mistake by hiring him since not only do I disagree, but he and I bump heads constantly. Also, 9 months prior to my husband's passing, he had received a liver transplant at the same hospital after being on the list for 12 years. Since he was collecting SSD prior to the transplant until his death, my attorney suggests that we're unabe to show that he had the potential to make money in the future and therefore, I'm unable to collect on any future earnings. I disagree. Do you?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. 6

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    Answered . I am very sorry about your husband

    In order to establish a claim against UCLA hospital you will need to establish that they were negligent in their care. You will need to show that they were responsible for the fall. You may well be able to establish this, I recommend doing so through a well experience expert witness in hospital care to show the facility failed to take reasonable efforts to keep your husband safe with the knowledge of the seizure, etc.

    I would consult a local medical malpractice attorney to give you insight on the law, the facility, the amount of damage, and settlement value.

    Medical malpractice is very difficult and you should consult someone who is experienced. Your friend my be giving you good advice and loss of earnings is an important area of damages, but I would get another opinion before settling

    AVVO DISCLAIMER I am licensed in Minnesota only and my answers on Avvo assume Minnesota law. The answers I... more
  2. 5

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    1

    Answered . Your friend is not the right lawyer for you. He/she doesn't have malpractice experience. The friendship is also a detriment to the attorney-client relationship. Have your friend refer you to a reputable local malpractice attorney. You have no business relying on the advice of your friend about the value of your case and whether it is ripe to settle.

  3. 4

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    1

    Answered . My condolences on your loss. It seems much too premature to discuss dollars. As your first responder has pointed out, much goes into a malpractice proof in addition to hospitalization and death. Successful settlement offers are backed up with incredible detail as to the treatment, the standard of care, and the damages-- and it takes an adept, experienced, and diligent malpractice specialist to put it together. Your best strategy would be to find that attorney and broker a "referral fee" for your attorney friend, assuming both agree such a fee is ethical in your state.

    Best wishes for a favorable outcome ,and please remember to designate a best answer.

    This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
  4. 4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Best bet is to retain an experienced med mal lawyer who will prepare this case for trial, and not listen to your friend who wants to settle for the quick buck because he is over his head.

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  5. 2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you don't feel comfortable with your lawyer, you will never be satisfied. The settlement on the table may be the very best offer you will ever receive regardless of who is representing you. Get a second opinion and spend some time talking to your current lawyer.
    Many times people change lawyers only to regret it. Other times it is the best decision they ever made.

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