Doctor's Consent Required for Settlement in Medical Mapractice Cases
Most Medical Malpractice settlements require the doctors consent. This is different than most other personal injury cases. In automobile accidents, slip and fall etc. the insurance company can settle injury claims without the insured's knowledge, input or consent. Not so with doctors.
Doctors Consent Required for SettlementIf the "deviation from the standard of care" can't be documented you have fatal problems. Jury trials are hard to win. If the liability were clear or damages can be readily established you wouldn't need to file a lawsuit or swear in a Jury. But medical malpractice cases are different. In our "wisdom", years ago, Plaintiff Attorneys decided settlement against negligent doctors over a certain dollar amount ($10,000 in some states) should be reported to a national data base (that attorneys no longer use). Doctors then insisted on a "consent clause" in their medical malpractice insurance policies, so insurance companies could not settle malpractice claims against the doctor without the doctor's consent. Malpractice Insurance premiums skyrocketed. The American Medical Association (AMA) launched the famous "Save Our Doctors campaign including public demonstration attended by millions of Medical Providers. Now the doctor has both a "dog in the fight" and a say about whether the case goes to trial. The doctors pay a lot of money for Professional Liability Insurance (malpractice insurance); do not pay attorney fees, so almost every Medical Malpractice Lawsuit goes to trial.
Time Limits: Shorter Time To File SuitThe Statute of Limitations (deadline to file suit) in a Medical Malpractice action is generally shorter than other personal injury claims (i.e. car accident, slip and fall, etc.). In most cases you need an affidavit from a similar medical provider alleging professional negligence. It takes time to put together all documents needed to file a Medical Malpractice lawsuit.
To have an actionable Medical Malpractice case you must convince a Jury that the Doctor's treatment fell below the "standard of care" as compared to similar health care providers practicing in the same field of medicine in the same community. The level or quality of Medical Care is not available in all communities or locals.