Resolving Medical Malpractice Matters Through Mediation
There are numerous benefits associated with using mediation to resolve medical malpractice disputes. The mediation process affords both parties more control over the process, often reduces the cost of litigation, and can expedite dispute resolution for all. Medical malpractice mediation also presents its challenges.
Given the nature of medical malpractice claims, the atmosphere at these hearings can be tense, and negotiations can be emotionally charged. What follows illustrates the importance of understanding the nuances of medical malpractice matters whether one is an advocate or a neutral seeking to assist the parties to reach a settlement.
Rolling the Trial Dice or Achieving a Settlement
A major impediment to settlement in medical malpractice disputes is the required reporting to the federal National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB). All medical malpractice settlements or payments of judgment are reportable against the physician, if there is a settlement or judgment payment made by an insurer or by the employer of a physician. So, an optimistic physician may want to “roll the dice” and go to trial rather than settle, believing that he or she will win, rather than agreeing to a settlement reportable in the federal database.
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