What You Should Know About Receiving a Medical Malpractice Settlement

best options

A recent lawsuit against Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu has just been settled for $9 million. The medical malpractice case stemmed from an incident in September of 2010, when a pregnant woman was taken to the hospital. The woman’s medical history stated that she had a high risk of uterine rupture, yet the physician was inexperienced and didn’t call for help when the patient’s uterus ruptured.

As a result, the woman’s baby did not receive oxygen for an extended period of time. This resulted in cerebral palsy and brain damage, lifelong disabilities that require around-the-clock care. According to the family’s attorneys, the majority of the settlement funds were used to buy an annuity, which will make monthly payments into the child’s trust for the rest of his life.

All Too Common a Story
If you’ve dealt with a medical malpractice settlement, you’re likely familiar with this story. One of the issues many have to deal with is the difficulty involved with having an annuity when they may need the cash now, instead. Your best options don’t always involve getting money years later. Medical bills can cause an untold number of problems — 25% of people say that they currently owe more in medical debt than they have saved in their emergency funds.

It is possible to get cash for your settlement now by selling off your annuity. This can allow you to pay off any outstanding debt so that it stops collecting interest. It can also help you to move forward in life, considering that the outcome of your medical issue may have held you back from doing things like purchasing a home, a car, or having the financial stability to move to a new city. About 76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck and this experience is all too familiar to those who have had to file a medical malpractice suit. Keep in mind that it can take up to 45 days to receive cash for your settlement.

Know Your Best Options
In the case of obtaining cash for a settlement, what should you expect? While you’ll pay a bit to get your cash, this can be offset by investing your money wisely. If having money now allows you to eliminate the high interest rates of current loans, or even gives you money to place in the stock market, you will likely come out even — if not ahead — overall. Some companies also offer pre-settlement cash advances for those who will be receiving a settlement, but haven’t yet. In the case of the Tripler Army Medical Center case, after all, the claimants did not see a settlement until five years after the incident occurred.

Sometimes your best options aren’t to sit and wait for the money you’ve won. Consider what a settlement payout could do for you.

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