Posted in News on September 21, 2021
Medical malpractice cases can become incredibly complicated in Montana. The reality is that those harmed due to a medical error need to have a skilled medical malpractice lawyer by their side from the beginning of these claims all the way through to the conclusion of the case.
There are various reasons why medical malpractice claims get delayed in Montana. Here, we want to discuss some of the most common causes of medical malpractice claim delays so that you know what to expect moving forward with your case.
Why a Medical Malpractice Claim May be Delayed
There are various reasons why a medical malpractice claim may be delayed in Montana. Some of the most common reasons these claims get delayed include:
- Continued medical treatment. Settlement negotiations generally cannot begin until after a medical malpractice victim has completed their medical treatment. This will not occur until a doctor says that the victim has reached maximum medical improvement or has fully healed. Depending on the severity of the medical mistake and the subsequent injuries, this could take some time.
- Severity of the injuries or illness. As with any type of injury case, the more severe the injuries, the longer it will take the case to resolve. Insurance carriers know that severe injuries or illnesses will likely result in major payouts. Insurance carriers do not want to have to pay out large sums of money, so they will use their full resources to challenge claims that revolve around severe injuries.
- Dispute over liability. It could certainly be the case that medical malpractice insurance carriers and lawyers for the medical professional dispute the incident. It is very hard to prove medical malpractice claims, and the insurance carriers know this. If there is any dispute over liability, this could significantly delay how long it takes for a claim to resolve.
- The case is going to trial. If it looks like a medical malpractice case is heading for trial, this will significantly draw out the timeframe for an eventual conclusion. Medical malpractice insurance negotiations can take some time, and a medical malpractice trial will take even longer. It could take years for a medical malpractice case to get in front of a jury.
Do Insurance Companies Ever Try To Delay a Claim?
Yes, there are certainly times when insurance carriers could try to delay a medical malpractice claim. Even though an insurance carrier will never outright say that they are attempting to delay a claim, we know that this occurs. There are various reasons why this could happen.
First, it is important to understand that insurance carriers are for-profit entities, which means that they are looking at their bottom line. When they pay a claim, this takes away from the profit that will go into the pockets of the executives.
Perhaps an even bigger factor for delays in medical malpractice claims happens when an insurance carrier is publicly traded on a stock exchange. Again, these entities are in the business of increasing revenue to their bottom line. If they paid out claims to everyone, this could impact quarterly financial results. Insurance carriers, particularly publicly traded ones, live and die by these quarterly results. If an insurance carrier knows that they are going to have to pay out a major settlement for a medical malpractice claim, they may try to delay the claim until after the end of a quarter or a fiscal year.