Why is it that when an injured victim winds up winning a large verdict, which creates virtual ink in the online media and perhaps some real ink in the printed media, yet you never receive any news about what happens months or even years later, when that injured victim receives the actual final check.
Plenty of Publicity for a Huge Verdict
When a victim wins millions of dollars for his medical malpractice case, it is broadcasted all over the news channels and newspapers. This is because people love to hear about sensational verdicts, and they love to see it on TV or read about the whole case in detail, in the newspapers for example. However, nobody sees what actually happens after the jury verdict. The newspapers and TV channels only focus on the news that the victim won a huge sum of money, but fail to cover what happens afterwards.
What happens Afterwards?
Usually, in a medical malpractice cases and other personal injury cases where the amount is hefty, the defense will ask the judge to reduce the jury verdict significantly, or even to throw the verdict out. This will take months to finalize, and no matter what the trial judge decides, in all likelihood, the defense is going to disagree with the judge’s ruling, and decide to take the case up on appeal to the next highest court. In which case, it will take one or two years to receive a final resolution if the injured victim is going to be granted that amount of compensation originally awarded by the jury.
When the appeals court has finally decided, they could have significantly reduced the compensation amount that was determined by the jury. The compensation is now only a fraction of the amount that the jury had awarded. Now, there is no publicity and newspapers and TV channels do not want to cover this piece of depressing news. This type of news does not draw people into buying newspapers or watching this result unfold on TV because people have their own lives to live. According to the newspapers, this type of news is insignificant; it is not noteworthy or relevant.
Likewise, if there is a jury verdict in favor of the doctor or hospital, or the person who is sued, then you will not see much publicity. Nobody covers the story of the victim who has lost his case, and has not received any compensation or very little compensation. You only see news about the large, sensational, outrageous jury verdicts, because that is what sells newspapers and magazines, and keeps people tuned into these types of news stories.
Do not make any Financial Assumptions
Therefore, even though the jury may have awarded a huge sum of money to the victim there is no guarantee the victim will be able to see this amount. The more outrageous the figure, there is more likelihood of the court reducing the amount on appeal. Hence, if you have filed a medical malpractice case and the jury has ruled in your favor, you can hold off the celebrations until you have received your amount in the bank. Do not spend any money until you actually have it.
Jurors are usually more inclined to provide a generous amount to the victim, but judges who see these types of cases everyday will be less inclined to provide an outrageous compensation, and therefore there is large likelihood of the victim receiving a much lesser amount that what is first granted by the jury. You also have to consider the chance of an appeal. On top of this, waiting for this verdict could take more than a year and there is a chance the verdict could be small which is why most cases settle out of court. No one wants to gamble.