Yes. In some circumstances a case can be settled before a formal lawsuit is filed. All doctors in New York are required to carry medical malpractice insurance and it may be possible to settle with the insurance company before filing a formal lawsuit. Settlements often occur when the cause of your injuries is clear, and the injuries you suffered and permanent consequences of those injuries are known. Unlike more common types of personal injury claims, often a physician in a medical malpractice case must approve the settlement because of “consent to settle” clauses in their medical malpractice insurance documents. This means, that there are circumstances where, despite the case being in your favor, the doctor may not consent to a settlement before trial and would rather have the case heard before a jury.