California Birth Injury Lawyer The Firm Attorneys Case Evaluation Contact Us
Birth Injury
Birth Injury
Brachial Plexus Injury
Brain Cooling
Brain Injuries
Cerebral Palsy
Chemical Birth Defects
Delays in Development
Detecting a Birth Injury
Effect of a Birth Injury as Your Child Ages
Erb’s Palsy
Fetal Heart Tracing
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
Labor & Delivery Problems
Medical Malpractice
Medical Malpractice Arbitration
Mental Retardation
Paraplegia & Quadriplegia
Personal Injury
Premature Delivery
Shoulder Dystocia
Spinal Cord Injuries
Statute of Limitations
Wrongful Death
Contact Us

Does a doctor's apology lessen the likelihood of a medical malpractice lawsuit?

Many times following a poor outcome - whether a birth injury has occurred or other medical error - physicians are faced with a decision. Do they apologize for an outcome? Do they admit mistakes were made? If they do apologize - will this make it more or less likely that a medical malpractice action will follow?

Many families express that they wished that follow a tragic outcome, that they wished that the doctor had at least said I'm sorry, and that the need to hold someone accountable is a driver in their decision to seek justice through filing a medical malpractice action.

In order to address the issue, some states have implemented "I'm sorry" laws that allow doctors nurses and other medical professionals to express sympathy without their words being held against them as an admission of liability. The intent behind these laws is to allow greater human communication between patients and doctor when a poor outcome occurs and dissipate the anger many patients feel when doctors walk away from a medical error without addressing the patient. This anger many times leads to the filing of a lawsuit. However, these laws have not had the intended impact. In fact, the apology may lead patients to have more questions about the care they have received.

As medical malpractice lawyers committed to improving patient safety, this can be a good thing. Patients should question their doctor's actions when things go wrong - poor outcomes aren't always the result of medical malpractice, but often preventable mistakes have been made and families are left having to pay for a lifetime of medical care and therapy as the result of a doctor's negligence. Further, while sometimes the reaction to a medical error is anger and the need to hold someone accountable, the reality is that due to the expense of bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit only those meritorious claims are filed - after a careful review of medical records has shown that negligence exists - often after the initial anger has subsided, and a rational review of the facts shows fault. Whether a doctor apologizes for a mistake should be a personal decision. However, apology or not, where a mistake occurs and your life and your family's life will be affected for years to come, it is important to seek justice through filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. For more information, please contact the experienced California birth injury lawyers at Bostwick Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.

Categories: Medical Malpractice
One Embarcadero Center, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 275-3133
Map/Directions [+]

Attorney Web Design The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.