Often, I share my very unresearched, unscientific opinions on life with people who are not interested.
Today, I am sharing my unresearched, unscientific opinion on one topic that I often get asked by friends and family who do not understand what I do.
Question: Why would someone file a malpractice lawsuit.
I.E. Why would someone sue a doctor, nurse, hospital or nursing home?
Everyone has their own reason, but I find most folks (who admit it) will fall into one of the four following categories:
1. Money – some people just want or need the money to pay for those medical bills, injury, etc. that they could not and did not plan for. What if you were not able to work ever again. Do you think cash could help? What would you do if faced with $400,000 in medical bills, no insurance and no job. Would you consider filing a lawsuit? Many do.
2. Guilt – some folks who lose a loved one to medical malpractice may file suit because they feel terrible their loved one suffered…. or, they feel terrible they helped make the healthcare decisions that lead to the injury, death, mistake, etc.
3. Recognition – MANY many clients will share with Dan and I that they would not have consulted an attorney had someone at the hospital, nursing home, etc., simply admitted their mistake and or apologized for the outcome. Simple words. I am sorry. And yet, when people do not hear those words, when their concerns are not heard and their pain is not recognized, folks will end up in a lawyer’s office seeking recognition in a different way. “That doctor will realize what he did to my family..” “That facility will apologize to me about neglecting my Mom and letting her suffer.”
4. They think it is quick and easy to sue – and they are entitled to compensation. Sadly, this is the most difficult client to assist for the following reasons:
(1) litigation is almost never quick
(2) litigation always causes emotional stress
(3) no healthcare provider will offer fair settlement early on – so the process is long
(4) no healthcare provider will ever apologize, admit a mistake and give you what you want. Ever.
So telling someone who is distraught, upset and angry that it will take years to resolve their case, cost a great deal of money, and cause an emotional toll on their family, is not always easy.
5. Prevent it from happening to someone else. Speaks for itself.
I am not sure why you want to investigate a medical malpractice case. It maybe a combination of the above reasons. We will investigate the facts of your claim, and not your motivation… and if we have expert support, we will file suit.
A lawsuit won’t take away your pain, your guilt, and will not likely prevent future mistakes. But, maybe, just maybe, you will be able to pay for your medical bills.