Eberstein & Witherite Examine Apology Laws in Response to State’s Need to Decrease Number of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Dallas, Texas (WiredPRNews.com) — There have recently been several reports in the media regarding discussions taking place between state and federal government officials to find solutions to decrease the cost of health care. Many attribute the rising costs to an extremely high number of medical malpractice claims, which has prompted several states to adopt controversial laws as an approach to reducing that the number. The Dallas based personal injury law firm, Eberstein & Witherite, seeks to help increase awareness of “apology laws” and better understand the public’s perspective on the fairness and validity of these measures.
The Power of Saying Sorry
Apology laws are based on the premise that the majority of medical malpractice lawsuits are brought out of anger due to the injured party’s view that health care providers show little concern for mistakes made that contribute to injury. When a jury shares the same view, punitive damage awards may also be increased. Some legislators believe that if medical providers felt they could have the freedom to apologize for errors and engage in open communication with injured victims without the threat of legal backlash for their statements, fewer suits would be filed, and lower amounts of punitive damages would be awarded in verdicts. So far, 19 states have passed apology laws, including Texas, in hopes of encouraging families to settle with at-fault medical providers that admit to responsibility.
Several veterans’ hospitals have tested the theory behind the laws. One in particular has made it a practice to begin settlement negotiations with families fairly quickly after malpractice incidents occur. The move has contributed to lowering their payouts by an average of $80,000 or more. Some hospitals and medical malpractice insurance providers have followed suit, and taken similar measures, saving millions in expenses. However, this practice has proven to have both advantages and disadvantages for those injured and their families.
Apology Law Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages for apology law based expedited settlements include not having to deal with drawn out litigation, and obtaining compensation in a timelier manner. But one of the most acknowledged disadvantages is the amount one receives will more than likely be insufficient to cover all of the related expenses. This may ultimately place an injured party in a more devastating circumstance. Many veterans who are victims of medical malpractice are disabled and in need of long-term specialized care.
There are some cases of minor children being left orphaned and without financial or other support, due to medical malpractice. Accepting offers that do not take such factors into consideration can place additional burdens on victims that can have astronomical consequences for individual citizens and society. Individuals can contact their state’s legislators with issues, questions, or concerns related to these matters.
About Eberstein & Witherite
Eberstein & Witherite have a combined experience of more than 40 years assisting veterans and other victims of medical malpractice. The firm also provides legal assistance for those injured as a result of automobile accidents, construction accidents, defective drugs or products, dangerous premises, and other areas of personal injury law.
Eberstein & Witherite attorneys are encouraging veterans and other victims of medical malpractice to contact them at with questions regarding how apology laws might affect their case.
The firm is currently providing free consultations to personal injury victims who call their office, or consult with them online.
For more information about the Eberstein & Witherite law firm, or to inquire about apology laws in the state of Texas, please visit
Eberstein & Witherite using the web: http://www.dallastexaspersonalinjurylawyers.com
Phone: (888) 407-6669 Fax: (214) 378-6670