A new study reveals that patients who suffer medical malpractice and classify themselves as "poor" are less likely to sue their doctor than patients who are wealthier. This finding contradicts what many physicians think who may have an "unconscious bias" against low -income patients. Researchers believe that this bias may lead some physicians to be less willing to care for poor patients or to provide different treatment to those with limited means.
Income should not be a factor in the care you receive, nor your ability to recover compensation if you have been harmed by medical negligence. If you believe you have suffered an injury as the result of a medical mistake it is important to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
The study conducted by a California physician analyzed the number of medical malpractice claims among low-income patients as compared to other groups. The study concluded that as the result of limited access to both legal and financial resources, low-income individuals harmed by preventable medical mistakes were less likely to file medical malpractice lawsuits.
However in many situations, law firms will file medical malpractice lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This means that an injured party or a surviving family member where a wrongful death occurs, doesn't have to pay unless the lawsuit is successful.
The study also pointed out the difficulty low-income patients have in receiving care based on physician concerns that they might end up getting sued due to an completely unfounded belief that low-income patients are more litigious.
The purpose of the report was to "improve physician education and training for the delivery of culturally competent care, and empowering patients to play more meaningful roles in their health care decisions are proven strategies that can positively impact health disparities, the quality of medical care, physician satisfaction and the incidence of medical malpractice litigation."
For more information about medical malpractice or if you believe you or a loved one has suffered harm due to a physician error or hospital mistake, contact the top medical malpractice attorneys at Bostwick & Peterson for a confidential consultation.