Getting an Apology from a Medical Provider, and the Legal Significance of ‘I’m Sorry’

Why Won't my Doctor Apologize for Messing up?

Searching for an apology from a doctor that committed malpractice? Want the nursing home to apologize for your loved one’s bad care? Free flowing apologies in medicine are rare. The reason why we do not hear ‘I am so sorry’ is the legal significance of obtaining an apology from a medical provider, nursing home or doctor.

We are medical malpractice attorneys who routinely sue negligent hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and physicians. If you believe you have a case involving a medical mistake that warrants an apology, call our skilled legal team now for a free case consultation. The call is free: 1-844-253-8919.

Our attorneys explain the legal significance behind getting an apology from a negligent provider.

Why Do Providers Apologize Following a Medical Mistake?

Medical Provider Apologies are Hard to Obtain

Apologizing after an error is human nature. This humility is intrinsic in our being. Further, hearing ‘I am sorry’ after one feels wronged helps to promote a bridging of the gap between patient and provider. Apologizing after a medical mistake promotes healing, cools temperatures and soothes an angry family. There is a real appeal to having a negligent nurse or physician recognize their own mistake.

Why Would a Doctor, Hospital or Nursing Home Avoid Apologizing After a Medical Error?

Dying to hear that recognition of guilt from the offending nursing home? Eager to hear the doctor introspectively recognize his own mistake? You probably will not. Here’s why.

In many states, apologies are considered a party admission. A party admission is typically admissible hearsay. This means that a jury can learn that your physician said ‘I am so sorry’ after committing malpractice. The same is true if a nursing home administrator admits to you ‘We made a mistake and I apologize.’ This can make the difference between winning and losing your case at trial, so this significance is real.

In an effort to promote a free flow of dialogue following a medical error, there has been a push to shield medical provider apologies from coming in as evidence. But does this prevent lawsuits from being filed?

Sorry, but Apologizing Does Not Reduce Litigation

Recently, certain states have passed laws protecting the use of a medical provider’s apology from being used against them in subsequent civil litigation. However, studies confirm that this does not reduce the chance that the provider will be sued. In fact, by a doctor or nurse apologizing, it may cause the patient to seek out an attorney. Although unconfirmed, researchers believe that when a medical professional apologizes for a mistake, this increases the chance of a malpractice lawsuit.

Once a patient has been made aware that the physician has committed a medical error, the patient’s incentive to pursue a claim may increase even though the apology itself cannot be introduced as evidence. — ‘Sorry’ Is Never Enough

Other Available Remedies Outside of Getting that Doctor or Nursing Home Apology

Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers for a Med Mal LawsuitFrustrated that you cannot hear ‘I am sorry’ from the offending provider? There are other avenues of justice for you and your family.

You can always report the medical mistake to your state’s department of health. We have created an exhaustive resource for how to report nursing home abuse by local agency.

Additionally, you can seek redress through the civil justice system. Our attorneys provide 100% free case consultations. We can help you sue a negligent nursing home, assisted living facility, hospital or doctor, regardless of whether they apologized for their mistake. Call or chat with us today to learn more about your legal options.

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