Study Shows Poor Patients are Less Likely to Make Medical Malpractice Claims

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Study Shows Poor Patients are Less Likely to Make Medical Malpractice Claims

According to a recent study, poor people are less likely than people with more money to file a medical malpractice complaint. This finding contradicts the “unconscious bias” possessed by many doctors who wrongly think that low-income patients are more likely to sue.

The researchers of the study say that this type of bias might make a doctor less willing to treat low-income patients out of fear of not getting paid, or provide medical care of a lower quality than what would be given to a patient with more money.

The research team looked at social and medical studies to determine the difference in medical malpractice claims and litigation rates among patients that are socially disadvantaged compared to those that are not. The study recommends that physicians become more culturally competent, which could help them better relate to or treat someone belonging to a different ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, sex, or sexual orientation.

One reason poor people are not as likely to file a complaint is that they believe they lack the resources to bring a claim. Our Minnesota injury lawyers want you to know that your first consultation with Meshbesher & Spence is free. Should you decide to work with an attorney, you will only have to pay legal fees if a settlement or verdict is reached, and that amount will come from the money you recover and not out of your own pocket.

It is the patient that suffers when medical mistakes are made or inadequate medical care is provided. Do not be intimated about exploring your legal options or worry that filing a Minnesota medical malpractice case is an action that you cannot afford.

Poor Patients Less Likely to Sue Doctors, Analysis Shows, US News, February 28, 2012.
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