Legal Malpractice is family to its cousin, Medical Malpractice. In either situation, a person has put faith in a professional, asking that a threatening problem be solved. It matters little to the client/patient whether the situation is an operation or a trial. in either, the problem is overwhelming and threatening. What happens when something goes wrong.
There are financial considerations, but equally as important is the anger which comes from believing that you’ve been let down. Here, at the crux, is where an apology might help. Dr. Emily Senay, of CBS reports on medical malpractice. It is equally applicable to legal malpractice:
"It’s not greed that drives most people to file medical malpractice lawsuits," Wojcieszak said. "It’s anger. They get — people get angry when they think there’s a cover-up."
Wojcieszak’s anger turned into action. He created the Sorry Works Coalition with a simple idea: Reduce malpractice lawsuits by telling patients the truth followed by an apology.
"Basically, what it is is we’re advocating good customer service. Without apology and disclosure, there can be no patients’ safety because as long as you’re coving up and denying, you’re never gonna learn," Wojcieszak said.
According to healthcare litigation attorney Jim Saxton even lawyers say empathy works.
"That ‘I’m sorry’ done the right way with the right process can, number one, derail a lawsuit," Saxton said.
It could also reduce costs. After the University of Michigan health system changed its medical error policy on malpractice cases, legal fees per case were more than cut in half. The legal climate is slowly changing. Twenty-nine states now have laws that protect doctors from lawsuits when they say they’re sorry.
It was the apology that opened the door for Kenney the patient and Van Pelt the doctor. "