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Does Hospital Risk Management Lesson or Increase the Chances of Malpractice?

Written by Berkowitz

Signed Agreement and ConsentHospital risk management will often contact a patient after he or she has encountered a medical error or injury. While they may seem on your side – and even claim to be contacting you to gather information so that your injury can be prevented in the future – they are not your friends and they are not working for your benefit. Injured patients often discuss their injuries and cases with hospital risk management representatives, only to find that information is later used against them during their case.

The representative will gain your trust by being polite, understanding, and even expressing a level of willingness to work directly with you to resolve your problem. Often, they will offer to pay your deductibles or even your co-pays for the costs of your treatments, as well as those that led to your injury. But, you need to be cautious. Risk management is not an injured patient’s friend. Instead, they are hired by the hospital to help them find ways to save money – and reduce the chances of a costly lawsuit. Their job is not to make you whole financially; in fact, they can lull you into a minimal amount of compensation just to save their employer money.

How Risk Management Works

While every hospital has their own interior protocol, most risk management teams will work in the same five stages:

  1. Identify the victim.
  2. Analyze the case and put the valuation on how much the case would be worth if it went to trial versus how much it could settle for.
  3. Take action and attempt to contact the injured party about the injury before they have hired an attorney or filed an official lawsuit.
  4. Monitor the case and look for new developments or ways to reduce the settlement.
  5. Control how much the hospital settles for – and try to offer much less than the patient deserves in order to save the hospital as much money as possible.

Risk Management – Much Like Insurance Claims Adjusters

In medical malpractice, hospitals do not have insurance claims adjusters contacting you; instead, they have risk management representatives. Risk managers are not bad people in general, but they have a similar job to that of the insurance claims adjuster. They will work to get your favor and trust, and then they will offer to compensate you for what is “fair” – in reality, this fair settlement is much less than you actually deserve.

They will try to make you feel as though they are your friend, and they will express that they have your best interests at heart. But, in reality, they are trying to get you to not hire an attorney and settle before you understand your legal rights – or how much your case is actually worth.

You Need Your Own Attorney – Not a Risk Management Rep

In most cases, risk managers are also attorneys; therefore, they know the law. They have spent their careers defending hospitals and physicians from malpractice lawsuits, and they know what they are allowed to say and what they can omit without being negligent. If you have been injured, you need your own experienced attorney representing your best interests. Do not trust risk management or the hospital’s attorney. Instead, contact a Connecticut hospital malpractice attorney who can be on your side and make sure that you truly are getting the best settlement for your injuries.  Visit Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation or contact us online to get started.