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Are Poor Patients More Likely to Sue for Malpractice?

Written by Berkowitz

medical malpracticeAccording to a study, Do Poor People Sue Doctors More Frequently?, poor patients are actually less likely to sue physicians for malpractice. That study was published in 2012 after a common misconception arose that those suffering financially were more likely to file a lawsuit against their physician if they were dissatisfied.

The results of the study directly countered the notion that poor patients are more likely to pursue medical negligence claims to obtain a better “payday.” Instead, poor patients were actually inclined to file less because they don’t have access to legal counsel and lack the financial resources to pursue a medical malpractice claim in the first place.

The study also focused on the unconscious bias that has been held by some physicians who refuse to treat lower-income patients out of fear that they will be sued. Also, doctors may refuse to treat lower-income patients because they assume that they will not receive payment for their services. The decision to not treat patients who may or may not provide payment is also addressed by this study.

Who Files Lawsuits More Frequently?

The reality is that less than five percent of Medicaid beneficiaries have filed malpractice claims – and considering the socio-economical class that commonly uses Medicaid, it is clear that poorer individuals do not make up the large majority of malpractice claims filed in the United States each year.

It is typically higher-income, well-educated individuals who will file malpractice lawsuits. This isn’t because they want to supplement income. Rather, they have the financial resources to find a lawyer and the education and background to recognize that their physician failed to perform his or her duties. Higher income individuals also feel the blow of limited income and often find that they have more bills that require a steady stream of income to satisfy, while those on limited means have become accustomed to their income, and their financial habits follow suit.

Poor, Middle Class and the Rich Alike Deserve Adequate Legal Representation

It doesn’t matter how much you make each year. If you were injured because of a physician’s error or negligence, you deserve the right to compensation and you should hold that physician responsible for his or her actions. The best way to do this is to contact a malpractice attorney who can assess your case, look for errors and help establish your malpractice claim.

Do not assume that, because you cannot afford an attorney, you cannot seek legal recourse against a negligent physician. Instead, call a CT medical malpractice attorney for help. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Contact us online to get started.