There is problem faced by many who are harmed in a medical setting: Attorneys refuse their cases, not because the harm didn’t happen but because the potential economic damages are too low. It’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of patients a year suffer some type of preventable injury or die while undergoing medical care. For many of these patients or surviving family, a lawsuit is the only hope to recover losses, learn the truth about what happened and ensure the problem is corrected. But lawyers may have to invest $50,000 or more to pursue a case, and they usually only get paid if they win or settle. The payout is determined largely by economic damages – lost earnings, medical bills and future costs caused by the injury. Those who don’t earn big paychecks – including children, the elderly and stay-at-home-moms – are the least likely to find an attorney, studies show.
Read the full article by Marshall Allen and Olga Pierce
ProPublica, Jan. 6, 2014, 9:06 a.m
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