Apology law is a branch of law that allows person to issue apologies as a partial remedy for wrongdoing, violations, or legal liability. For instance, many juveniles are allowed to issue apology letters to owners whose property they have vandalized. Or, a company may issue an apology letter as a response to a poorly performed contract.
Under personal injury laws, apology letters are often associated with doctors, physicians, and health care providers that have been part of a medical malpractice incident.
One advantage of an apology letter is that it tends to express the point of view of the liable party more clearly. Even with a monetary damages award, the plaintiff in a lawsuit might not always understand what exactly happened or how they received their injuries or losses. With an apology letter, the legal issues and liability questions often become more clear. Also, an apology letter tends to be more personal than other approaches.
Another advantage of an apology letter is that it can sometimes provide an alternative option for the liable party. This is particularly valuable for minor parties who are facing serious consequences. Rather than being subject to restricting legal remedies, an apology letter can sometimes be a suitable remedy.
For more serious violations, an apology is sometimes simply not sufficient to remedy the wrong. This is one of the disadvantages of apology law. For instance, a medical malpractice suit that involves serious injuries may require legal damages in addition to an apology letter. Thus, apology letters are often used to supplement other more traditional legal remedies.
On another note, an apology letter can sometimes be used as evidence in court. For instance, if the doctor wrote a letter to a patient prior to a lawsuit, the letter might be used in order to prove what happened or how the plaintiff sustained their injuries. Apology letters are somewhat common in medical misdiagnosis cases.
Apology laws are newer in most states and are often applied in conjunction with other legal principles. You may need to hire a lawyer if you have any disputes or legal issues that involve a formal apology. Your attorney can help determine what your possible options are, and whether a certain remedy will be appropriate for your situation. Also, you may wish to hire lawyer if you need assistance writing an apology document yourself.
Last Modified: 03-19-2014 09:42 AM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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