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Doctor Apologies and Letters of Sympathy Laws

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What are Doctor Apologies and Letters of Sympathy?

Doctor apologies are letters or correspondences that are written from a doctor to a patient explaining their liability for certain injuries or incidents. In most cases, these are related to doctor liability in a medical malpractice lawsuit. For instance, a doctor may write a letter to a patient explaining how they were injured in the course of a surgery. Another letter might focus on the outcome of a prescription error.

Letters of sympathy are similar, but usually relate to instances of wrongful death. In many states, doctor apologies are becoming more common as persons become more interested in the ins-and-outs of medical treatment that they receive.

Doctor apologies may be issued in cases involving:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Medical misdiagnosis
  • Medical negligence
  • Erroneous surgical procedures
  • Issues with prescription medications
  • Other medical conflicts

Thus, doctor apologies are intended both to provide a statement of the doctor’s role in the error, as well as an explanation of the overall incident. Doctor apologies and sympathy letters are somewhat new in the medical field, and help to remove some of the uncertainty traditionally associated with healthcare procedures.

Are Doctor Apologies Required?

Doctor apologies are not generally required by most state laws. Many states have laws which allow doctors to issue apology and sympathy letters. However, doctor apologies can also be issued voluntarily by a doctor if they desire to do so.

One thing to remember is that while doctor apologies can be helpful for patients, they are not an adequate replacement or alternative for medical compensation. That is, if the patient has suffered injury or loss that warrants the filing of a claim, they should seek the damages that they are entitled to. Some medical malpractice issues involve serious injury or loss and should be remedied through a court of law.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Doctor Apology Letters?

Doctor apologies and letters of sympathy can help to explain a doctor’s position or role in a given medical malpractice incident. They can sometimes be used as evidence in an upcoming lawsuit. If you need any assistance with medical malpractice issues, you may need to hire a lawyer for advice and legal representation. Your attorney can provide you with the information and guidance that is necessary to succeed on your legal claim.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 03-06-2017 01:38 PM PST

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