When something goes wrong, it is natural to want answers-what happened and how did it happen? Unfortunately, the answers to these questions are not forthcoming when it comes to resolving mistakes made in the medical field. When someone’s condition is worsened due to a medical professional’s negligence, they often find themselves facing a white wall of silence-medical professionals hiding behind hospitals who do not provide answers.

Massachusetts is one of the few states that has tried implementing a new approach when dealing with medical malpractice cases-they attempt to conduct an investigation into the error, share the findings with the victims, apologize to them and then offer some form of compensation. This is opposed to the deny and defend model that exists in the vast majority of hospital settings-these systems are characterized by a lack of transparency and a perpetuation of errors. In these systems, the only way for victims to find out what happened to them is by filing a medical malpractice case.

When the system is focused on patient safety, as it should be, then finding out what went wrong and correcting it for the next time should be a top priority. Unfortunately, this is mostly not the case-valuable information about preventing mistakes is routinely misplaced in the bureaucratic wheel.

If an individual has suffered because of a medical professional’s negligence, they should know that they have options available to them. A worsened medical condition means a person is facing extended medical bills that they had not factored into their budget. A medical malpractice suit or a settlement may be one way of recovering those costs.