Many people just want to hear someone say that they are sorry. That goes a long ways to healing the hurt that comes with a person being upset that something terrible has happened. People underestimate the extent to which a kind word can heal. Ultimately, that is what most people want in the end.
If you start with an apology and are honest about opening lines of communication and taking responsibility for mistakes, most people will be forgiving and understanding. And will be much less likely to sue or more likely to withdraw a lawsuit. If you take time to address a person's concerns, it will generally resolve a lot of issues.
I believe that more people should start with an apology letter. If one believes that they are going to do something that may affect a particular group of people, then they ought to start with an apology letter jut to notify them of the possible impact. Therefore the forty percent of patients in malpractice suits were right.
Forty percent of patients in malpractice who say they would have accepted an apology letter instead of filing a lawsuit are liars. Every last one of them. The only reason to file a suit in the first place is because of money. Trial lawyers perpetuate this kind of nonsense too.