It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of patients a year suffer some kind of preventable injury, and for many, their only recourse is a lawsuit. Lawyers, however, will rarely accept cases if valued under $50,000. Lawyers have to invest time and resources in medical malpractice cases which are tied up until a verdict or settlement – and if a case is worth less than the investment, lawyers are reluctant to take the case. According to an Emory University study, up to 95% of patients who were harmed could not find an attorney to take their case, and over half of the polled attorneys responded that they would not take a case valued less than $250,000 even if it had a strong likelihood of success.
In many malpractice cases, value is directly linked to the prospective plaintiff’s lost wages. If the wages are not high enough, or if the prospective plaintiff is elderly and retired, the case is not valuable enough for the attorney. This formula basically acts as a punishment for not earning enough money. Polled attorneys suggested solutions like removing liability caps (in states that have them), or submitting medical malpractice cases to a neutral forum where attorneys would not be required.
For more explanation, read this article.