The University of Michigan Health System has a long standing policy of actively looking for medical errors, informing the patient, apologizing (how quaint!), and offering compensation. Patients who accept compensation are not required to sign away their right to sue later.
They claim this has improved patient safety, while admitting this is difficult to measure. What it has absolutely done is DECREASE legal costs by 61% since implementation in 2001.
Can't find the reference just now, but I remember hearing a bit on the radio a couple weeks ago that some new research is actually showing that having a passenger (not a kid I assume) can actually help the driver. Something about passengers reacting to things happening on the road in ways that the driver might subconsiously pick up on -- like stopping talking when another car gets too close.