HOSPITAL ERRORS 150 150 Lauren Ellerman

I have said it many times before… An apology goes a long way to prevent litigation. Now when I say it, no one believes me because I am a “tort lawyer” / “ambulance chaser” – you know the stereotype.

But I am certain when the Wall Street Journal says apologies prevent litigation in medical malpractice situations, people will listen.

So read today’s WSJ – “Hospitals Own up to Errors.” The author Laura Landro discusses what happens when medical facilities (1) admit mistakes (2) apologize and (3) attempt to fix the problems that lead to the mistake. The result? Happier patients and fewer lawsuits.

In Virginia, there is a law that doctors can apologize and it can’t be used against them in Court. GREAT idea – lets all be human, admit mistakes, forgive one another. I know in my Med Mal and nursing home neglect practice, many clients have said “I wouldn’t have needed to hire an attorney had the facility apologized.”

After all – we are all human, and to err is human, but to forgive (or ask for forgiveness) is divine.

So yes, I am essentially telling local doctors how to put our medical malpractice law practice out of business. Be honest. Be upfront. Communicate your mistakes and maybe offer an apology, with some money – it may just make your case go away.

About the author

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at

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