I told a family this week, that I hoped and prayed that their loved one got better… and if she did heal from the pressure ulcers which developed at a local nursing home, then I would not recommend filing a lawsuit.

The husband looked shocked. “How could we let them get away with that?” he asked.

I tried to explain that whether or not a family files an nursing home or medical malpractice lawsuit is often a financial, not a moral decision.

He looked confused although not surprised that a lawyer would base a decision on money not ethics.

I tried to explain that if his wife healed, the “damages” in the case would be low. That the cost of litigation is the same for small cases or large cases. That costs to file a malpractice action and take it to trial could be around $30,000 plus attorneys fees. In addition, at the end of the day, should his family recover, they may have to give most of it back to Medicaid.

So my advice was financial. Why spend 2 years of your life in a lawsuit, if all the money goes elsewhere to pay lawyers, liens and experts? I tired to explain that it was not the best I do not use of his time or money.. and I often advise families that while they may have a case legally speaking, I do not advise that they pursue it.

Want to know if you have a case? Call our office today.

Want to learn more about the costs of malpractice litigation by reading about Medicare, Medicaid and ERISA liens – visit our website: http://

Lauren Ellerman
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