Our Approach To Medical Malpractice Claims in Fairfax

The following is taken from an interview with a Fairfax medical malpractice lawyer as they discuss the legal approach to malpractice cases in Virginia. For assistance filing your case, call and schedule a consultation today.

Resources Available For Medical Malpractice Claims

One of the most important steps to take in an medical malpractice case is the gathering of information. At our firm we have a doctor that reviews cases for us on the medical side and investigators on salary who can take statements from witnesses, go survey the scene, take photographs, and gather other important information. Additionally, in most medical malpractices cases the most important form of evidence is  the documentary evidence and what is in the medical records. With medical malpractice cases in particular, a lot of the time we go to experts whom we know from previous cases, or experts who have helped us review other cases. This can help us to more quickly and efficiently evaluate a case and determine a course of action.

Also, in most cases you’re not going to be able to just have any doctor in Virginia testify. It has to be someone that’s familiar with that specialty in Virginia. So, if it’s a cardiology case, then you need to have a cardiologist. If it’s a stroke case, you’re going to need to have a neurologist, maybe another doctor also like a vascular surgeon, but the medicine involved with each case will dictate what type of physicians you need to have testify in your case. So, that’s something that’s extremely important for medical malpractice cases. When you get down to the expert witnesses, they need to be familiar with the specific specialty area or procedure involved in that case and the specific medicine that gave rise to the malpractice claim.

What Do You Look For When You See A Case For The First Time?

The main goal is to first identify the earliest point where malpractice might have occurred and that’s because of the statute of limitations. Beyond that, we need to pinpoint what event or action might have been the basis for a malpractice claim, where did the breach of the standard of care occur. Those are the most important first goals.

As far as concerns, you want to know who was involved, whether or not the client has made other claims previously, if the client has relevant prior medical history, and if they were advised of potential risks of the procedure or treatment they received. The main goals are identifying the malpractice as soon as you can and identifying the records that you need in order to get an opinion as soon as you can.

What Is Your Philosophy Regarding The Attorney-Client Relationship?

My philosophy is that personal contact is extremely important. If a client has your cellphone number and knows they can call you, that gives them a sort of feeling of security they might not otherwise have. Talking to your clients, to get to know them on a personal level, is extremely important and I think the reason for that is trust. People typically trust their attorneys, but they may hold them at arm’s length.

If you can break down that barrier a little bit and really get to know them as a person, I think they’ll trust you more. Trust is extremely important in any attorney-client relationship, it’s the foundation of the relationship and that’s the reason why we have the attorney client privilege, so clients can be open and honest with us and tell us everything we need to know to represent their interests, facts that are good and bad.

Every case has its own problems or imperfections, I’m not worried about that. I’d much rather find out from my client about weaknesses in the case at the beginning of the case than during my client’s deposition because they forgot to tell me or decided not to tell me something. I want my clients to trust me, I want them to be open with me and it’s a reciprocal thing. We trust our clients just like they trust us and the more trust involved the better the relationship.