McLean Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Millions of Americans depend on doctors, nurses, technicians, specialists, and various other healthcare providers to help them maintain chronic conditions and proactively address new ones. Fortunately, most of those highly trained experts perform their jobs capably and without any serious issues—but unfortunately, those who do not cause substantial harm to thousands of patients each year, sometimes with life-altering and permanent repercussions.

If you sustained a negative medical outcome that you believe stemmed from reckless or careless treatment by a medical professional, you may have grounds for a unique form of civil litigation that a seasoned personal injury attorney could provide irreplaceable assistance with. Filing suit against a healthcare provider is never a simple process, so it is almost always best to seek help from a McLean medical malpractice lawyer experienced with handling cases of this sensitive nature.

Medical Expert Requirements and Review Panels

Like most other states, Virginia requires individuals who want to file suit against medical professionals for negligence-related losses to have support from a qualified medical expert that they have a valid cause of civil action. As a seasoned McLean medical negligence attorney could explain, this is a somewhat unique requirement for this particular type of case, necessitated by the fact that negligence in a healthcare context is often very difficult for civil judges and juries to understand the mechanics and ultimate effects of without professional guidance.

In McLean, malpractice plaintiffs must specifically retain a medical expert who has knowledge of the area of medicine the defendant(s) practices in, and who has also practiced in that discipline or a closely related one within a year of when they begin serving as a qualified expert in the claim. That expert must then lend their expertise and experience toward a comprehensive argument that the defendant(s) violated a specific standard of care applicable to that discipline under the circumstances in question.

Notably, expert testimony may not be strictly required in cases involving egregious and obvious negligence, like a surgeon leaving a foreign object inside a patient’s body. Additionally, Virginia allows either side of a malpractice action to request a non-binding review of the case by a neutral panel of experts chosen by the state Supreme Court, whose testimony could later be used as evidence in ensuing legal proceedings.

How Damage Caps and Filing Deadlines Could Impact Recovery

Under Code of Virginia §8.01-581.15, a cap on non-economic damages—meaning subjective losses like physical pain and emotional suffering—applies specifically to medical malpractice cases. This cap is $2.5 million for cases filed between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, with an increase of $50,000 scheduled to occur halfway through each calendar year.

Furthermore, VA Code §8.01-243 sets a filing deadline of two years after accrual of a cause of action for most medical malpractice claims in McLean, although there are a few exceptions under unique circumstances that a lawyer could explain in more detail if applicable. For example, if a minor suffers injury due to medical negligence prior to their eighth birthday, VA Code §8.01-243.1 sets the filing deadline for an ensuing malpractice claim at the minor’s 10th birthday.

Speak with a McLean Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

Holding a healthcare professional or their employer liable for damages caused by negligence is an especially complex form of personal injury litigation. Various rules apply to this type of case that do not affect other personal injury claims, and without guidance from a knowledgeable legal professional, you will likely have very low chances of successfully navigating those regulations and achieving a positive case result.

Working with a McLean medical malpractice lawyer could be key to protecting your interests and rights in this kind of situation. Call today to schedule a meeting.