Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you believe that you have been the victim of medical malpractice due to the negligent actions of a Virginia doctor or health care provider, there may be grounds for financial compensation. Facing mounting bills and a worrisome health situation can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to navigate this difficult period alone. A lawyer with experience in medical malpractice claims in the Commonwealth of Virginia can help you breathe easier.
You should contact a Virginia medical malpractice lawyer who can help you understand how Virginia’s malpractice laws may apply to your case, and to discuss all the options that are available to you as well as your unique factual scenario. The Virginia medical malpractice attorneys at our law firm recognize your troubles and can use their extensive experience in pursuing malpractice cases to guide you through the often complicated Virginia injury claims process.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers Can Help
There is a wide array of cases that may qualify as medical malpractice, and our attorneys in Virginia are well-trained to handle any number of them. Some of the most common examples of medical malpractice include:
- Misdiagnoses by doctors
- Cauda equina syndrome malpractice
- Dental Malpractice
- Medication Error: Administering or prescribing the wrong medication
- Errors during surgery
- Malpractice cases due to improper hospital procedure
- Errors when prescribing medications
- Failure to treat a condition properly
- Lack of adequate patient monitoring.
- Anesthesia Error
- Chiropractor Malpractice
- Laboratory Error
What Makes a Medical Malpractice Case?
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The Code of Virginia, Section 8.01-581.1 defines medical malpractice law as: “any tort action or breach of contract action for personal injuries or wrongful death, based on health care or professional services rendered, or which should have been rendered, by a health care provider, to a patient.”
Generally speaking, medical malpractice is considered to be any instance when a provider of health care service—whether that’s a nursing home management company, a doctor, a radiology analysis provider, a physician’s office, or hospital—does not meet what is considered the accepted standard for medical care and this negligence of care causes a patient to sustain an injury or illness.
Put simply, if you had a procedure that resulted in an unfavorable outcome, and which could have gone differently if the proper protocol and the correct level of due diligence were taken, you may have a case for a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. If you believe this scenario accurately describes your situation, you should speak with a Virginia medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Sitting down and talking with a medical malpractice lawyer who is qualified in this area of the law is the best way to determine whether or not you have a viable case. For reference, the following list highlights some of the most common examples of potential medical malpractice.
- Abuse in a nursing home facility such as errors in medications, improper types of treatment of residents by nurses or other staff members, and the failure of the facility to treat any new condition that comes up
- Medication or drug errors such as overdose, improper use of a certain drug, dangerous combinations of specific drugs, drug allergies that are not recognized, or Gentamicin poisoning
- Birth defects or Developmental Delay
- Hospital-related infections (like meningitis)
- Surgical errors such as wrong site surgery, wrong patient surgery, leaving foreign objects in a patient’s body, and other surgical complications.
- Cases of ‘failure to diagnose’ such as meningitis, pulmonary embolism, cancer, strokes, or heart disease
You can read more about what makes a medical malpractice case in our Virginia Medical Malpractice FAQs.
The Burden of Proof in Virginia
Just as it is the responsibility of a criminal prosecutor to prove the guilt of a defendant, it is the responsibility of the alleged injured party — the plaintiff in a medical malpractice suit — to prove the liability of the health care provider. In other words, the health care professional is not liable for malpractice until certain burdens of proof are met by the plaintiff and his Virginia medical malpractice lawyers.
First, a plaintiff and his or her Virginia medical malpractice lawyer must use a variety of evidence (including expert testimony and medical records) to show that malpractice occurred; that is, a health care professional’s behavior wavered negligently from the accepted standard of care.
Secondly, the plaintiff must prove that the instance of malpractice is responsible for the injury or illness in question. This is commonly referred to as “causation.”
And lastly, the plaintiff must show that the resulting injury or illness is significant enough to warrant financial damages. If a doctor sloppily drops a piece of equipment and nicks a patient in the arm, and the results are a small cut easily taken care of with a bit of antibacterial ointment and a Band Aid, it’s unlikely sufficient damage occurred to warrant a full-fledged action for medical malpractice. Of course, this is an extreme example. Though similar requirements exist for meeting the burden of proof in Maryland, each state is unique.
Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions
In Virginia, one of the most common medical malpractice causes of action is misdiagnosis. This is when a doctor or other health care staff member provides a diagnosis for a condition that does not represent what the patient is actually suffering from. Some of the most commonly seen cases of misdiagnosis in Virginia are highlighted here:
- Heart disease: When an individual has symptoms such as stomach aches or back pain and difficulty breathing, they may be sent home with a diagnosis of acid reflux disease or an anxiety disorder when they may in fact be suffering from a heart attack or stroke.
- Yeast infections: There are a number of women that have been diagnosed with a simple yeast infection and given over the counter medications for the disorder. However, if there is a recurrence of these infections on a regular basis it may actually be a symptom of a much more serious STD.
- Stroke: Dizziness, confusion, and headaches are often times blamed on cases of intoxication when the real culprit is a stroke.
- Cancer: Though lone symptoms — such as a new mole, a nagging headache, indigestion, abdominal pain, or trouble breathing — are most often nothing more than a passing problem, any number of minor health troubles can be an early indication of a more serious infliction, such as cancer. If a doctor doesn’t properly look into or follow up on your symptoms and misses a cancer diagnosis, your situation may warrant a medical malpractice suit.
- Neck Injuries: Due to the severity of these types of injuries a misdiagnosis have an unnecessarily severe result.
These are just a few examples of commonly misdiagnosed conditions.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice
In Virginia, there is a statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits, as there is on most civil causes of action. The bad news is that this statute of limitations in the Commonwealth of Virginia is much less lenient than those imposed by neighboring states. Questions regarding statutes of limitations should be directed at an attorney familiar with medical malpractice law, because only a Virginia-based medical malpractice lawyer is qualified to give you a correct analysis of how the relevant laws affect your claim. Below are some very basic facts on the Virginia statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims.
In general, if one is filing a lawsuit in regards to medical malpractice in the state of Virginia, one will have to file within a period of two years after the actual incident. However, it is also important to understand that there are several circumstances that may extend the actual statute of limitations for your medical malpractice case in Virginia. Some of these circumstances include:
- A disability that results from the medical malpractice
- If the patient was a child
- Cases of misdiagnosis
- Mistakes that involve retained objects
The Advantages of a Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer
At our firm, our clients come first. Our Virginia medical malpractice attorneys understand the regrettable circumstances that move their clients to seek legal advice, and they do their best to make their clients feel at ease while guiding the clients and their claim through a complicated legal process. In addition to offering an understanding ear, our attorneys make sure their clients are well-informed and included in the decision making process so that their injury claim is pursued with full force, and so they can make their decisions based on all of the relevant information. Price Benowitz is a sizable firm, with offices in Virginia, Maryland, and DC. Backed by strong, centralized resources, and outfitted with a range of local attorneys, our firm and its Virginia medical malpractice lawyers are well-prepared to pursue a wide variety of personal injury cases with confidence and commitment to justice. We not only have deep knowledge of personal injury and medical malpractice law, but we also have the know-how to deal with the often unsympathetic, protect-the-bottom-line defense strategies employed by major insurance companies.
Call Our Firm for a Free Consultation Today
If you think that you or a loved one have been a victim of medical malpractice, you are likely focused on your health and a speedy recovery. But as you know, health care is expensive, and the setbacks of a medical malpractice injury can put a dent in your finances. Pursuing a medical malpractice claim with the help of a Virginia medical malpractice lawyer can help you win the financial compensation you deserve, and get your personal and professional life back on track. You are also doing your fellow Virginian a service by holding negligent medical providers responsible for their actions. If you have been damaged as a result of the negligence of a medical provider and find yourself suffering in the wake of a medical malpractice injury, it is crucial that you act quickly and contact a Virginia medical malpractice lawyer to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact our firm now for a free case evaluation.
A Virginia Medical Malpractice FAQs
Below are several links to question-and-answer pages excerpted from interviews with Thomas Soldan in which he discusses medical malpractice and misdiagnosis cases.
- On Medical Malpractice Cases
- On Pursuing Medical Malpractice Cases
- Mistakes To Avoid When Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
- Damages in Virginia Medical Malpractice Cases
- Medical Malpractice Claims
- What To Know Before Filing An Injury Claim
- Advantages of Hiring An Attorney For a Virginia Medical Malpractice Case