Liability in Virginia Medical Malpractice Cases

In order for a plaintiff to receive damages in medical malpractice cases, they must first determine that a defendant or defendants are liable; that means as a result of their inappropriate action, typically their negligence and their breach of the standard of care that the plaintiff was injured. Without liability, there is no case for moving forward.

Liability can be difficult to understand, and even more difficult to place upon a doctor or medical professional. Because of this, it is very important to consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer if you are interested in building a case for a lawsuit.

Signing a Consent Form

Typically, when a person signs a consent form, they are made aware of certain potential negative outcomes. Signing a consent for surgery does not relieve the appropriate parties of potential medical malpractice, it simply states that the person accepts that there are certain outcomes that may occur as a result of the associated risk and the acceptance of those risks as part of the consent. They cannot consent away medical malpractice.

If the doctors, nurses, or other medical providers breach the accepted standard of care and as a result of this breach, a party was injured, it does not matter if they signed the consent form allowing the medical surgery to take place.

If the outcome, was within one of the accepted risks or the known risks of the medical procedure, the consent form may apply; however, if the outcome was an accepted risk but it occurred as result of negligence, it may be possible to have a medical malpractice case.

Complication of Liability

In medical malpractice cases, the liability is complicated. First, they have to determine what the standard of care is. The determination of the applicable standard of care is typically done by talking to other doctors and practitioners who are experts in the field in determining what a doctor or nurse or medical provider should have known or should have done with all the information that was available to the potentially negligent medical provider.

If after evaluating all of those cases, the expert can say that no, the action taken by the alleged malpractice doctor was not reasonable and as a result of that the standard of care was breached, then there may be a medical malpractice case.

The liability aspect of medical malpractice cases is complicated, so they must determine what the standard of care is and then whether or not the action breached the standard of care. It is not like a car accident case where it is easy to determine. In a medical malpractice case, they first have to determine what the standard of care is and then what actions breached the standard of care and then determine if they actually breached it so first, the focus is on the determination and then the determination of whether or not they have reached that threshold level.

Common Misconceptions

The most common misconception about liability in Virginia medical malpractice cases is that because a person received an adverse outcome means that it was someone else’s fault and not within the accepted risk of surgery.

All medical procedures have risks and things do occur and not everyone recovers the same. Simply because a medical procedure did not work out as planned does not mean that malpractice has occurred.

It is tough when someone has an adverse reaction or adverse result to a medical procedure and they feel that it is something that has changed their life, but certainly, an adverse outcome does not mean that a malpractice has occurred; that is the most common misconception.

Liability in Misdiagnosis Cases

The liability occurs in Virginia misdiagnosis cases just like it occurs with other medical malpractice cases. First, they must determine what standard of care is and whether or not the action of making a misdiagnosis breach of that standard of care. Basically, they must determine what diagnosis the doctor should have made with all the information presented to them and then what actually did occur.

When someone is in a position where they are making a diagnosis with limited information, that limited information goes into the standard of care, so all the information that is presented and how it is presented is important in determining what the standard of care is and if the party misinforms the doctor or lies or does something else that may be a defense of the doctor being found guilty of any type of issue.

Consulting with an Attorney

If you or someone you know was a victim of medical malpractice, and are interested in entering into a lawsuit, make sure you know who is liable and why they are. Since liabilities can become very confusing in these cases, it is imperative that you contact a Virginia medical malpractice attorney.