Richmond Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Tens of thousands of people are injured each year as a result of their medical provider’s negligence. In fact, the National Practitioner Data Bank reported in 2006 that there are between 15,000 and 19,000 medical malpractice claims each year and that figure remains steady. If you have suffered an injury as the result of a health care provider’s negligence, you should consult with an experienced Richmond Medical Malpractice Lawyer as soon as possible. An injury lawyer in Richmond will be able to look at the facts of your case and determine the best way to proceed with a claim.

Reasons for Malpractice

Surgery errors and error in diagnosis are the two most common reasons patients file medical malpractice claims. Birth injuries to newborns are also a common cause of medical malpractice claims. A failure to follow safety procedures, a poorly maintained medical facility, or a failure to obtain informed consent from the patient are also situations that could lead to medical malpractice claims, if a patient suffered injury as a result.

Statute of Limitations

In most circumstances in Virginia, the time limit for filing a medical malpractice claim – called the statute of limitations – is two years from the date of the injury, under Virginia Code Ann.8.01-243(A).  This is significant, since one U.S. Department of Justice study found that injured parties typically wait 16.5 months, on average, before filing a medical malpractice claim. In other words, most people begin taking steps to seek compensation for their injuries with less than eight months left before the time limit has passed and they are barred from recovering damages.

For this reason, it is crucial that you consult an experienced Richmond medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you discover that you or a loved one has suffered an injury as the result of a medical provider’s negligence or wrongful conduct.

Proving Medical Malpractice in Virginia

In order to prove that your medical practitioner committed medical malpractice, you will need to establish that his or her actions fell below the accepted standard of care for a doctor in the same field facing similar circumstances.

If your case progresses to trial, the court will hear testimony from various medical experts who can convey the accepted standard of care and whether your doctor’s treatment or diagnosis was reasonable, or whether it fell below the standard. Your Virginia medical malpractice attorney will also put forth evidence about the type and extent of damages you have suffered.

Certain forms of medical malpractice are so egregious that they do not require the same level of proof of causation. For instance, if your surgeon left a sponge or towel inside of your body during surgery, this would be considered malpractice in most cases without the need for expert testimony.

Damages in a Virginia Medical Malpractice Case

If you prevail in your medical malpractice claim, you may be awarded damages to cover the cost of your medical bills, hospital stays, recovery and rehabilitation, both past and future loss of wages, and pain and suffering. If your injuries have been disabling, you may be compensated for the loss of enjoyment of life, loss of career and educational opportunities, loss of participation in family relationships, and other similar damages.

If the health care provider’s conduct was outrageous or reckless, you may also be awarded punitive damages meant to deter future bad conduct. However, in Virginia punitive damages are capped at $350,000. Virginia has imposed a current limitation of $2.15 million in medical malpractice cases (the amount will increase to $2.20 million on July 1, 2015) Va. Code 8.01-581.15.

Call a Richmond Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you’ve put your health in the hands of a professional who is required to provide a certain standard of care, knowing that standard has been violated can make any physical pain or impairment seem worse. A Richmond medical malpractice lawyer with our firm can work with you to pursue damages for pain, subsequent medical bills, future suffering, and other damages.  Call today for your free consultation.