Patients put their trust in doctors and other medical professionals to help them with injuries and illnesses. When health care providers fail to properly care for a patient, they can suffer serious harm that may result in permanent injury or death. In many cases, victims of medical negligence can recover compensation for their suffering.
Medical errors account for more than 100,000 injuries in the U.S. each year, many of which are fatal. Injuries caused by medical malpractice are entirely preventable if proper safety measures are taken, but patients continue to be harmed by negligent behaviors. Insurance companies will do whatever they can to avoid paying damages to injured patients. Having a medical malpractice lawyer by your side can help ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals must provide patients with a reasonable standard of care; that is, the same level of care that any similarly trained professional would reasonably be expected to provide. If they fail to do so, and a patient is harmed as a result, the patient or their family can pursue a medical malpractice claim against them. Expert witnesses from the medical field are brought in to establish what the standard of care should have been and how the provider failed to uphold it.
Medical negligence can occur at any time during diagnosis, treatment, or aftercare. Common situations that result in medical errors include:
- Emergency room errors
- Birth injuries
- Surgical complications, including foreign objects in the body
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Prescription or medication errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Nursing home neglect or abuse
Medical Malpractice in Virginia
When a patient is injured due to medical negligence, it is important to file a claim within the statute of limitations. In Virginia, patients have two years from the time that the malpractice occurred to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against the provider, regardless of whether the injury was discovered at a later time. However, if the patient is still receiving treatment for the injury, they can delay filing the suit until their treatment has concluded. If a patient dies from their injuries, their family can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the patient’s death.
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, patients can seek damages to cover costly medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering related to their injury. Medical malpractice cases in Virginia are subject to a damages cap, which limits the amount of compensation a patient or their family can receive. The cap gradually increases each year, so depending on when the malpractice took place, patients may be eligible for different amounts. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help ensure that patients receive the maximum compensation they are entitled.
In cases where there is more than one defendant, Virginia allows for each defendant to be held responsible for all the patient’s damages, as opposed to splitting it up according to their degree of fault. Virginia is also a contributory negligence state, so if the patient somehow contributed to their own injury, they would not be able to hold their doctor accountable. For example, if the patient missed appointments or failed to follow their prescription regimen, they could not sue their health care provider for any harm they suffer.
Our Virginia Beach Medical Malpractice Lawyers Provide Comprehensive Representation to Victims of Medical Negligence
If you or a loved one was the victim of medical negligence, our experienced Virginia Beach medical malpractice lawyers can help. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we will thoroughly review the facts of your case and prepare an aggressive legal strategy to obtain the compensation you deserve. With offices conveniently located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we help injured patients and their families throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk. Call us today at 757-352-2237 or contact us online for an initial consultation.