Medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in this country, with cancer and heart disease in the first two spots. Don’t be just another statistic – if you believe you, or a loved one, were a victim of medical malpractice, seek out a qualified Roanoke medical malpractice attorney to help guide your case. Do your research, ask questions, and understand what constitutes malpractice and negligence to protect yourself and your family.
Medical malpractice cases are historically hard to prove due to the sheer number of parties involved, from doctors and nurses to pharmaceutical companies and medical suppliers, not to mention a litany of expert witnesses. Not all cases are that complex, of course, but many are, and you will be glad you have a medical malpractice attorney in Southwest Virginia on your side in that event.
Medical malpractice is when a health care professional deviates from the standard of care required by any given medical provider in their varying fields of medicine.
Virginia Malpractice Law
When setting the statute of limitations, Virginia law makes a distinction between medical malpractice cases that result in injury and those that result in death. With injuries, the statute of limitations is two years from the injury date (not from the time the injury was discovered). However, if the person is receiving continuous treatment for the same injury sustained from the same provider deemed to be at fault, the statute of limitations can run from the date of the last treatment with the at fault medical provider.
With wrongful death cases, lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date of death.
If you are the parents of a child injured due to medical malpractice in Virginia, you must file for medical expense reimbursement within five years of the injury. If you are also seeking damages on top of expenses, you must file within two years of the negligent act. The exception to this is if the child is under eight years old; a case must be filed by the time they are 10.
In Virginia, medical malpractice claims may be brought against any type of healthcare provider. This list includes individual practitioners like doctors and nurses, or against corporations and facilities, such as hospitals. They can even be brought against employees of the healthcare provider. Most medical malpractice cases involve negligence of some kind, whereby the provider did not have the intention of harming their patient but deviated from the standard of care.
Of course, there are also intentional acts, such as fraud or battery. Overall, medical malpractice can include:
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Unnecessary or incorrect surgery
- Premature discharge
- Operating on the wrong body part
- Failure to order appropriate tests or act on those results
- Prescribing the wrong dosage or medication
- Leaving foreign objects inside the patient’s body during surgery
- Potentially fatal infections acquired in the hospital
- Failure to follow up
It’s important to note that not all poor medical outcomes qualify as medical malpractice. Sometimes, accidents simply happen. As long as the healthcare provider acted with reasonable care and skill, no medical malpractice may be found. Also, there are many factors at play when it comes to determining if you have a case or how much you can collect, from the extent of the injuries to the level of negligence involved.
Contact Altizer Law
Medical malpractice is a challenging branch of the law. It’s extremely difficult to prove medical malpractice through self-representation. An attorney skilled in medical malpractice in Southwest Virginia has the resources, time and skill to gather witnesses, do the research, and communicate with all parties.
Bettina C. Altizer and her team will do everything in their power to ensure you get strong representation for a successful case. Contact Altizer Law for a free, no-obligation consultation today at 540-345-2000.