What You Should Know About Medical Malpractice Lawsuits In Virginia
Medical malpractice lawsuits are complex and consist of many issues. It can be time-consuming as well as take a toll on your mind and body. That’s why it’s important to seek the help of a knowledgeable Richmond, Virginia medical malpractice lawyer. As a lawyer handling these types of cases, my job is to represent you to the best of my ability and help the process of filing a malpractice claim go smoothly.
Contrary to popular belief, doctors or hospitals are not the only parties that can be liable for medical malpractice. Medical professionals such as nurses, lab technicians, x-ray technicians, physical therapists, physician assistants, or any other person working in a health care facility can also be held responsible.
Statue of Limitations in the State of Virginia
If you are injured due to malpractice in Virginia, a lawsuit must be brought within 2 years from the date the action took place. There are three exceptions to the two year rule:
- Cases that involve a minor(s) or mentally incompetent people
- Cases in which the injury was fraudulently concealed (i.e. alteration of medical records)
- Cases that involve continuing medical treatment from the same provider
The Claims Process
If you decide to sue a medical professional for malpractice, what happens first is the delivery of a summons and complaint. These papers communicate to the court what happened and “summons” the defendant (medical professional) to answer your complaint/allegations.
After a summons and complaint is filed, the process now goes through “discovery”. At this time the plaintiff and defendant can each conduct their own due diligence and research the allegations and defenses. Either party can be questioned during a deposition, which helps with preparation of the case if it does end up going to trial. During this time of litigation, either party can settle the case.
If your malpractice case does end up going to trial, it will be up to a jury to decide if the defendant is at fault and if you will be awarded any damages. Expert witnesses will be brought in to help prove or defend the treatment that you received. In the state of Virginia, expert witness testimony is mandatory to prove that the defendant deviated from standard medical care. It must be shown that the negligent actions of the defendant directly caused injury to the plaintiff.
Other experts may also be retained to assess the economic damage aspect of your lawsuit, including any costs for medical care in the future, lost wages, etc.
Get Help With Filing a Lawsuit
There are many types of malpractice cases, so it’s important to consult with a Virginia medical malpractice lawyer to find out whether or not you have a case. A professional lawyer who handles these types of cases can determine your legal rights and will make sure that you are rightfully compensated for any injuries you have endured.
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