Despite their oath to do no harm, many medical professionals fail to maintain the professional standards needed to ensure their patients’ safety. When these doctors and nurses fail to adhere to the reasonable standard of medical care, their patients could face lifelong consequences. Fortunately, a dedicated injury attorney could help you hold a negligent medical professional responsible for malpractice.

You have the right to seek legal action against a negligent medical care provider, but there are some important differences between these claims and typical personal injury lawsuits. An Augusta County medical malpractice lawyer at The Warren Firm could inform you of your legal options if you have experienced the consequences of negligence.

The Need for Medical Expert Witnesses

Medical expert witnesses are an important part of a malpractice claim. These witnesses serve two important roles. First, they can testify to help the jury understand the medical standard of care by which the defendant is bound. Second, they can establish how the defendant violated that standard in the case at hand.

There are specific requirements for a medical expert witness in a malpractice case. To serve as an expert medical witness in a malpractice case, a professional must establish that he or she has experience in the relevant area of practice. For example, if the defendant is accused of negligence during a heart procedure, an expert witness must have a similar level of experience with heart surgeries. This requires recent practical experience in the practice area or a related specialty.

Identifying and preparing a medical expert can be difficult without the assistance of skilled legal counsel. One of the benefits of working with an experienced malpractice attorney in Augusta County is the relationships with potential medical expert witnesses the attorney could have.

Understanding Medical Review Panel Requirements

Another way medical malpractice claims stand out is the possibility of medical review panels. The laws of the Commonwealth allow these review panels to determine if malpractice claims have merit.

Reliance on a medical review panel is not mandatory. However, either party to the claim has the right to request one in a malpractice case.

The Supreme Court of Virginia is responsible for appointing a medical review panel. These panels consist of two doctors, two lawyers, and one judge. The judge serves as chairman but does not have voting power when the panel deliberates.

The panel reviews the medical records in the case in an effort to determine whether malpractice occurred. This effort requires the panel to determine both the existence of medical malpractice as well as whether that negligence resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries.

No matter their decision, the results of a review panel are not binding. You have the power to file your injury lawsuit even if the panel does not find evidence of malpractice. However, either party can call members of the panel to testify as to their conclusions regarding liability. A medical malpractice attorney in Augusta County could develop a strategy to approach a review panel.

Reach out to an Augusta County Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

Medical mistakes can cause lasting consequences. These include physical, emotional, and financial hardships that can stem from your injury. If you are living with the consequences of a medical mistake, you could pursue a legal claim against your medical care provider.

Pursuing a malpractice claim on your own could put your recovery at risk. Reach out to an Augusta County medical malpractice lawyer at The Warren Firm for more information.