Medical providers must operate under a certain standard of care. When healthcare professionals make errors, it can cause serious harm to their patients. Fortunately, there are laws in place to protect individuals from these mistakes.

If you sustained damages due to the negligence of a health professional, consider speaking with a Charlottesville medical malpractice lawyer. A personal injury attorney at The Warren Firm could review your case and inform you of your legal options.

Liability in the Medical Field

Many medical procedures have risks, but health professionals are required to take caution and act in the best interest of the patient. To pursue a malpractice claim, plaintiffs must demonstrate liability.

Under the Code of Virginia Annotated § 8.01-581.1, establishing negligence involves proving the medical provider committed an error that was a breach of the standard of care. Further, patients must show the direct connection between the breach and their damages. Healthcare workers who could be held liable for malpractice may include:

  • Primary care providers
  • Dentists
  • Psychologists
  • Physical therapists
  • Chiropractors
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Pharmacists

A local attorney who focuses on medical malpractice cases could review relevant evidence to identify the responsible parties.

Collecting and Presenting Evidence in a Malpractice Case

Uncovering the details of the medical treatment or procedure in question is crucial to the success of the case. Patients should gather all relevant information and present it to the court. Important evidence may include medical records, doctor’s notes, or witness testimony.

Law firms often have the resources to conduct such investigations. An attorney may also be able to interview potential witnesses or seek out medical experts to testify to the patient’s injuries.

While preparing for trial, lawyers could attempt to reach a settlement with the insurance company representing the healthcare provider. If both parties are unable to come to an agreement, legal counsel could present a patient’s case to the court.

In some cases, an attorney might ask to convene a review board. Under Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-581.2-8, either party can submit the board’s findings as evidence and call panel members to testify at trial. A medical malpractice lawyer in the area could determine the best way to present relevant evidence at trial.

Seeking Damages

The state allows medical malpractice victims to seek compensation for the losses they have suffered. Economic damages account for medical bills and other measurable expenses, while intangible losses may include inconvenience.

Plaintiffs may also be awarded punitive damages. This type of compensation is designed to punish the offender for particularly heinous behavior. A punitive damages award may not exceed $350,000.

Additionally, Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-34 states that patients may be barred from recovering damages if they are found to have contributed to the incident in any way. Patients might also be barred from collecting compensation if they wait too long to file a claim.

Under Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-243(A), patients must file a claim within two years of the negligent act that caused their damages. However, there may be exceptions to this time limit. A seasoned medical malpractice lawyer could defend you against allegations of partial fault.

Contact a Charlottesville Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

Dealing with the aftermath of a medical error could place a large emotional and financial strain on you and your family. Fortunately, our team could help you obtain the compensation you need. Call a Charlottesville medical malpractice lawyer today to begin discussing your case.