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Medical Malpractice Lawyer

We get justice for injured people

Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Medical malpractice can absolutely shatter lives. Not only can it leave victims with long lasting physical and emotional challenges, but it can result in massive financial burdens as well. From birth traumas and surgical mistakes to misdiagnoses and hospital infections, the wide ranging world of medical errors is incredibly vast and often devastating. 

That being said, our skilled personal injury attorneys specialize in identifying and addressing these critical issues. Our malpractice lawyers deploy their extensive knowledge, experiences, and resources to build highly robust cases against negligent healthcare providers in Virginia.

At RVA Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand the profoundly devastating effect that medical errors and negligence can have on you and your family. Our legal team is here to help you walk through the medical malpractice suit process step-by-step.

If you have suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, we are here to help. Sharif Gray has won millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. Call us at (804) 915-1611 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We will get justice for you.

What Can Constitute Medical Malpractice in VA? 

Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare provider (i.e., doctor, nurse, or other medical professional) doesn’t provide the standard of care that a reasonably prudent medical provider would under similar circumstances, resulting in harm to the patient. 

This kind of negligence can show its ugly face in various forms, including but not limited to: 

  • Surgical errors
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Administering anesthesia incorrectly
  • Failing to adequately inform a patient about the risks of a medical procedure (lack of informed consent).
  • And more. 

If you want to pursue a medical malpractice claim in Virginia, you’ll need to show that the healthcare provider in question 1) owed you a duty of care, 2) this duty was breached due to the provider’s negligent actions or inaction, 2) this breach directly caused you  injury or harm. 

With this information in mind, Virginia medical malpractice lawyers play an absolutely crucial role in helping victims navigate the complexities of these kinds of cases, from examining medical records and doctor negligence to addressing the specific nuances of Virginia malpractice law.

Why Work With Malpractice Lawyers?

Most medical malpractice lawyers will tell you that these aren’t your typical personal injury cases. That’s because just about everything about them is highly complex and often involves intricate medical terms, understandings, and procedures. 

Generally, Experienced attorneys have the expertise to decipher these complexities, ensuring that your case is investigated and presented thoroughly. Additionally, medical malpractice claims usually require an intense investigation process. This can include everything from reviewing extensive medical records, consulting with medical experts, and understanding the nuances of malpractice laws in VA. 

Compared to other legal professionals, lawyers for hospital malpractice have the resources, know-how, and network to ensure no stone is left unturned. Another critical aspect of malpractice claims  is negotiating with insurance companies and healthcare providers – Which can be a nightmare, especially without legal representation. 

Generally, medical malpractice lawyers have the experience to negotiate fair settlements and are prepared to take the case to court if necessary. They understand the value of your claim, including compensation for medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and other damages.

Lastly, navigating the ins and outs of the legal process in medical malpractice lawsuits can be like finding your way out of a complex labyrinth. A highly skilled medical malpractice lawyer can hold your hand through each step, providing the clarity, support, and legal representation you need. 

Understanding The Burden of Proof in Virginia 

As in most jurisdictions, the burden of proof in medical malpractice cases lies with the plaintiff (i.e., you or your loved one). This means it’s the responsibility of the person filing the suit, often with the help of a Virginia medical malpractice attorney, to prove that the alleged medical negligence actually occurred. 

However, it’s important to note that proving medical negligence isn’t exactly easy and typically requires your attorney to establish several key elements of your case, including:

  1. Duty of Care: The healthcare professional must have owed a duty of care to the patient – Which is typically inherent in any doctor-patient relationship.
  2. Breach of Standard of Care: The medical provider failed to meet the standard of care that a reasonably competent professional would have otherwise  provided under a similar set of circumstances.
  3. Causation: An established direct link between the healthcare provider’s negligence and the patient’s injury. In most cases, this requires expert testimony to show that the negligence, and not some other factor, caused the harm.
  4. Damages: You must have suffered actual and provable harm as a result of the breach of duty. This can include physical injuries, emotional trauma, additional medical bills, or lost wages.

After a malpractice injury, you should focus on your recovery. Let a Virginia medical malpractice lawyer  do all of the necessary work to clearly establish a burden of proof, in doing so, you’ll give yourself the best chance to recover maximum compensation for your injuries. 

Most Common Examples of Medical Malpractice Cases in Virginia

Birth Injuries

Birth traumas are among the most heart-wrenching and hard to comprehend medical malpractice claims. In many cases, they’re caused by negligent prenatal care or errors during the childbirth process. These kinds of traumas can have lifelong consequences (up to death) for both the newborn baby and the mother. Common examples of birth injuries include:

  • Brachial Plexus Injuries: Excessive pulling on the baby’s shoulders during a head-first delivery.
  • Cerebral Palsy: Can be caused from a lack of oxygen to the brain during labor and delivery – Which can lead to permanent movement disorders.
  • Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy: Caused by a limited blood flow and oxygen to the baby’s brain.
  • Fractures: Particularly clavicle fractures, which may occur during a highly complex or rather difficult delivery.

The emotional and financial toll of these injuries can be overwhelming – To say the least. It’s absolutely crucial for those affected by birth traumas to consult with proven legal experts who can guide them through the complexities of seeking fair compensation for their damages. 

Anesthesia Errors 

Anesthesia errors cited in a  medical malpractice suit can include a wide range of mistakes that can happen when administering anesthesia. These sometimes devastating errors can lead to awful consequences, up to brain injury, permanent disability, or even fatality. That being said, some of the most common anesthesia errors include but aren’t limited to:

  • Overdosing or Underdosing: Administering an incorrect anesthesia dose can result in inadequate pain management or even excessive sedation – potentially leading to catastrophic injuries or a more prolonged recovery.
  • Delayed Anesthesia Delivery: Suppose there’s a delay in administering anesthesia. In that case, it can cause patients to experience absolutely unnecessary pain or awareness during the procedure.
  • Failure to Monitor: Neglecting to adequately check a patient’s vital signs while they’re under anesthesia can lead to hypoxia, brain damage, or even cardiac issues.
  • Allergic Reactions: An improper or total lack of review of a patient’s medical history for serious allergies can result in highly severe allergic reactions to anesthesia drugs.
  • Equipment Malfunction: Faulty equipment or improper use can lead to an incorrect delivery of anesthesia, posing incredibly significant risks to the patient’s health.

Unfortunately, these critical errors often occur due to negligent medical providers – Which is why we need much more stringent protocols and thorough patient evaluations in modern healthcare settings. Our medical malpractice attorneys are here to work tirelessly to hold negligent medical professionals accountable. 

Let us help you seek financial compensation for the emotional trauma and physical harm you’ve suffered. Contact us today to learn how we can help. 

Misdiagnosis, Delayed Diagnosis, or Failure to Diagnose 

Misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose are incredibly serious forms of medical malpractice that can result in you or a loved one missing critical treatment opportunities. Here are a few of the more common examples of this type of error: 

  • Cancer Misdiagnosis: Either diagnosing cancer when it’s not present, or delayed treatment due to failing to diagnose cancer when it’s present. 
  • Heart Attack and Stroke Misdiagnosis: Usually mistaken for much less serious conditions – Which could delay life-saving treatments. 
  • Failure to Recognize Symptoms: Ignoring patient complaints or overlooking symptoms that should warrant further investigation.
  • Misinterpreting Test Results: Can often lead to ineffective treatment plans and a host of other issues. 

These errors can have utterly dire consequences, including unnecessary treatments, progression of diseases, and in some cases, completely irreversible damage. We urge patients and families affected by diagnostic errors to seek legal advice ASAP to explore the best options for compensation and accountability.

Incorrect or Unnecessary Treatment

Incorrect or categorically unnecessary treatments can result from diagnostic errors or even a lack of understanding of the patient’s condition. This could lead to administering the wrong type of medication, unnecessary surgical procedures, or the use of medical therapies that aren’t helpful at all. 

Not only do these errors fail to address the patient’s actual condition but can also introduce entirely new complications. 

Spinal Cord & Traumatic Brain Injuries

Within the world of healthcare, spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries often arise from significant errors during surgery or treatment. These kinds of injuries can even lead to permanent disabilities like paralysis, long term memory loss, or reduced cognitive function. The fact that these injuries are possible should bring a spotlight on the level of care, precision, and professionalism needed in the healthcare setting – Which is especially important when caring for the central nervous system. 

Hospital Infections

Did you know that thousands of people acquire hospital infections (aka nosocomial infections) while at a healthcare facility? These kinds of 

Hospital infections, also known as nosocomial infections, are infections that patients acquire during their stay in a healthcare facility. These injurious infections might be caused by a variety of factors including:

  • Poor Sterilization Techniques: Resulting in the rapid spread of bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
  • Catheter-Associated Infections: Urinary tract infections that are caused by long-term catheter use.
  • Surgical Site Infections: Occurring post-operation, where the site of the  surgery becomes infected.
  • MRSA and Other Superbugs: Highly resistant to many common antibiotics, making them challenging to treat.

Hospital infections aren’t just bad for your health. They can cause many other issues like a prolonged hospital stay, increase medical costs, and in severe cases, death. Proper hygiene protocols and vigilant medical care are  undoubtedly essential to prevent these kinds of infections. Otherwise, these medical facilities might be liable for proving an unsafe environment. 

Treatment That Doesn’t Meet The Standard of Care 

The “standard of care” is the absolute bare minimum level of healthcare you should be receiving. Treatments that fall below this level can include a whole range of actions/inactions, from using outdated treatment methods to neglecting to follow established clinical guidelines to everything in between. 

These completely unforgivable lapses can lead to highly ineffective or even harmful medical care – Thus, worsening the patient’s condition or potentially causing new health issues. 

Nursing Home Abuse 

Nursing home neglect, in terms of medical malpractice, happens when a resident’s essential care and medical needs aren’t met by on-site medical professionals. Unfortunately, due to the isolation of many nursing home residents, it’s not always easy to spot medical malpractice in an assisted living setting.  

This can lead to astonishingly serious injuries or quick deterioration in health. That’s why it’s vital to recognize and address such kinds of abuses quickly to protect vulnerable nursing home residents.

Permanent Disfigurement

Surgical errors, botched surgery, or severe reactions to treatment can all cause permanent disfigurement. These sometimes horrifying outcomes can have highly profound psychological impacts on patients (and their family), leading to long-term emotional trauma, and in many cases, the need for further medical intervention. Disfigurement cases further underline the necessity for incredibly meticulous surgical planning and patient care, as well as the importance of informed consent.

Surgical Mistakes 

Errors during surgery by their nature are preventable – yet they still happen with alarming frequency and can have calamitous effects on patients. These errors can range from operating on the wrong body part (i.e.,  wrong site surgery) to leaving surgical instruments inside the patient’s body – Both of which happen a lot more than you’d think. 

Other common surgical errors include:

  • Nerve Damage
  • Anesthesia Errors
  • Post-Surgical Infections
  • Incorrect Surgical Procedure

All too often, victims of surgical mistakes have to undergo additional surgeries, prolonged recovery times, and sometimes irreversible damage. 

Medication & Prescription Errors 

Medication errors and prescription errors can be catastrophic forms of medical negligence – Depending on the circumstances, they could potentially lead to adverse drug reactions or a failure to treat the intended condition. 

These errors might include a physician prescribing the wrong medication, incorrect dosing, or even something like failing to recognize harmful drug interactions. Such egregious mistakes further underline the importance of thorough review and understanding of a patient’s medical history and current medication regimen. 

Psychiatric Malpractice

Malpractice claims aren’t just reserved for physical issues. It also encompasses psychiatric malpractice which includes negligence in mental health treatment (i.e., improper medication management, failure to prevent patient harm, or unethical behavior by mental health professionals) – All of which are hard to spot if you’re not a medical malpractice attorney in Virginia. 

These cataclysmic instances of malpractice can result in worsened mental health conditions or possible additional psychological trauma. 

Emergency Room Errors 

It’s a fast-paced, unpredictable, and high-stress environment, so mistakes are expected in the emergency room, right? Wrong. ER doctors and nurses are expected to handle the pressure without misdiagnosing, delaying treatment, or improperly managing a medical emergency. 

These damaging errors can significantly impact patient outcomes – Which is why it’s essential to make swift, but accurate decisions in traumatic healthcare settings. However, it’s also important to note that courts do take into account the type of emergency and other prevailing conditions before deciding whether a particular act was negligent or not. 

Failure to Obtain Informed Consent 

Suppose your physician fails to get your informed consent before they perform a medical procedure – In that case, this would involve them neglecting to tell you about the risks, benefits, and alternatives to a procedure. 

This lack of consent (in most cases) can lead to legal actions if you suffer harm as a result. However, there are exceptions when an emergency procedure is conducted on an unconscious patient. Generally, if you’re unsure whether your case qualifies, it’s best to consult with an experienced VA attorney for malpractice claims as soon as possible. 

What Damages Can I Pursue? 

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to damages in Virginia medical malpractice cases. That’s because these damages aren’t just about seeking financial compensation – Rather, they’re also about obtaining justice and getting the acknowledgement for the suffering caused by medical negligence. 

Here’s a birdseye look at the types of damages available in VA malpractice cases:

  • Medical Bills: Compensation for all the medical expenses related to the malpractice (i.e., hospital stays, surgeries, medications, future medical care, and more).
  • Lost Wages: Damages for time missed from work or even decreased/loss of earning capacity (presently and in the future) due to the injury.
  • Pain and Suffering: Covers the physical pain and emotional distress you’ve experienced due to the injury. It also addresses the emotional trauma endured by the victim during and post incident. 
  • Emotional Distress: Similar, but separate from pain and suffering, this aspect focuses more on the psychological impact of the injury (i.e., anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc.).
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Suppose the medical mistake affects your ability to enjoy daily activities or hobbies. In that case, your malpractice lawyer may push to seek compensation for this loss.
  • Fatality: In absolutely tragic cases where malpractice leads to death, the surviving family members can potentially pursue damages for their loss of companionship, guidance, and support.
  • Punitive Damages: Although these kinds of damages are incredibly rare in malpractice cases, they could be awarded in cases that involve particularly gross negligence. Not just to punish the wrongdoer, but to hopefully deter similar conduct in the future. Currently, the cap for punitive damages in VA is $350,000 for medical malpractice cases. 
  • Non-Economic Damages: These can cover losses that aren’t necessarily financial but still significantly impact the victim’s life (i.e., loss of consortium or companionship). 

Admittedly, both understanding and accurately quantifying the damages in a medical malpractice case is complex, to say the least. It involves not just a tallying of expenses but a deep understanding of how the injury has altered your life. 

Working with a highly skilled law firm that’s knowledgeable of medical malpractice law can help ensure that all facets of your injuries are recognized and compensated for. It’s still important  to note that each malpractice claim is unique in its own right – So, the damages you can pursue will depend on the specifics of your situation. 

This, among other reasons, is why it’s absolutely essential to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney at RVA Personal Injury Lawyers for your free case evaluation – Give us a call to explore your options and understand the potential value of your claim today. 

What’s The Statute of Limitations For Medical Malpractice in Virginia? 

The answer to this question isn’t as “cut-and-dry” as you’d suspect. In Virginia, like in other states, there are specific time limits (i.e., statute of limitations), for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Understanding these time constraints is unquestionably crucial for anyone that’s thinking about potential legal action against a healthcare provider for medical negligence.

With that in mind, the standard statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Virginia is two years from the date the injury occurred. This means that you’ll have two years from the exact date of the alleged medical error to file a lawsuit. If you don’t, you may be ineligible to file a claim or lawsuit in the future. 

However, there are certain exceptions and nuances that you should keep at the top of mind. They include:

  • Discovery Rule: In many cases, the injuries or harm that’s caused by the malpractice might not be immediately apparent. That’s why Virginia’s discovery rule allows the statute of limitations to begin from the moment the injury is discovered, or reasonably should have been discovered, rather than when the malpractice occurred. This is particularly relevant in those highly complex cases that involve a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis.
  • Minors: For minors who are under 18, the statute of limitations doesn’t actually begin until they reach the “age of majority.” However, there is a cap you should be aware of –  Lawsuits must be filed before the child turns 10 years old, regardless of when the malpractice occurred.
  • Incapacitated Victims: Suppose your loved one was incapacitated or deemed mentally incompetent due to medical malpractice. In that case, the statute of limitations could be extended to allow them more time to file a lawsuit once they are no longer incapacitated.
  • Wrongful Death: In rare and heart wrenching cases where medical malpractice results in death, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is typically two years from the date of the deceased person’s demise.

If you don’t remember anything else about the Statute of Limitations, remember this – Missing the deadline can result in you losing your right to file a lawsuit. Therefore, consulting with an experienced Virginia medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible is an incredibly crucial step to ensure your legal rights are protected.

How Do I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in VA?

It’s essential to understand that every malpractice claim is unique. With that in mind, the general steps required to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Virginia include but aren’t limited to: 

  1. Consult a Medical Malpractice Attorney: If you suspect negligence, your first step should be to consult an attorney – Due to the complexity of medical malpractice cases. They will evaluate your case and guide you through the legal process from start to finish.
  2. Gather Documentation: Collect and safeguard all of your relevant medical records, bills, as well as any additional evidence that’s related to the malpractice. This documentation will be absolutely crucial in proving your case.
  3. Establish Proof of Negligence: You and your attorney for medical negligence will need to prove that the healthcare provider’s actions clearly deviated from the standard of care and, as a result, directly caused your injury or harm.
  4. File the Lawsuit: Your attorney will prepare and file a complaint with the appropriate Virginia court. The suit will not only outline your allegations, but it’ll also detail the damages you’re seeking.
  5. Pre-Trial Procedures: After filing, you can expect a discovery phase. This is where both sides exchange information, and pre-trial motions. It’s also a point in the case where many agreements are met. 
  6. Negotiation or Trial: Most personal injury cases, including those involving malpractice are settled out of court. But, if a settlement isn’t reached, your attorney may advocate that you take your case to trial where a judge or jury will decide the outcome.

What is the Malpractice Cap in Virginia in 2024?

In 2024, the cap on damages for medical malpractice claims in Virginia stands at $2.60 million for judgments entered from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024. This cap is part of a structured system that sees incremental increases of $50,000 every 12 months until it reaches its peak of $3,000,000 in 2031. 

The cap includes both economic and non-economic damages and encompassing all forms of compensation including: 

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • And more 

Generally speaking, the purpose of this cap is to try to strike a balance between ensuring fair compensation for victims and maintaining reasonable liability limits for healthcare providers. However, this structure can (and has) also lead to unfortunate complexities in understanding how much compensation one is entitled to – Which not only depends on the incident but also when the malpractice occurred and when the case is adjudicated.

Is Expert Testimony Required in Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?

Technically, no. Expert witnesses aren’t “needed.” However, in practice, expert testimony is typically required if you want to make a solid case and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation. That’s because an expert in the relevant medical field can help establish the “standard of care” and how the defendant’s (i.e., medical professional) actions deviated from this standard and led to harm/damage.

How Long Does a Medical Malpractice Case Typically Take in Virginia?

Again, we can’t stress enough that every medical malpractice claim is different. That being said, the duration of a medical malpractice case in Virginia varies depending on its complexity, the parties involved, and whether the case is settled or goes to trial. Due to the complexities of these kinds of cases, it can take anywhere from several months to a few years to conclude. 

Contact The Best Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

Have you or a family member suffered catastrophic and unimaginable injuries due to the negligence of physicians or other medical professionals? If so, we’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve, and not a penny less. That includes damages for the physical injuries, emotional trauma experienced, and even future losses associated with your claim. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Virginia. Work with a health care and hospital negligence attorney with a proven track record. Contact RVA Personal Injury Lawyers today for your free case evaluation.

“We Get Justice For Injured People In Court, and We Love What We Do”

We are not settlement lawyers. Sharif Gray has proven that he can and will get results in court, and the insurance companies know that. If you have suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, we can help.

Sharif Gray is committed to trying cases well. Because of that, he does not handle hundreds of cases at a time. He is selective in the cases he takes so he can get justice for the people he represents. In every case, he has three goals:

  1. Hold the responsible corporation or individual fully accountable.
  2. Make the community safer, so others are not also harmed.
  3. Compensation that recognizes the full and fair value of what was taken from your health and quality of life.

We love what we do, and we are proud of the positive impact we have had and will continue to have on the people we represent and the community we live in.

If we can be of help to you, please do not hesitate to call us at (804) 915-1611 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We will get justice for you.

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    Why Choose RVA Personal Injury Lawyers?

    There are many personal injury lawyers in Virginia, but we believe that we stand out for several reasons:

    Experience

    We have a deep understanding of the legal and insurance systems in Virginia and will use this knowledge to get justice on your behalf.

    Results

    Sharif Gray has a proven track record of success in securing millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for his clients. We will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.

    Personalized Attention

    We understand that every case is unique and we take the time to listen to your story and understand your needs and goals. We will work with you to develop a customized legal strategy to get the justice you deserve.

    No Fee Until We Win

    We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless you get paid. You can rest assured that we are working hard to get you the best possible result.

    If you’ve been injured in Virginia at no fault of your own, contact RVA Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    For answers specific to your case, please give us a call at (804) 915-1611 or contact us online.

    How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?

    The statute of limitations is two years for most personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases in Virginia.

    For most cases, you must file a lawsuit within that time frame. But there are exceptions. Give us a call at (804) 915-1611 to discuss your options.

    What is the amount of a verdict or settlement based on?

    In Virginia, the jury considers the following factors when deciding the amount of a verdict:

    (1) Any bodily injuries sustained and their effect on health according to their degree and probable duration;

    (2) Any physical pain and mental anguish suffered in the past and any that may be reasonably expected to suffer in the future;

    (3) Any disfigurement or deformity and any associated humiliation or embarrassment suffered in the past and any that may be reasonably expected to suffer in the future;

    (4) Any inconvenience caused in the past and any that probably will be caused in the future;

    (5) Any medical expenses incurred in the past and any that may be reasonably expected to occur in the future;

    (6) Any earnings lost because of being unable to work at their calling;

    (7) Any loss of earnings and lessening of earning capacity, or either, that may reasonably be expected to sustain in the future; and

    (8) Any property damage sustained.

    Virginia Model Jury Instruction No. 9.000: General Personal Injury and Property Damage

    Is there a cap on how much compensation I can receive?

    There is no cap on damages in most personal injury cases. But there is a cap on damages in medical malpractice cases. 

    There is also a cap on punitive damages. 

    Your personal injury lawyer should pursue the full and fair value of what was taken from your health and quality of life.

    What makes RVA Personal Injury Lawyers different?

    Sharif Gray has won millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements, and he is known for taking cases to trial.

    We are not settlement lawyers. We are committed to trying cases well. Because of that, we do not handle hundreds of cases at a time. We are selective in the cases we take so we can get justice for the people we represent. 

    How much is our Attorney’s Fee?

    Nothing until we win your case.

    We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless you get paid.

    If we resolve your case before filing a lawsuit, we charge a fee of up to 33.33% of the recovery. After a lawsuit is filed, we may charge a fee of up to 40% of the recovery.