Roanoke Medical Malpractice Attorney
When you make an appointment at a doctor’s office or you schedule a routine procedure at a hospital or outpatient facility, you should be able to expect that you will receive a high quality of care and that you will not suffer injuries because of your healthcare provider’s negligence. Yet medical negligence is common, and it frequently leads to medical malpractice lawsuits. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, medical mistakes are currently the third-leading causing of death among Americans, and most of these fatal injuries are preventable.
Medical negligence can take many different forms, and it is critical to seek advice from a Roanoke medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
What is Medical Malpractice in Roanoke?
Medical malpractice is a specific type of personal injury law through which an injured patient can seek financial compensation for injuries caused by a negligent healthcare provider. While certain procedures do come with risks, and not all patient injuries are the result of negligence, many harms that patients sustain do result from a healthcare provider’s negligence. Common types of medical malpractice claims include but are not limited to:
- Surgical errors;
- Birth injuries;
- Medication errors;
- Postoperative infections; and
- Anesthesia errors.
Liability in a Roanoke Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Many different types of healthcare providers can be responsible for medical malpractice, including but not limited to the following:
- Physician’s assistant;
- Nurse practitioner;
- Hospital where the injury occurred;
- Clinic or other outpatient facility where the injury occurred;
- Laboratory that processed test results;
- Lab technician;
- Dentist; and
You should discuss the specifics of liability in your case with a medical malpractice attorney in Roanoke. Depending upon the particular facts of your case, more than one healthcare provider may be liable for your injuries.
Proving Medical Malpractice
CNBC reports that medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, just behind heart disease and cancer. For every medical malpractice case that results in a fatality, many more end with further patient injury. According to Becker’s Hospital Review, Virginia has about 23 medical malpractice cases per 100,000 residents. If you or a loved one is one of the patients who has suffered unduly in Virginia because the standard of care was not met during treatment, it is time to speak with a skilled Roanoke medical malpractice attorney.
Four Steps to Proving Medical Malpractice
- Duty—The first step in proving medical malpractice is to establish that there was a patient/medical professional relationship. This relationship can be proven with medical records showing the treatment or billing records. In some settings, such as a hospital, there may be many doctors and nurses who provide care on a rotating schedule. While establishing the relationship may be more complex in these cases, an attorney can help you go through medical records to find the responsible party who had the duty to provide treatment at the time.
- Breach—Next, there must be proof that the standard of care to treat the patient’s condition was not met. If the doctor did not treat the patient as another reasonable doctor with the same credentials and experience would have, they have breached their duty to care for the patient. This is not about whether or not the doctor used the latest in technology, but whether they followed the medical community’s general guidelines for how to assess and treat the patient.
- Cause—In addition to proving that the care differed from what the standard treatment for such a condition would be, there must be proof that this led to injury or death. Proving this connection can be challenging because the victim was already sick or suffering, even before the breach of duty. An attorney can help show where there is direct correlation between the breach of duty and additional injury.
- Harm—This is where the breach of duty is linked to the damages it caused the patient. Damages can include further medical expenses, loss of income, loss of joy, pain and suffering, permanent disability, and more.
Statute of Limitations for a Medical Malpractice Claim in Roanoke
Every type of personal injury lawsuit has a statute of limitations. Under Virginia law, the statute of limitations for most types of medical malpractice claims is two years from the date of the medical error or the negligent act or omission that resulted in your injury. Accordingly, if you want to file a lawsuit, you will likely need to do so within two years from the date of the healthcare provider’s mistake. Once that time window closes, you will have what is known as a time-barred claim, and you will not be eligible to obtain damages in a civil lawsuit.
While most medical malpractice lawsuits do have a two-year statute of limitations, it is essential to speak with one of our medical malpractice attorneys in Roanoke to determine if your case might fall under one of the exceptions. In particular, cases involving a foreign object left in a patient’s body after a surgical procedure, or a delayed diagnosis case, may have an extended statute of limitations.
Contact a Roanoke Medical Malpractice Lawyer for Assistance
If you or someone you love sustained a serious injury due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, it is critical to seek advice from one of our Roanoke medical malpractice lawyers. Our firm can speak with you today about your medical injury and can discuss your options for seeking financial compensation. Contact MichieHamlett for more information about the services we provide to injured patients in and around Roanoke, Virginia.