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Shapiro & Appleton

New Virginia (VA) poll uncovers medical malpractice

Posted on Jun 06, 2007
A recent poll done in Virginia (VA) by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) shows that nearly 1 in 3 Virginians age 50 or older believe they have been the victim of a medical error. The high numbers for medical mistakes do not surprise me as a personal injury lawyer handling medical malpractice cases throughout Hampton Roads and Virginia (VA) from my offices in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA). The AARP is non-profit group advocating issues for older Americans through out the country. The report released by AARP Virginia (VA) indicated that 78% of the 800 Virginians interviewed would like to see doctors have to take a written test at least once every 5 years to be recertified as a licensed physician. The polling data also showed that older Virginians would like to have more information to help them compare doctors. Currently, the best information available is offered by the Virginia Board of Medicine on their website www.vahealthprovider.com, showing information about doctors’ resumés, criminal violations, and medical malpractice history. Medical malpractice is a real concern for older Virginians as they often have to get treatment from doctors and hospitals more frequently for health care than younger people. There are a number of potential medical errors or mistakes which pose a danger to anyone, including late diagnosis, surgical sponges being left in a person’s body after an operation, and overdosing or improper administration of medication. If one of these types of medical malpractice causes a serious or catastrophic injury to you or a family member then you should contact an attorney specializing in medical malpractice lawsuits. During the past week my law firm was contacted by a family whose 86 year old father had died in a nursing home. The family had questions about whether their father may have been killed by improper administration of medicine and wanted to know about whether an autopsy should be performed. Given the seriousness of a claim of wrongful death caused by medical malpractice, I dropped everything I was doing and spent the time to find out from the Norfolk Medical Examiner what the rules were about getting an autopsy done in Virginia (VA) including a toxicology test on the decedent’s blood. The question of how to get and pay for an autopsy was time sensitive. Although the last thing that you want to do when your loved one has been killed is have to talk to an attorney during your mourning period, sometimes it is essential. Without the toxicology evidence from an immediate autopsy in this situation there would be no way to go forward with the claim against the medical malpractice insurance company for this gentlemen’s death. By getting in touch promptly with a top medical malpractice lawyer you can leave the medical and legal issues in the lawyer’s hands, while you and your family focus on your grief and getting through the difficult time of a loved one’s passing. As always, when we spoke to this family about a potential medical malpractice claim we did not charge them anything for our time unless and until we were able to make a recovery on their behalf. If it turns out that there is not a legitimate wrongful death claim to be made, then the family would not owe us anything for our time.
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