Frequently Asked Questions
- Page 42
How long do I have to bring my medical malpractice claim?
The answer to this question depends on the state you are located in. Some states are as soon as one year; others are as long as three years. As a general rule, it is always better to move promptly rather than wait to consult an attorney with your questions. Questions such as these can be answered by calling the attorneys at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan who will be happy to assist you with that particular question as well as others relating to medical malpractice.
What do I have to prove in order to recover in my case for a medical malpractice claim?
The law requires that you prove two things: (1) that the healthcare provider (doctor, nurse or hospital) violated the standard of care. Standard of care simply means that the doctor did not do what a good thorough healthcare provider would do in similar circumstances and (2) that the healthcare provider’s failure to follow the standard of care caused the injury in question.
These issues are determined primarily through the testimony of expert witnesses such as doctors or other healthcare providers in the specialty of medicine that is in question. For instance, if there were an allegation that a radiologist misread a mammogram resulting in cancer to the patient, the plaintiff would hire an expert radiologist to testify that the treating radiologist was negligent, as well as hiring an oncologist who would testify that the cancer would have been treatable or removed if the radiologist saw the signs of the cancer in the first place.
Is a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of cancer evidence of medical negligence?
It is possible that a misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis will not be evidence of negligence. However, the answer to the question often hinges on whether evidence of cancer was visible to the radiologist when reading the x-ray, CT or MRI study. A central issue is whether a reasonably prudent (i.e., good, careful) radiologist would have understood the abnormality shown on the study when reading it.
What legal options do I have if I suspect nursing home neglect or abuse?
Response to those suspicions depends on how severe they are. For instance, if you believe that your loved one’s life is in danger, you would get in touch with outside medical support to evaluate the resident. Additionally, you always have the option of meeting with upper level nursing personnel or home administrator to discuss conditions at issue. Finally, you have the option of seeking an additional facility location if possible.
Can the state get involved in a nursing home abuse case?
Yes. All states have a review process in which complaints from residents or family members are examined. These examinations result in a written report which is available to the resident or his or her family.
At what point should I contact a Virginia nursing home abuse attorney if I have concerns?
The answer to this question is on a case by case basis, but generally contact should be made as soon as you determine that your efforts to remedy a problem are being ignored by the nursing home staff. The attorneys at our firm are prepared to assist you with any questions you have in these matters.
I was hit by a commercial truck. Is my claim against the driver, or his company?
This is one of the many reasons it is smart to contact a Virginia truck accident injury attorney when you’ve been involved in an accident, because often a lawyer will help you locate all of the insurance coverage available to you. Usually, both the driver and the company he was working for will be named as defendant in a potential suit, but speaking with your lawyer about this is the best way to figure out what to do.
The damage to my vehicle was minor but I was hurt pretty badly. Is this going to affect my settlement?
Though the insurance companies like to claim that a person couldn’t possibly have been seriously injured if there is little to know property damage, your level of injury is a question for your doctors, not for the insurance adjusters. With today’s technology, often cars don’t show a lot of damage even in cases involving high-speed impacts. Don’t let the insurance companies take advantage of that fact and not pay you what you deserve for the pain and suffering you've endured with your injuries.
I didn’t start feeling any pain until 2 days after my accident and didn’t tell the police officer I was hurt. Is that going to be a problem?
Though we are Virginia personal injury attorneys and therefore cannot give you medical advice, it is often the case where a person won’t realize that they are injured until after several hours have passed. Most doctors will tell you that in soft-tissue injuries (sprains and strains) the pain actually will get a bit worse before it starts getting better. Even if you didn’t tell the police officer you were hurt, you still should seek medical treatment, and you still can get recovery for your injuries. Just don’t delay any further, and make sure you see a medical professional as soon as possible.
I was injured in a single vehicle accident where my husband was driving. Do I have a lawsuit?
Yes. If you were injured in an accident as a passenger in a vehicle and you were not at fault, you almost certainly can get a recovery from the insurance company of the driver, even if you are related to the driver. One notable exception to this rule is if you get into a vehicle with someone that you know is intoxicated or otherwise impaired, and that impairment is a cause of the accident. You should contact a personal injury lawyer even if your loved one was the driver to make sure your case is properly analyzed. It may lead to awkwardness between you and your loved one, but remember that you are not suing your loved one, but rather than insurance policy.