Medical Malpractice
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The questions on this page were answered by our team of Virginia Beach & Norfolk personal injury attorneys. The questions are categorized by practice area such as car accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, etc. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact our firm to set up a free consultation with an actual attorney.

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  • If a victim settles a medical malpractice case, can the case be reopened at a later date?

    A malpractice lawsuit is a civil action. With any civil case, once the victim (plaintiff) settles, they are required to sign a release in which they agree to give up any future legal action. Since it is not possible to reopen a malpractice case once it is settled, a victim should never agree to any settlement offer without first consulting with a medical malpractice attorney.

  • What is informed consent in a medical malpractice lawsuit?

    Before a patient undergoes a medical procedure or treatment, their doctor is required to advise the patient of all potential outcomes, including any potential negative outcomes, such as complications or side effects the patient may suffer. This is known as informed consent. If the doctor fails to provide informed consent and the patient suffers an injury or illness as a result of the treatment they would not have agreed to had they known of potential dangers, the patient could have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

  • What does preponderance of the evidence in a medical malpractice lawsuit mean?

    Preponderance of evidence is the burden of proof or legal standard required in order to win the lawsuit. In order to meet the preponderance of the evidence standard, a malpractice attorney must prove that the malpractice is more likely to have occurred than not to have occurred.

  • If a patient signs a consent form prior to a medical procedure that resulted in medical injuries, can they still recover damages in a malpractice lawsuit?

    Signing a consent for does not waive liability for a medical professional. If it can be proven that the doctor did not follow the applicable standard of care and the patient was injured as a result, then they can still receive compensation for their damages.

  • Can a victim sue for the possibility of what could have happened during a medical procedure?

    Although it may be stressful or frightening to find out there was negligence involved in a medical procedure you underwent that could have caused you an injury, as long as the error was caught and corrected right away and the patient did not suffer harm, then there is not basis to file a malpractice lawsuit. There must be damages – injury, pain and suffering, other losses – or the need for more medical treatment in order to be deemed malpractice.

  • Is a nursing home abuse or neglect case considered medical malpractice?

    Unless the victim was receiving medical treatment at the time of the incident, the case would not be considered malpractice. The victim can still file a personal injury case for any abuse or neglect they suffered at the hands of nursing home staff and/or other residents but since the abuse usually doesn’t involve doctor-patient relationship, it would not be malpractice.

  • What will an expert medical witness testify to in a malpractice lawsuit?

    The expert witness’s testimony should establish what the acceptable standard of care the victim should have received and how that standard was not met. The witness should also explain how the victim was injured because of that lack of standard care.

  • Who determines standard of care in a medical malpractice lawsuit?

    In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the victim’s attorney will likely call an expert medical witness to provide testimony to the jury that will explain the standard of care that is acceptable and appropriate under similar circumstances.

  • What is standard of care in a medical malpractice lawsuit?

    Standard of care in a medical setting depends on the actual specialty but is always supposed to provide the patient with the best care possible. It is based on the idea that any reasonable person who acts in a similar way under similar circumstance.

  • How can I know if a doctor’s misdiagnosis gives me grounds for a medical malpractice case?

    Making a case for malpractice based on an alleged misdiagnosis requires proving all of the following facts:

    • A provider-patient relationship existed, which means the doctor named as the defendant actually recorded your diagnosis;
    • The doctor named as the defendant failed to meet the standard of care, which means that they made a mistake other doctors would not have made;
    • The error directly harmed you, which means a direct connection can be made between the misdiagnosis and worsened symptoms; and
    • The harm you suffered was severe, which usually means you suffered a disability, required hospitalization or needed lengthy and expensive treatment that would not have been necessary if the diagnosis had been correct and made in a timely manner.

    You will need reports and testimony from independent experts regarding whether the defendant doctor failed to meet the standard of care, whether the misdiagnosis caused harm and how severe the harm was.

    EJL