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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When can I file a medical malpractice claim in Virginia?
You can file a medical malpractice claim in Virginia when
- A health care provider or health care facility fails to meet the standard of care due to you as its patient,
- You suffer an identifiable harm as a result of that failure to meet the standard of care, and
- Violating the standard of care constitutes an act of negligence.
Except in very limited circumstance, you must also file your medical malpractice insurance claim or civil lawsuit within two years of the date on which the act of medical negligence occurred.
Determining which standard of care applies requires analyzing several factors, including your health, the specialty and job duties of the health care provider, the type of health care facility, existing laws and regulations, and knowing what most other health care providers practicing in a similar facility and treating a similar patient would do. Consulting with an experienced Virginia medical malpractice attorney will help you figure out whether you have grounds for taking legal action.
When does signing a consent form prevent me from filing a medical malpractice claim?
A properly written consent form will protect a health care provider and health care facility only from medical malpractice claims based on procedures and complications that are clearly described in the form.
A patient, or a patient’s family member, may still have grounds for submitting a medical malpractice insurance claim or civil lawsuit if the harm resulted from a procedure or complication that was not disclosed in the consent form. Also, health care providers and health care facilities that act negligently or fail to comply with applicable regulation can face medical malpractice claims no matter what a consent form says.
I signed a consent form. Can I still file a medical malpractice claim?
A signed consent form only protects a health care provider or medical facility from insurance claims or civil lawsuits based on the procedures and potential complications identified in the consent form.
A patient, or a patient’s family member, still has grounds for filing medical malpractice claims when harm results from an act of medical negligence.
In practical terms, no one can give informed consent to experiencing a misdiagnosis due to a failure to follow standard procedures, a surgical error, a prescription drug error or a regulatory violation. Doctors, nurses, dentists, surgeons, pharmacists, hospitals, clinics and nursing homes cannot be excused for negligently inflicting harm.
What should I do if my elderly loved one was possibly abused in a nursing home?
Talk to a Virginia nursing home abuse attorney to determine your legal options. Many nursing home abuse victims obtain compensation for their personal injuries, and eventually, the perpetrators can also face criminal charges.
Which seniors are at higher risk of being a sexual abuse victim?The most common abuse victims are ones who lack support from family members and friends. Also, patients who have dementia and are not aware of their surroundings can easily fall to abuse. Further, patients who suffered domestic violence or sexual assault in the past. Female patients are much more likely to be abused than male patients.
Can a doctor be held liable if a patient dies from an overdose from a fentanyl patch?Possibly. These are dangerous drugs and should only be prescribed for serious pain, such as cancer patients and the terminally ill, not for minor ailments such as lower back pain.
What is one of the major risks of doctors overprescribing fentanyl patches?One of the risks is the drug is so powerful that it can disorient the patient. A patient may be told to apply a new patch every 72 hours. But a case happened in North Carolina where a 34 year old woman applied a second patch before 72 hours were up. She overdosed and died.
What is a fentanyl pain patch?
Fentanyl patches are prescribed to relieve severe pain in people who are thought to need pain medication 24 hours a day for long periods and do not respond well to other pain drugs. This is a dangerous drug and doctors sometimes overprescribe them, and/or do not provide enough supervision of the patient on the drug, leading to potential harm.
How often do malpractice cases go to trial?
Although malpractice cases do go to trial more often than other types of personal injury cases, the majority of medical malpractice cases – 93 percent according to federal statistics – reach settlement before any verdict is reached in trial.
Is it possible to reopen a malpractice case once it has been settled?
No, this is why it is critical to consult with a Virginia medical malpractice attorney before making any agreement. When you agree to a accept a settlement amount, you are also agreeing to sign a release which will absolve those named in the claim of any future claims, including not being allowed to file any future legal action connected with the malpractice.