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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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  • How is neglect defined in a nursing home abuse case?

    Nursing home neglect exists when the nursing home fails to follow the ordinary requirements of it to provide essential health and safety services.  For instance, if a patient is not fed regularly, bathed or changed regularly and injuries or sores result, that is negligence.

  • What are some typical signs of neglect or abuse in a nursing home?

    The following would qualify: sudden weight loss, bed sores, suddenly appearing injuries for which there are no answers; visibly unsanitary conditions; sudden death.

  • My doctor performed a routine surgery on me and during the procedure, he nicked my bowel. Do I have a case?

    Depending on the type of surgery your doctor was performing and how quickly the doctor realized he nicked your bowel, you might have a case. You should call our office for a free consultation. 

  • My doctor and his nurses were rude to me, is this malpractice?

    Unfortunately, bad bedside manner does not amount to medical malpractice. When this firm decides to take a malpractice case we are generally looking for permanent and catastrophic injuries. The reason is that malpractice cases are very expensive and difficult to litigate. Before we take a case we need to be sure that we will obtain a good result for you. Unlike an automobile accident, medical malpractice cases require expert doctors and they are not cheap. When you are unhappy with the way your doctor or other medical provider treats you than you should voice your complaints to the hospital management.  You will not likely recovery any money for your trouble but it might make you feel better.

  • What is the Virginia (VA) statute of limitations for personal injury in a medical malpractice case?

    First, always consult a lawyer for specific legal advice as this is only a guide and never rely on such a guide for an important legal decision. In Virginia, for persons who were were 18 years of age when injured, and are not under any particular disability, Virginia follows a two-year statute of limitations on personal injuries arising from car accidents and many other types of personal injury situations, and this is the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and medical negligence claims also. Again, seek specific legal advice as there are numerous exceptions, for minors and those who were incompetent or under a legal disability, and this does not necessarily apply to wrongful death situations either.  Normally, medical malpractice actions must be commenced within two years of the date of the act or omission giving rise to the claim. For VA medical malpractice actions involving the presence of a foreign object inside the body, special discovery rules apply, so seek specific legal advice as the limitation period may be more than two years.

     One of the many reasons the lawyer should be consulted is that each state has special rules on what is usually called "the discovery rule" which essentially means sometimes a statute of limitations may be extended if the person could not reasonably discover that they had a case. Also persons who are “incompetent” (states have legal definitions on what this means) or under some type of (legal) disability, may have additional time to bring a lawsuit under certain state rules.

    Also, which state's statute of limitations applies to a particular type of personal injury is not always clear, for example, if a resident of North Carolina suffers an injury in Virginia, which state’s statute of limitation that applies may be complicated and depend on the precise types of claims that apply to the particular case. . It may depend on where a lawyer chooses to file a personal injury lawsuit. So, depending upon what type of personal injury action, whether under a state law or federal law or statute, as well as where the action is going to be filed in court, may have bearing on what statute of limitations applies, as well as what other exceptions to the statute of limitations may allow a personal injury victim/claimant to extend the period by which a suit may be filed.

    In complicated situations this is a very important legal determination that should only be made by a qualified, experienced, personal injury lawyer. This is another reason that you should obtain a confidential, free, initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer with our law firm if you are uncertain about the statute of limitations that may apply to a particular claim/case or personal injury situation.

     

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our Virginia Accident Lawyer FAQ Library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.

  • What is the Virginia medical malpractice cap, and what does it mean to a patient injured by a medical mistake?

    The medical malpractice cap in Virginia (VA) is a law put in through the Virginia legislature which gives special treatment to healthcare providers like doctors and hospitals when they are sued for medical malpractice. The healthcare industry and insurance companies have very strong lobbyists in Richmond, Virginia (VA), the state capitol. They had a law passed that says that no matter what harm is caused to a patient by a medical error, the patient or her family can only receive two million dollars maximum. If a lawsuit for medical negligence goes to a jury and results in an award greater than two million dollars, then the judge will reduce what the jury thought was a reasonable verdict down to the cap level of two million dollars. This law gives doctors and their insurers an advantage over consumers and patients that no other industry enjoys in Virginia.

    Unlike medical malpractice caps in some other states, the Virginia (VA) limit on damages on a medical malpractice case applies regardless of the economic loss to the person. For example, if your father became a quadriplegic as a result of a neck surgery messed up by a doctor, the most that could ever be received from the lawsuit is two million dollars. This limit applies even if the medical bills, past and future, to provide your dad treatment for the rest of his life costs ten million dollars.

    Another situation that could happen in Virginia, where this arbitrary limit is unfair, is if your husband or wife is killed at a relatively young age when they had a good job that you and your children were depending on to pay the family’s bills in the future. If a physician or a nurse causes a permanent injury and your spouse can never work again as a result, the most you can ever receive is two million dollars, even if an economist estimates that over their work-life expectancy, your husband or wife would have made five million dollars.

    These medical malpractice limits apply in any case where you are alleging that you or a loved one was harmed by a healthcare provider while you or your loved one was a patient of that healthcare provider. The limits even apply to wrongful death cases where the patient was killed as a result of some botched procedure. For example, if your son or daughter dies in a hospital because the anesthesiologist let them die by mistake during the administration of general anesthesia, the cap applies in Virginia for your dead child. It does not matter how much of a loss was suffered by the parents or the brothers and sisters of the child who died, the Virginia legislature has set down what the maximum amount that their life was worth. Rather than leaving it to the jury or judge after hearing the facts about damages in a medical malpractice case, the Virginia legislature has substituted in its judgment without reference to the facts of the medical malpractice, the losses to the family, or the economic harm caused.

    The Virginia medical malpractice cap is, in my opinion as a personal injury attorney having practiced over twenty years in Virginia, completely unfair. It is nothing more than a special favor to the medical system and medical malpractice insurance companies. Ironically, studies have shown that caps do nothing to increase the availability of healthcare or lower the premiums that doctors pay for medical malpractice coverage. The insurance companies just pocket the extra profit.



  • Is there a way to check out my doctor or surgeon before choosing one?

    While you can never find out every little thing about your doctor, there are a few things you can do to make an informed decision. First, ask questions: - Where did you go to medical school? - What American Board of Medical Specialty Certifications do you have? - How long have you been practicing? - Are there any disciplinary actions outstanding against you? All of these are perfectly legitimate to ask. But, if you don't want to talk to your doctor about this, you can get all this information from http://www.askmedi.com/ for $15. Shopping around for a good physician is one of the best medical decisions you can make.  For other information about medical negligence/case results of our firm, surf around this website.  Call us for a free consultation.

    About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan law firm is simple -"All we do is injury law." We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our Virginia Accident Lawyer FAQ Library for additional information. If you'd like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at 1-800-752-0042.