Common Reasons for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Most people put the utmost trust and faith in the person they choose to be their medical provider. They trust this person will do all they can to diagnose any medical condition that they may be suffering from, as well as provide the proper treatment to take care of the condition.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and far too many patients suffer injury or illness at the hands of the very people who are supposed to heal them. When this happens, these medical providers can be held legally accountable for the malpractice they have committed and can be ordered to pay the patient financial compensation for the losses the patient has suffered.




Malpractice occurs when the physician, hospital, or other medical provider causes an injury to a patient because of negligence or because they breached the standard of care that the medical community is held to. In order to be successful in a malpractice lawsuit, a Virginia malpractice attorney must prove three elements:

  • The medical provider violated the standard of care. There are certain standards that doctors and other medical providers should follow because these are recognized as acceptable treatments by the medical community. This is referred to as standard of care and it is what all patients have the right to expect. When the doctor fails to uphold this standard of care, this can legally be considered negligence.
  • The patient suffered an injury or illness because of the breach of standard of care. If the doctor has violated the standard of care, in order to be considered medical malpractice, that act must have caused an injury or illness to the patient.
  • The injury or illness caused the patient to suffer damages. In order to meet the requirements of a medical malpractice case, the patient must have suffered economic and/or noneconomic losses due to the injury they sustained. These damages can include medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability, and more.

There is a multitude of ways that medical malpractice can occur. Some of the more common ways we see at our law firm include the following:

  • Early discharge from the hospital
  • Failure to act on diagnostic test results
  • Failure to diagnose
  • Failure to order diagnostic tests
  • Failure to recognize the patient’s symptoms
  • Incorrect surgery
  • Leaving objects inside the patient during surgery
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Prescribing incorrect medication dosage
  • Prescribing wrong medications
  • Unnecessary surgery

Contact Shapiro & Appleton for Help

If you or a family member has suffered serious illness due to a doctor’s missed or late diagnosis, contact a seasoned Virginia medical malpractice attorney to discuss what legal options you may have. The attorneys at our personal injury firm understand how devastating medical errors like these can be to a family, not only emotionally, but also financially. We have successfully represented many clients in obtaining the financial compensation they deserved and will aggressively advocate for you and your family.