What is malpractice?

Webster’s Dictionary says Malpractice is “failure of a professional person, as a physician or lawyer, to render proper services through reprehensible ignorance or negligence or through criminal intent, esp. when injury or loss follows; (2). any improper, negligent practice; misconduct or misuse.”

Practically and legally speaking, malpractice in Virginia is when a professional (doctor, lawyer nurse, etc.) fails to provide the level of care/serice that the professional should have provided.

Sadly, people are not perfect and make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes are so bad, that they are indeed “malpractice.”

It is important to note however, that simply because a doctor or lawyer has made a mistake, does not mean you have a lawsuit.

WHAT? That doesn’t sound right, does it? But lets consider.

If a Doctor makes a mistake but a nurse catches it and you are fine – no damage has been done to you. If a lawyer almost misses your Statute of limitations but files the case on the last day, no actual harm occurred.

Under Virginia law, you can ONLY file malpractice lawsuit if (1) the professional was negligent AND (2) that negligence alone, caused you to suffer great harm.

So what do we mean by great harm?

Every case is different and every situation unique. You will need someone with experience in malpractice cases to explain whether or not your situation rises to the level of malpractice in Virginia.

If you have a potential claim against a Virginia doctor, nurse, nursing home, pharmacist, chiropractor etc – please call Frith Law Firm today. We will provide a free evaluation of your case.

Hopefully, you don’t have a case – because that would mean you have experienced great pain and suffering. But if you do, allow our firm to help you through this very emotional and difficult process.

About the author

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at

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