I spend a great deal of time every week talking to families about their possible medical malpractice claims. Many are amazed that despite what they believe to be an obvious physician error, I do not recommend filing suit.
There is no exact litmus test but there are legal requirements that must exist before you can file and serve a malpractice lawsuit in Virginia. These requirements are strict and difficult to prove.
You may have a viable lawsuit if you have the following three factors:
1. Liability: Meaning that someone is at fault and that the mistake was avoidable. You will have to prove to a reasonable degree of medical probability, with supportive medical experts willing to testify under oath, that what the physician / nurse / nursing home did or failed to do was negligence. Not just a mistake, but so bad that other reasonably prudent doctors would not have made that mistake. It is a high standard. You basically have to prove the doctor got an F if he or she was being graded on a normal A-F scale.
If you have experts willing to say that someone was negligent – then you can prove liability.
2. Causation: Was the physician’s / nurse’s / nursing home’s negligence the SOLE cause of the patients pain, suffering and subsequent problems?
This means that the medical mistake, was the direct cause of a physical problem.
3. Damages: Was the person injured so badly that he or she will have to pay a large amount of money to recover? Will they be able to work again? If you are looking at an injury with a simple or quick recovery (less than 2 months) – then your damages may not be high enough to warrant filing a lawsuit.
Here are some facts about Medical Malpractice lawsuits in Virginia:
1. They are time consuming: 1-2 years before they are concluded.
2. They are expensive: experts charge hourly rates for the work they do behind the scenes and in court.
3. They are emotionally difficult: You will have to share personal information with strangers as both sides evaluate your damages, and the harm done by the malpractice.
4. There is no such thing as a slam dunk in the law.
Do you have a Medical Malpractice case? Maybe. We are happy to give you a free consultation and evaluation of your case. If we think you have a case, the next step will be to hire experts to see if they agree. If they do – then yes, you have a malpractice case.
We hope you will call and allow us to evaluate whether or not you have a case: 1-866-985-0098.