If you think you have been the victim of medical malpractice, this is the advice I would give you if you called our office:
1. Be patient.
It does not help to call a lawyer the week something happened, because rarely does anyone know the scope of their injury within a week.
In order for a case to be worth your time and effort, the injury suffered must be serious and permanent. You don’t want to spend $20,000 on experts, 40% on attorneys fees, if your case is only worth $10,000.
2. Do not make threats.
Please don’t send a letter to the doctor or hospital, threatening to file a lawsuit. No one is scared or moved by these threats. If you would like to have a calm conversation with risk management at the hospital, do so. But listen, don’t speak during the conversation. What you say can hurt you in a lawsuit.
3. Request your complete medical record.
Ask the doctor or your hospital for everything that was documented, and do not be surprised if they want to charge you for copies.
4. Call an attorney you know or know by reputation.
It is an important decision to hire an attorney. You need to feel comfortable with that firm’s ethic, their staff before you pursue a lawsuit. If you want a bulldog, go get a bulldog. If you want a firm that will be caring, and compassionate, ask around. Don’t let advertising be your only guide.
5. Understand the possible outcomes.
A lawsuit will not close down a nursing home or hospital. Your lawsuit will not likely lead to the revocation of a license to practice medicine. A lawsuit can bring about two things and two things alone – some accountability, and money. That is all.
If you would like to discuss your specific case, or questions related to it, do not hesitate to contact our office. We would be so glad to speak with you and investigate whether you have a Virginia Medical Malpractice Case.