When you go see a doctor, whether for a routine visit or because of an accident or injury you have suffered, you expect your doctor or medical professional to keep you safe and healthy. You also expect your condition to improve. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Sometimes, when injured individuals see doctors or other medical professionals, the injuries get worse. Medical malpractice is a serious problem throughout the country.
Medical Malpractice Details
Medical malpractice is a serious problem, both in Virginia and throughout the entire country. In fact, a study recently released by Johns Hopkins shows that medical errors rank as the third leading cause of death across the United States. This results from many different causes of medical error, but the study attempts to show that medical error happens much more frequently than we or the medical profession would like us to know.
A recent case filed by a former MLS player shows the severity with which a medical error could change your life forever—and not for the better. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may never fully recover. For some medical malpractice victims, like the aforementioned MLS player, you may never make a complete recovery and get back to your regular life.
Not only does that present physical and mental challenges of accepting a new life, but also it can present a great financial hardship. With the help of a seasoned medical malpractice attorney, you can help to ensure you recover every dollar you deserve
Causes of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice happens when a medical professional acts negligently or does not act reasonably, and those actions or inactions cause a patient injury.
This can happen many ways, including:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Improper treatment
- Failure to treat
- Birth injuries
- Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage
- Surgical errors
- Defective medical devices
This list does not include every potential cause for a medical malpractice claim. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a medical error and has suffered injuries as a result, you need to speak with an experienced Virginia medical malpractice attorney today to help you maximize your compensation.
Proving Medical Malpractice
To prove that a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional caused your injury, you must file a personal injury claim alleging medical malpractice.
To prevail, you must prove:
- You had a doctor-patient relationship with the medical professional.
- The medical professional acted negligently or failed to act.
- The medical professional’s negligence caused your injury.
- As a result of the injury, you suffered damages.
This might seem simple, as you know that the doctor caused your injury. But in a courtroom, it’s about what you can prove, and medical malpractice cases can quickly become complex, requiring the use of medical experts to establish the causes of your injuries.
Damages You May Collect
Your ability to recover from your injuries may rely on your ability to recover compensation for those injuries.
Your medical malpractice lawyer may try to secure compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Present and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
The largest part of your financial burden is likely yet to come. You may see the medical bills piling up on your kitchen table, but those may only represent a fraction of the full value of your medical malpractice claim.
You also need to consider additional financial impacts to your well-being. If your injuries are severe, you will likely spend a great deal of time out of work, and you may not return, like the MLS player discussed above. This puts an extra and unnecessary financial burden on your family members, as they attempt to cover the loss of your income by picking up additional jobs. This is not a burden that they should have to bear.
By filing a medical malpractice claim, you can ensure that your financial well-being is cared for, just like your physical well being. When you work with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney in Virginia, you can rest assured that your lawyer has your best interests at heart and will work hard to maximize your financial recovery.
Do Not Delay
While you may want to take care of your physical injuries and get better before you file a medical malpractice claim, that could hurt your ability to fully recover. After the date of the medical procedure causing your injury, you only have two years to bring a claim against the doctor, the hospital, or another medical professional or facility.
Two years is a long time, but during that time, you may face:
- Extended hospital stays
- Multiple surgeries
- Time out of work
- Multiple doctor visits
- Depression and other mental injuries
Because you will have a lot to deal with while you work on your physical recovery, you should have your attorney working hard to maximize your financial recovery, while you put all of your effort and energy into your physical recovery. You do not have to wait until you are better to file your medical malpractice claim, and in fact, you should not. Delays only make it more likely that you will miss out on some compensation.
Speak With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
Your ability to maximize your financial recovery may depend on the legal representation you choose for your medical malpractice claim. Your lawyer can help you by investigating the circumstances surrounding your medical malpractice injury, speak with medical experts to determine the cause, review your medical records, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and represent your best interests at trial.
While most medical malpractice claims settle out of court, sometimes, an insurance company will refuse to settle for a fair and reasonable amount, in which case you must go to trial to get the full value of your claim. Your lawyer will stand by your side the entire time and answer all of your questions and address your concerns.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from the negligence, recklessness, or carelessness of a medical professional, you should seek compensation for your injuries. Speak with a trusted medical malpractice lawyer today.