Medical malpractice is the 3rd leading cause of death in the US. What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury that happens to a patient who receives care from a provider of health care. Health care providers are required to administer care to patients in a way that meets certain established medical standards for the type of care delivered. If a health care provider fails to provide care that meets the required standard and the patient is injured as a result, the patient may have a claim for medical malpractice.
It is not enough that a patient experiences a negative medical outcome. A claim for medical malpractice has to start with an error on the part of the treating medical professional and that error must be the cause of the patient’s injuries. Establishing that a medical caregiver made an error can be a complex and lengthy process involving the opinions of many different medical experts.
At Salango Law, we see the damages our clients experience when they put their complete trust in doctors only to find out that those medical caregivers did not provide the care that should have been given. Our Charleston medical malpractice lawyers hold medical professionals accountable when their failures cause patients’ injuries.
Why You Can Trust Your Medical Malpractice Claim to Salango Law
- Our attorneys have been awarded many accolades for the tremendous job they do in the courtroom. The decorated team at Salango Law is ready to apply the successful strategies and tactics that have won cases similar to yours to your medical malpractice claim.
- We have a passion for helping our clients. Our aim is that your case is successfully resolved by allowing monetary compensation that alleviates the stress of financial issues in an already complicated time.
- The entire Salango Law firm is ready to work diligently and tenaciously for our clients. Our commitment to our clients has already been rewarded with over $100,000,000 in compensation.
Charleston Medical Malpractice Resources & FAQs
- How a Charleston Medical Malpractice Attorney Helps You Win
- Most Common Medical Malpractice Mistakes
- Who Is More Likely to Get Sued for Medical Malpractice?
- When Medical Malpractice Typically Occurs
- Who Can Be Held Responsible When Medical Malpractice Occurs?
- Compensation in Charleston Medical Malpractice Cases
- Economic Damages in a Charleston Medical Malpractice Claim
- Noneconomic Damages in a Charleston Medical Malpractice Claim
- Punitive Damages in a Charleston Medical Malpractice Case
- How to Make a Claim for Medical Malpractice
How a Charleston Medical Malpractice Attorney Helps You Win
Making a successful claim for medical malpractice requires strong evidence that the medical provider who treated you did not follow the protocol that is standard in the medical profession for your particular medical issue. It requires the testimony of other medical experts to both establish what the standard is and how your medical provider failed to meet it.
A medical malpractice attorney knows that most malpractice claims settle before trial and that medical providers tend to be more successful when claims go before a jury. A Charleston personal injury attorney will know how to evaluate the strength of your case and which experts are necessary to facilitate a settlement that adequately compensates you or whether a trial is your better option for recovery.
Most Common Medical Malpractice Mistakes
When a doctor, nurse, or hospital fails to provide a patient with the proper standard of care, it can result in harm or injury. This lack of care is considered medical malpractice. There are several medical malpractice errors that are particularly common. They include:
- Misdiagnosis: This occurs when a healthcare provider fails to properly diagnose the condition of a patient, leading to an inappropriate care plan or no treatment at all. This can have a catastrophic impact on a patient.
- Delayed diagnosis: When a doctor or healthcare specialist misses the warning signs and leaves a patient to suffer because they do not determine their diagnosis at a reasonable time. This can cause delayed treatment which can ultimately lead to a much more acute, potentially fatal bout with an illness or injury that could have been prevented.
- Surgical errors: These errors may vary from wrong-site surgeries to leaving instruments or foreign objects inside the patient’s body. Surgical errors can cause infections, serious complications, and even fatalities.
- Medication errors: When a doctor or caregiver prescribes the wrong medication, administers the wrong dose, or neglects to monitor the patient for side effects, these are considered medication errors. They can cause serious harm or injury to the patient.
- Birth injuries: Childbirth is one of the most special times in a family’s life. Medical malpractice occuring during birth can result in critical injuries to the mother and infant.
- Anesthesia errors: Errors in administering anesthesia during surgery and other medical procedures can cause serious difficulties. These can include brain damage and nerve damage, and can even cause death.
- Infections: Serious infections due to healthcare providers failing to properly care for their patients can lead to long-term difficulties and potentially even death.
- Failure to obtain informed consent: Healthcare providers must obtain informed consent from their patients before they are legally permitted to perform medical procedures. If they fail to obtain such consent, they can be liable in a medical malpractice claim.
Listed above are only a few of the more common errors leading to medical malpractice cases. If you believe that you or someone you care about has been a medical malpractice victim, consult an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Charleston to evaluate your case. Understanding your legal rights is crucial to moving forward.
Who Is More Likely to Get Sued for Medical Malpractice?
Over half of the practicing physicians can expect to be named in a medical malpractice lawsuit at some point in their careers. Physicians who specialize are more likely to be sued than those with general practices. Surgeons tend to be sued more often than other types of doctors. And those who find themselves facing malpractice claims are frequently men over the age of 55.
When Medical Malpractice Typically Occurs
There is a risk of medical malpractice in various situations, but most often, they happen at a healthcare facility when a doctor, nurse, hospital, or clinic harms a patient by not providing the appropriate standard of care. Medical malpractice can happen in any specialized medical field or area. These might include surgeries, obstetrics, pediatrics, oncology, internal medicine, neurology, orthopedics, dermatology, as well as many others.
Adverse medical outcomes are not always due to the negligence of the medical staff. To prove medical malpractice, you must demonstrate that your healthcare provider breached the expected standard of care they should have provided. This breach must be the cause of the patient’s harm.
Who Can Be Held Responsible When Medical Malpractice Occurs?
When a patient does not receive appropriate care and suffers injury from a treating medical provider, the person who was directly responsible for the error as well as the facility that employs that individual may be held accountable for the resulting damage. Possible responsible parties include:
- medical practice groups
- nursing homes
Compensation in Charleston Medical Malpractice Cases
If you have been harmed because of a medical malpractice incident in Charleston, WV, you may be entitled to compensation. Your specific case will determine the specific type and amount you will receive. The details of your case and the harm you sustained will be considered.
Standardly, the recovery you may be entitled to in a medical malpractice suit in Charleston might include the following types of damages.
Economic Damages in a Medical Malpractice Claim
Economic damages are monetary losses you might have sustained because you or your loved one were victims of a medical malpractice incident. These are typically easier to measure than other types of damages.
Some of the items under the economic damages umbrella are as follows:
- Medical expenses are sustained because of the medical malpractice situation. This includes treatments, hospitalizations, surgeries, medical tests, prescriptions, rehabilitation efforts, and ongoing care.
- Lost income occurs when the injured party is unable to work because of the injuries they sustained. When determining damages, current lost wages and future earning potential are all considered.
- Property damage due to medical malpractice may also be included if the property needs to be repaired or replaced. This type of damage is rarer, but some examples are if a prosthetic or medical device like a pacemaker is damaged by a medical professional.
Noneconomic Damages in a Charleston Medical Malpractice Claim
Non-economic damages are less easily calculated monetarily. Their subjective nature makes them somewhat harder to qualify in economic terms. These intangible losses may include the following:
- Pain and suffering the victim has experienced due to the injuries caused by medical malpractice. Pain and suffering also encompass the long-term pain that the injury may cause, like chronic pain, emotional distress, and physical discomfort.
- Emotional distress includes the psychological effects of the injury, like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and other emotional traumas that are experienced because of medical malpractice injuries.
- Loss of consortium describes the loss of love, intimacy, support, and guidance from a spouse, partner, parent, child, or other member of the family. Loss of consortium may be awarded if it is proven that the medical malpractice incident impacted the victim’s ability to sustain a close, meaningful relationship in the way they once did.
- Loss of enjoyment of life refers to the victim not being able to participate in activities that once brought them joy because of their injury. These could include sports, hobbies, and other activities.
- Disfigurement or scarring that was a result of medical malpractice can change a victim’s life because of mental or emotional issues that it causes.
Though non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate than economic damages, they remain a crucial part of medical malpractice cases because of their significant impact on the quality of a victim’s life. Your Charleston medical malpractice attorney can explain the damages you may recover and can help you gain compensation for your losses.
West Virginia law has instituted a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice claims. In most cases, the cap is $250,000 but is raised to $500,000 if the malpractice event caused a catastrophic injury or a wrongful death.
Punitive Damages That are Potentially Available in a Charleston Medical Malpractice Case
Punitive damages serve the purpose of punishing a healthcare provider for blatantly egregious behavior and discouraging them and other providers from engaging in comparably harmful behavior. Punitive damages are rarely awarded, but the court may if there are willful, reckless, or wanton actions that caused the harm.
Please note that the distinct details of your case will inform the court of the specific damages you may be entitled to. Your experienced medical malpractice attorney in Charleston will navigate the complicated situation for you, from filing the initial claim through the final resolution.
How to Make a Claim for Medical Malpractice
In West Virginia, the law requires that certain procedures be followed before a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed against a health care provider. The persons or entities that are going to be sued must be given a certain amount of prior notice and must be provided with a statement explaining what they are being accused of. The procedures are very specific and require the assistance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney to properly file your claim.
The Charleston medical malpractice lawyers at Salango Law are very familiar with the requirements for filing medical malpractice claims. Kanawha County has more malpractice claims filed than any other county in the state. We make sure you get the expert opinions you need and complete the necessary paperwork so that you can proceed with your claim. Once your claim is filed, we get to work gathering evidence so we can negotiate the best possible settlement to compensate you for your injuries.
Contact Our Charleston Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
If you believe you or a family member may be a victim of medical malpractice, contact us here to schedule a free consultation where we will go over your case and advise you of your options. There is a time frame within which you have to file your claim, so don’t delay. Call our Charleston office at (304) 342-0512.