Charleston, West Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney
In general, medical procedures are complex and anxiety-inducing. No one is ever excited to undergo a medical procedure, especially if the procedure is complicated or life-threatening. As with all things, practitioners can make mistakes, or the process goes wrong, leaving you with additional pain and suffering and medical bills. When your medical procedure or other medical event results in your injury, your doctor might have acted negligently. If your doctor did not act according to established medical standards or as another in the field should have, you might have a valid medical malpractice claim. Suppose you were injured by your doctor’s actions, advice, treatment, or more. In that case, you might be entitled to compensation resulting from their malpractice.
Experienced West Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyers
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you know how important compensation is to your recovery. However, medical malpractice law can be challenging to understand and even more challenging to apply. When these medical malpractice claims arise, it is vital to have an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side. Hiring an experienced attorney will help you navigate the legal process to get the compensation and justice you deserve. Salango Law medical malpractice attorneys understand the importance of these cases and are ready to represent you. To learn more or schedule your initial case consultation, call us at (304) 342-0512 or visit us on our website today.
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional, hospital, or other medical personnel cause injury to a patient through negligence. Negligence may occur due to medical errors, improper diagnosis, treatment, or other healthcare-related decisions involving the specific patient. To establish a medical malpractice case, you and your personal injury attorney must prove that the doctor, hospital, or medical professional has committed negligence and that negligence led to your harm or injury.
Negligence in medical malpractice lawsuits typically involves four elements: duty, breach of duty, cause-in-fact, proximate cause, and harm. To receive damages from a medical professional on a medical malpractice claim, you must prove all of these elements by a “preponderance of the evidence.” In other words, you must show that your harm resulted from the doctor or medical professional’s actions more likely than not.
The base standard of care for an ordinary person is the reasonableness standard. The standard involves comparing the individual’s actions against what a reasonable person would do in the same or similar circumstances. However, in certain circumstances, like medicine, where the individual has advanced knowledge or skills, their standard of care will be compared to established standards of care in the field and to those operating in that field. A patient being treated expects that their doctor will provide care consistent with established medical standards. If those standards are not met, and you are harmed because those standards are not met, your doctor might be found negligent.
A standard of care creates a duty to act in a certain way in various circumstances. In terms of medical standards of care, a doctor will generally have a duty to act according to established guidelines or as other medical professionals in the same or similar circumstances would act. If you prove that the standard of care created the doctor’s duty to you and they breached that duty, you have established a breach of that duty.
Cause-in-fact relates to the connection between the harm you have suffered and the doctor’s breach of duty. You must prove that your injury would not have occurred without the doctor’s actions.
Proximate cause means proving a direct relationship between the doctor’s negligent acts and the injury you have suffered. Proximate cause requires you to show that the doctor’s actions directly caused your injury and that it was the “reasonably foreseeable” result of their actions.
Medical Malpractice Claim Process
There is a specific process for bringing a medical malpractice claim. The process involves filing the claim, gathering evidence in discovery, and resolving the claim. Resolution of the claim could be a settlement with the doctor their insurance company or by going to trial.
Filing A Claim
The first step is filing a complaint and summons to the doctor who you allege caused your injury. To ensure that your complaint is effective, you must include the necessary information in the complaint. You must include:
- The identity of the defendant or defendants.
- The legal basis for the claims you bring and basic facts of those claims.
- A prayer for relief.
In the prayer for relief, you call for the court to find in your favor and grant you damages for your harm. You must also include a summons, which notifies the doctor that you are bringing a claim against them. Both documents must be filed with the court and “served” on the doctor, meaning they have been given proper notice according to the state’s service of process rules.
Discovery is the process of gathering information to support your claim in the trial. Each side participates in discovery. Both sides request information from each to support their cases in this process, usually through their attorneys. The court oversees the process and includes activities like interrogatories, admissions, and document production requests. Depending on the case, there are often depositions and lawyer-conducted testimony taken outside of court. Medical malpractice cases often involve expert testimony, usually from other doctors. Both parties must provide the names of witnesses they intend to call before trial; however, witnesses can be identified later.
Your trial can either be a bench trial or jury trial. A bench trial is a case that goes before only a judge, and the judge makes the ruling. A jury trial involves six people who will hear the evidence that each of you brings to decide your claim. The jury will determine what damages the doctor must pay you should it find in your favor.
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must show that significant damages resulted from an injury sustained due to medical negligence. If the damages are minimal, pursuing the case may be more costly than what you may recover during the case. In proving medical malpractice claim, you must show that you have suffered an injury that entitles you to damages. Damages are types of compensation you might receive should a judge or jury find in your favor. Common damages include:
- Loss of enjoyment
- Pain and suffering (past and future)
- Loss of earning capacity
You must determine how much your damages are worth throughout the case and present this amount to the judge or jury. Calculating these damages can be challenging because it is hard to place a monetary value on the harm. For example, imagine that you have last use of one of your eyes due to medical malpractice. It may be easy to determine how much a medical procedure costs. However, it is much harder to determine how much being able to see is worth and the monetary value of losing it. Your attorney will help you determine these amounts and present them before the court or jury.
Hiring A Charleston, West Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice, then personal injury lawyers experienced in medical malpractice can provide you with invaluable guidance on your rights and options. Contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Salango Law today. To learn more or schedule your initial case consultation, call us at (304) 342-0512 or visit us on our website today.