In West Virginia, medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, hospital or other medical professional or institution injure a patient by failing to meet the applicable standard of care. Medical malpractice cases are some of the most difficult cases to bring, prosecute and win. A plaintiff is a medical malpractice lawsuit must prove each of the following elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty: this element is typically satisfied by showing that a physician-patient relationship existed;
- There is a standard of care that applies to the defendant’s conduct: this refers to those things that a medical professional or institution of ordinary skill, care and diligence would (or would not) have done under similar circumstances;
- The defendant breached the standard of care by doing or failing to do something that the professional or institution or ordinary skill, care and diligence would not (or would) have done under similar circumstances; and
- The defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injury.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in West Virginia
Statute of limitations restricts the amount of time a person has to file a medical malpractice case. In West Virginia, the statute of limitations to file is two years after the date of injury. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Sometimes a plaintiff can have the statute “tolled”. This means the injured person has two years from the date he or she discovered the mistake. Also, if the injured patient is less than 18 years old, he or she has until the age of 20 to bring a medical malpractice claim. In West Virginia, there is a statute of repose that serves as an “overall” deadline, with no way to be equitably tolled. The statute of repose gives a plaintiff ten years since the alleged negligence occurred to file a claim. After ten years, plaintiffs lose their right to bring a claim against the defendant. Bringing an action as soon as possible after suffering an injury is important to the overall success of your case.
If you have experienced a case of medical negligence, it is important to have an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice. At Salango Law, Ben Salango has had years of actual trial experience specializing in medical malpractice cases. Although your case may be resolved without stepping into a courtroom, you can be assured that Mr. Salango has the trial experience necessary to fight for your rights in front of a jury. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, give our Charleston medical malpractice lawyers at Salango Law a call for a free consultation.