Incidents of medical malpractice have been steadily increasing throughout the country, and Virginia is no exception. When we trust our healthcare providers to take care of us and that trust is betrayed, the liable party must be held accountable.
If you or a loved one have been harmed by the negligent or ill-intentioned actions of a medical professional, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced Richmond medical malpractice attorney at Christina Pendleton & Associates.
How Much Is a Medical Malpractice Claim Worth in Richmond, VA
In Richmond, the amount of compensation you receive from a medical malpractice claim depends on a number of factors including the extent of your injuries. If the medical negligence that caused your injury was particularly egregious, punitive damages could be added to increase the payment you receive.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Practitioner Data Bank, the average payout for medical malpractice claims is $242,000. This number has remained fairly consistent over the years, but it’s ill advised to expect a payment of that magnitude when pursuing a claim without legal counsel.
Hiring an experienced lawyer can dramatically increase your odds of receiving a fair payout. The defendant’s insurer and their lawyer will likely try to take advantage of you by offering a low-ball settlement. An attorney can negotiate with them to get you the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
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Our Attorneys in Richmond Can Fight for a Number of Medical Malpractice Injuries
Our lawyers have decades of experience litigating medical malpractice claims and have seen almost every injury imaginable. Here are some of the medical errors and neglectful actions a Richmond medical malpractice attorney can help you win compensation for:
- Failure to diagnose. If you were demonstrating clear warning signs of a severe illness and your doctor failed to recognize them, your lawyer can demand payment for their negligence.
- Misdiagnosis. If a doctor misdiagnoses your illness, you could end up undergoing treatments or taking medications that do more harm than good. In addition, the actual illness you’re suffering from will remain overlooked and be given more time to take its toll on you. If you were given the wrong diagnosis, a lawyer can win compensation for your related suffering and injury.
- Retained surgical object. It’s frightening to think about, but surgeons have been known to make the careless mistake of leaving medical tools inside their patients. Leaving objects like medical sponges behind can cause serious injuries and are grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
- Surgical error. Surgical mistakes like performing an operation on the wrong part of the body can be devastating to the patient. If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of a wrong-site operation, a lawyer can help you recover damages.
- Incorrect dosage. In healthcare, prescribing and administering medication demands precision and attention to detail. Dosage calculation errors can result in serious and even fatal complications. If you’ve suffered from receiving the wrong medication or dosage, a lawyer can help you secure a payment for your losses.
- Hospital infections. In a hospital setting, general cleanliness and sterilized medical tools can be the difference between life and death. Hospital patients, especially individuals undergoing surgery, are particularly vulnerable to infection and need to be protected from harmful bacteria and airborne disease. If you suffered a serious infection due to improper sanitation practices, a lawyer can help you seek compensation.
Any of these errors could cause extreme damage to a patient who was simply in the office for a routine check-up. Failure to identify a serious illness that is considered easy for a qualified medical professional to discern could result in liability. Medical professionals are held to a higher standard of care, and any deviation from this standard can result in legal action.
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Damages Your Richmond Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help You Recover
The main benefit of hiring a medical malpractice lawyer is their ability to win damages for your injuries. Our lawyers have the experience necessary to determine what damages you’re owed, and secure the highest possible payment. Here are the most common damages pursued in Richmond medical malpractice cases:
- Medical bills. If you sought medical care for the injuries you sustained, you deserve to have your bills paid for. A lawyer can demand compensation for your treatment expenses.
- Lost wages. It’s common for victims of medical malpractice to miss work days during their treatment and recovery period. These damages are meant to compensate for the income you lost during that time.
- Reduced earning capacity. If your injury resulted in a disability or illness that makes it hard for you to work, you deserve compensation for reduced earning capacity. A lawyer can win you payment for wages you’ll miss out on in the future.
- Pain and suffering. Medical injuries can be incredibly painful. These damages are meant to compensate for the suffering caused by your doctor’s negligent actions.
- Emotional distress. Although it’s impossible to put a dollar value on the mental anguish victims endure in the wake of a medical malpractice injury, emotional distress damages are an attempt to compensate for the negative psychological impact of such an incident.
- Punitive damages. These damages act as punishment for the medical professional’s irresponsible behavior. It also warns other practitioners of the consequences for negligence and reckless conduct.
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Wrongful Death Claims in Richmond, VA
If your spouse or loved one has passed away due to injuries sustained in a medical malpractice incident, we offer our most heartfelt condolences to you. Our lawyers understand how hard it is to lose someone close to you, which is why they feel so strongly about winning compensation for your pain and loss.
Our lawyers will be able to help you file a wrongful death claim, and pursue damages for funeral costs, grief and mental anguish, loss of companionship, and loss of the decedent’s income.
Keep in mind that there are deadlines for filing wrongful death claims in Richmond. According to Virginia Code § 8.01-244, you have two years from the death of your loved one to file. One of our attorneys can ensure all your paperwork is filed correctly and in a timely manner.
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How a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Richmond Will Build Your Case
In order to demand compensation for your injuries, your Richmond medical malpractice attorney must conduct a detailed investigation of the incident. There are a number of documents, witness testimonies, and expert opinions they’ll gather to build a solid medical malpractice claim for you.
Here’s some of the evidence they’ll utilize to bolster your claim:
- Medical records. Your lawyer will begin their investigation into your case by collecting evidence related to your injury. Documents like medical bills and treatment charts can be used to show how your injuries occurred and who should be held liable for them.
- Medical equipment. The medical equipment used during the incident can be invaluable evidence if your case goes to court. Medical tools and devices can be inspected to determine if and how they were involved in your injury.
- Witness testimony. If there were any family members, friends, or other medical professionals present when you sustained your injury, their testimony can be used to bolster your claim. Your attorney will reach out to any witnesses, take down their statements, and call them to the stand if a lawsuit is filed.
- Expert statement. Medical experts can be called on to prove that your doctor or nurse failed to live up to their legal duty to protect your health and well-being, and that their failure to do so was the root cause of your injury. Their statement can add credibility to your claim, and prove invaluable in a court of law.
Compensation Limits for Medical Malpractice Claims in Richmond, VA
Although your attorney will do everything they can to get you the highest payment possible, it’s important to remember that there are limits to how much you can receive from a medical malpractice claim in Richmond, VA.
Currently, the limit for medical malpractice compensation is set at $2.5 million. This limit will increase by $50,000 every year on July 1 until 2031 when it will be capped off. Although payouts for most cases average between $200,000 and $300,000, your lawyer will be able to secure payments up to the current limit if your injuries are severe enough.
Deadline for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Richmond
If you’ve been injured by the negligence or irresponsible actions of a healthcare worker, it’s important to file a medical malpractice claim as soon as possible. According to Virginia Code § 8.01-243.1, all claims must be filed within two years of the date that the injury was sustained.
Virginia law also states that the filing deadlines can be extended in the following situations:
- If a foreign object was left inside the victim
- If discovery of the injury was prevented by fraud, concealment, or intentional misrepresentation
- If the healthcare professional failed to diagnose a serious illness
Hiring a skilled medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible is the best way to ensure your case is filed on time. Your medical malpractice lawyer in Richmond will be familiar with the deadline extensions that apply to your case and will make sure the appropriate documents are filed within the statute of limitations.
Contributory Negligence in Richmond
Virginia follows the contributory negligence standard for medical malpractice cases. That means if a victim is found to be partially responsible for their injuries, they will be barred from receiving compensation. Our Richmond medical malpractice lawyers will be able to determine if you are partially responsible for your injury so that you don’t waste time filing a pointless claim.
Due to this standard, it’s likely that the defendant’s insurer and lawyer will try to argue that you were responsible for your injury in some way. Hiring a skilled attorney is the best way to defend against phony negligence claims. They’ll be able to cut through the guilty party’s false allegations, and show the court who should be held liable for your losses.
What You Can Do to Help Your Claim Succeed
There are several things you can do after experiencing a medical malpractice injury that will increase the likelihood that you’ll receive a fair settlement or court-awarded payment. Here’s what you can do to help your case:
- Seek medical treatment immediately. If you’ve been injured by a doctor or nurse, your health should be your top priority. Delaying medical treatment can also be used by the defendant’s lawyers to diminish the severity of your injury.
- Document your experience. Making a record of your injuries, the treatment you were receiving when you were harmed, and the names of the healthcare professionals involved can help your lawyer build a solid malpractice case.
- Collect relevant documents. Collecting documents related to your case such as medical bills and drug prescriptions can be used as evidence for your claim.
Consult a Skilled Richmond Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been injured by a medical professional during a routine visit or procedure, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of Christina Pendleton & Associates. Our lawyers have decades of experience litigating medical malpractice claims and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you need to move on with your life.
Call our office or fill out a contact form online today for a free case evaluation from a Richmond medical malpractice attorney. Don’t hesitate to begin the process of filing your claim and pursuing recompense for your unjust suffering.
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