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Virginia Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other healthcare professional fails to follow the standards of good medical practice when treating a patient, and the patient is injured or killed as a result. If you think you or a family member has been the victim of malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation under Virginia law. A medical malpractice attorney can explain your legal rights and options.

Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

At a basic level, your medical malpractice lawyer must prove two things to win your medical malpractice case:

  • The doctor or medical professional treating you made a mistake
  • You were harmed as a result of that mistake

The challenge in winning a medical malpractice claim is determining what constitutes a "mistake."

According to the American Bar Association:

"A jury will consider testimony by experts-usually other doctors, who will testify whether they believe your physician's actions followed standard medical practice or fell below the accepted standard of care. In deciding whether your heart surgeon was negligent, for example, a jury will be told to rely on expert testimony to determine what a competent heart surgeon would have done under the same or similar circumstances. A specialist, like a heart surgeon, is held to a higher standard of care-that of a specialist-than would be expected of a nonspecialist."

Not only must your med mal attorney prove that the medical professional's act or omission was a mistake, but he or she must also prove that this mistake injured you.

In other words, you probably do not have a valid medical malpractice claim if your doctor treated you according to the medical standard of care. And you probably would not have a valid medical malpractice claim if you were not harmed by the doctor's treatment even if it did violate the standard of care.

How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Under Virginia law, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of your injury. If the malpractice victim is a child, that time limit is extended to no more than 10 years. (This time limit is known as the statute of limitations.)

If you and your medical malpractice lawyer are unable to negotiate a settlement with the party at fault in your medical malpractice case, you should consider filing a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time period, you give up your right to sue.

Find & Hire Local Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Whether you live in Norfolk, Arlington, Richmond or elsewhere in Virginia, Attorneys.com offers a free service that can quickly connect you with local medical malpractice lawyers. Simply call us at 877-913-7222 or complete the form on this page. After you answer a few questions, we'll quickly match you with a lawyer in your area.

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