Medical Malpractice Attorney West Virginia
Brief list of the steps to file a malpractice lawsuit:
1.) Initial new client interview so that your medical malpractice attorney West Virginia can get the facts of your case and have you sign documents so that your attorney can request your medical records
2.) Your attorney will review the facts of your case and any information you brought to the initial meeting to determine how strong your case is and to decide what medical records will be needed
3.) Send letters requesting medical records from providers. This step can sometimes take some time if you are still getting treatment for your injury. Also, as your records come in, sometimes we will discover additional records that need to be requested
4.) Your medical malpractice attorney West Virginia will review your medical records once they are received.
5.) Once your attorney has all of your medical records, your Charleston medical malpractice lawyers will hire an independent medical expert to review your medical records and give his/her opinion about whether there was malpractice in your case.
6.) Your medical malpractice lawyer Charleston will discuss your case with the medical expert.
7.) If the medical expert believes there was malpractice in your case, your attorney will ask him or her to write a Certificate of Merit stating that there was malpractice.
8.) Your medical malpractice attorney West Virginia will send the Certificate of Merit to the Defendant and give the Defendant 30 days to respond.
9.) If the Defendant does not want to settle, or the 30 days expires, then your attorney will file a lawsuit with the Court on your behalf.
Here’s a shocking statistic: medical mistakes kill and injure almost 100,000 people a year!
That’s even more people than are injured in car accidents each year. Some examples of medical malpractice include emergency room negligence, mistakes made during major surgery, and failure or delays in diagnosing cancer and other medical problems. If you feel a doctor or hospital may have played a part in a traumatic illness or death, find out what really happened.
Every year, thousands of people are injured as a result of medical malpractice. In 1990, a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health estimated that each year, more than 3% of patients in New York State hospitals suffered some form of a medical mistake which resulted in serious injury. Nationally, the Harvard Medical Practice Study estimated that each year, more than 180,000 people die, at least in part, because of medical mistakes. The consumer rights group Public Citizen estimates that each year, 1.3 million medical injuries are caused by negligence, and that more than two-thirds of these injuries are preventable.
Malpractice is the failure of a medical professional or a medical facility to meet the standard of good medical practice in the areas in which the medical professional or medical facility specializes. A medical professional may be a doctor, a nurse, a medical technician, or other health care provider. A medical facility may be a hospital, nursing home, medical testing facility or clinic. If the medical attention fails to meet the standard of good medical practice and results in harm to a patient, the medical professional or medical facility may be liable for any resulting damages.
Failure to Diagnose Cancer
One of the leading types of medical malpractice cases is failure to diagnose cancer. Too often, doctors fail to order the right tests, or simply mistake the signs of cancer for another illness. Because timing is such a factor in the survival rate of cervical, breast, prostate and other types of cancer, mistakes like this can result in deaths that could have been prevented. If you suspect a loved one’s cancer should have been caught earlier, contact the Law Office of G. Patrick Jacobs for a free case evaluation.
Birth Injuries and Cerebral Palsy
As high as eighty percent of all child births end up in some form of complication. Many parents are not aware of the things that can happen during birth that can permanently disable or even kill their child. Negligence and mistakes made during delivery are often overlooked. One common subject of litigation is the childhood disease Cerebral Palsy. The cause of CP has been connected to accidents during child birth that result in brain damage, such as lack of oxygen or excessive force. Cerebral Palsy, or CP, is characterized by lack of muscle control and body movement.
In order to file a Medical Malpractice lawsuit in the State of West Virginia, your attorney will have to find an independent medical expert to review your medical records and write a Certificate of Merit which states that this expert believes that there was malpractice in your case. Your attorney then has to send (“serve”) this Certificate of Merit on the doctor/medical professional/facility at fault for your injury with a letter that says you intend to file a lawsuit against them and then give that party 30 days to respond. During this 30 days, the doctor can advise your attorney they would like to try to settle your case, or that they do not want to settle. If the doctor does not want to try to settle, or the 30 days expires, then your attorney can file your lawsuit with the Court by writing a “Complaint” which is the formal document that starts a lawsuit. In the lawsuit, you will be called the Plaintiff and the doctor/medical professional/medical facility is the Defendant of the lawsuit.
Once the suit has been filed, your attorney has to Serve the doctor or Defendant with an official copy of the Complaint and a Summons which notifies the Defendant that a suit has been filed against them and that they have to respond to the suit by filing an “Answer” with the Court within a specific amount of time (usually 20 or 30 days).
The timeline of your case then depends on a number of factors such as when the Judge enters a Scheduling Order which sets the important dates and deadlines in your case (including the date of your Trial) and how long it takes for both sides to investigate the case which is called the “Discovery” stage. During Discovery, both sides try to discover as much information as they can about the other side and the strength of their case. This is usually done though legal questions called “interrogatories” that each side sends to the other, and through Depositions, which are basically a chance for the each side to ask witnesses questions under oath. Discovery may also include medical tests and examinations. Your medical malpractice attorney West Virginia uses all of this information to prepare your case for Trial.