Medical Malpractice Attorney In West Virginia
Medical malpractice is the failure of a medical professional or a medical facility to meet the standards of good medical practice in its specialization. A medical professional may be a doctor, nurse, medical technician, dentist, optometrist, or other health care provider. A medical facility may be a hospital, nursing home, medical testing facility, or clinic.
In legal terms, medical malpractice suits refer to cases where patients or their families seek damages from such parties. If a provider fails to meet the standard of good medical practice and results in harm to a patient, the medical professional or facility may be liable for any resulting damages. By going after individuals and entities allegedly responsible for their pain, these affected families can get closure and compensation for their experience.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice In West Virginia Include
Failure to Diagnose Cancer
One of the leading types of medical malpractice cases involves the failure to diagnose cancer. Too often, doctors fail to order the right tests or mistake the signs of cancer for another disease. Timing is everything when it comes to the survival rate of cancer, so major mistakes like these can often result in death. If you suspect a loved one’s cancer should have been caught earlier, contact Jacobs Law Office for a free case evaluation.
Birth Injuries and Cerebral Palsy
As high as 80% of all childbirths end up in some form of complication. Many parents are unaware of the mistakes during birth that can permanently disable or even kill their child. Negligence made during delivery are often overlooked. One common subject of litigation is the childhood disease, Cerebral Palsy (CP). The cause of CP has been linked to accidents during childbirth that result in brain damage, such as lack of oxygen or excessive force. Cerebral Palsy is characterized by a lack of muscle control and body movement.
Medical mistakes injure and kill nearly 100,000 people each year!
That’s even more people than those injured in car accidents annually. Some examples of medical malpractice include emergency room negligence, mistakes made during major surgery, and failure or delays in diagnosing cancer or other medical problems. If you feel a doctor or hospital may have played a part in a traumatic illness or death, it is crucial to find out what happened.
In 1990, Harvard School of Public Health estimated that each year, over 3% of patients in New York state hospitals suffered from some form of a medical mistake that resulted in a severe injury. The Harvard Medical Practice Study¹ found that more than 180,000 people died yearly because of medical errors. The consumer rights group, Public Citizen, estimated that each year, 1.3 million medical injuries are caused by negligence and that more than two-thirds of these injuries are preventable.
These numbers are overwhelming and preventable! However, cases like these surface every day. It is essential to file a medical malpractice suit as soon as possible.
You May Have a Strong Chance to Win Your West Virginia Medical Malpractice Case!
It is easy to bundle all medical practice cases into a single category of hard to win lawsuits. But nothing could be further from the truth.
According to a 20-year evidence study conducted in 2009, almost 50 percent of medical malpractice cases with strong evidence are winnable. This is good news for patients or their families trying their best to seek justice against wrongdoing.
But this particular success rate relates to an undeniable yet critical factor: the evidence for medical negligence. The study mentioned above shows that the more robust evidence you have about your medical malpractice case, the better your chances of winning your desired compensation. As compared to half the cases with strong evidence being settled in favor of patients, a staggering 90 percent of cases with weak evidence are won by physicians or health facilities.
It was also noted that approximately 79 percent of those cases that were rated as being defensible by third-parties were eventually settled for physicians. This once again shows that evidence is paramount in deciding the outcome of medical malpractice cases. There are plenty of cases where strong evidence of medical negligence is not available. However, they still give you a fighting chance to resolve the harm felt by you and your loved ones.
This is particularly evident in cases that are presented to a jury. Since the decision rests with a neutral group of people, your legal representation has the chance to make or break the case. This can be seen in cases where the plaintiffs acquire a win despite the absence of strong evidence. According to the study, patients or their families win approximately 30 percent of such cases with moderate evidence.
Should You Pursue Your Medical Malpractice Case?
Going head to head with a significant healthcare facility might seem daunting at first. But the statistics outline that even when you feel nervous about pursuing a medical malpractice case, it’s an excellent approach to discuss the evidence’s strength with a few experts.
If the consensus outlines that you have weak evidence at hand, you can drop the case. But if your evidence is moderate or vigorous, it’s worth pursuing it. You can amplify your chances of winning by reaching out to experienced medical malpractice attorneys. This ensures that you have strong legal representation that could help you through this challenging process.
If you or a loved one have gone through a traumatic medical experience, it’s critical to know whether you will be able to get the conclusion that you aspire to achieve. Having these details in mind eases that worry to some extent and helps you move forward with the process with more confidence.
The Process To File A Medical Malpractice Case In West Virginia
1.) Take part in the initial new client interview.
This will help your medical malpractice attorney get the facts of your case. They will also have you sign documents so they can request your medical records. This meeting is necessary for your attorney to review the facts of your case, determine how strong your case is, and what information is still needed.
2.) Send documentation requesting medical records from providers
This step can sometimes take some time if you are still getting treatment for your injury. As your records come in, additional records may need to be requested.
3.) Your medical malpractice attorney will review your medical records once they are received.
4.) Your attorney will hire an independent medical expert to review your medical records after all records are received.
5.) The medical expert can help to determine if there was malpractice involved in your situation. Your medical malpractice lawyer will discuss your case with the medical expert.
6.) If the medical expert believes that there was malpractice involved in your case, your attorney will ask for a Certificate of Merit stating that there was malpractice.
7.) Your medical malpractice attorney will send the Certificate of Merit to the Defendant and give the Defendant 30 days to respond.
8.) 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.
Your attorney will then serve the Defendant with an official copy of the Complaint and 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).
9.) The timeline of your case 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 like the date of your Trial and how long it takes for both sides to investigate the case. This is known as the Discovery stage.
10.) During Discovery, both sides try to gather as much information as possible.
This is usually done through Interrogations, where legal questions are asked, and through Depositions, allowing each side to ask their witnesses questions under oath. Discovery may also include medical tests and examinations. Your medical malpractice lawyer will use all of this information to prepare your case for Trial.