Medical professionals are entrusted with our health and well-being.  However, sometimes their actions, or inactions, can cause serious harm. If you believe you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice in West Virginia, seeking legal counsel from a qualified attorney is crucial.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the accepted standard of care, resulting in injury to the patient. This standard refers to what a reasonably prudent healthcare professional would do under the same circumstances.  There are four elements to a medical malpractice claim:

  • Duty: The healthcare provider owed a duty to the patient to provide a certain level of care.
  • Breach of Duty: The healthcare provider breached that duty by failing to meet the accepted standard of care.
  • Causation: The breach of duty caused the patient’s injury.
  • Damages: The patient suffered damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering.

Common Types of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can take many forms, including:

  • Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis: A doctor fails to correctly identify a medical condition, leading to a delay in treatment and worsening of the condition.
  • Surgical Errors: Mistakes made during surgery can cause serious complications.
  • Anesthesia Errors: Incorrect administration of anesthesia can lead to brain damage or even death.
  • Medication Errors: Prescribing the wrong medication, incorrect dosage, or failing to consider allergies can have severe consequences.
  • Birth Injuries: Negligence during childbirth can cause injuries to the mother or newborn.

Why You Need a West Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical malpractice cases are complex and require a thorough understanding of medicine and the law.  An experienced West Virginia medical malpractice attorney can:

  • Investigate your case: They will gather medical records, consult with medical experts, and build a strong case for your claim.
  • Negotiate with the insurance company: Medical malpractice insurance companies are notorious for denying or undervaluing claims. Your attorney will fight for the compensation you deserve.
  • Take your case to trial: If necessary, your attorney will represent you in court.

Finding the Right Attorney

Choosing the right attorney is critical to the success of your case. Look for an attorney with:

  • Experience in medical malpractice law: They should have a proven track record of success in handling similar cases.
  • Medical knowledge: Understanding medical terminology and procedures is essential.
  • Strong negotiation and litigation skills: Your attorney should be able to negotiate effectively with insurance companies and represent you confidently in court.
  • Compassion and understanding: Medical malpractice cases can be emotionally draining. Choose an attorney who will be there for you throughout the process.

The West Virginia Medical Malpractice Landscape

West Virginia has specific laws governing medical malpractice claims. These include:

  • Statute of Limitations: You generally have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.
  • Expert Witness Requirement: In most cases, you’ll need a medical expert to testify that the healthcare provider breached the standard of care.

Taking Action

If you believe you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, don’t wait to seek legal counsel. Remember, you are not alone. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can hold negligent healthcare providers accountable and seek the compensation you deserve.