Unfortunately, some doctors cause harm to their patients through mistakes, ignorance, negligence, lack of skill or a misdiagnosis. The result is medical malpractice. Since 1911, Marks & Harrison’s medical malpractice attorneys have been fighting for the rights of injured people and their families in Richmond and throughout Virginia. Our Virginia personal injury law firm was built on the fundamental belief that our clients come first. Helping injured people is our only business.
Despite the fact that health and hope are brought to millions of U.S. citizens every day, far too many Americans are injured or killed due to medical mistakes. In November 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report estimating that as many as 98,000 patients die each year as a result of medical errors in hospitals. Add to this number the unreported mistakes made in other healthcare settings (physicians’ offices, urgent care centers, nursing homes, pharmacies and home care) and the magnitude of medical malpractice becomes staggering. In addition to the high costs of medical mistakes in terms of lives and quality of life, our nation pays an estimated $17 billion per year in costs because of preventable errors.
If you or a loved one has been harmed due to the negligence of the healthcare industry, you need a Richmond medical malpractice lawyer with experience in these types of complex cases. On behalf of our clients, Marks & Harrison may hire physicians, nurses, vocational rehabilitation professionals and forensic economists to prove damages, future medical costs and lost earnings. We may also hire psychologists and others to testify to emotional loss, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship.
In the state of Virginia, any medical malpractice lawsuit for injury (as opposed to death) must be brought within two years from the time of injury. However, foreign object cases (when an object is left in the client’s body after surgery) must be brought within one year from the date upon which the foreign object is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered, but no longer than 10 years from the date of the occurrence. Other circumstances, such as fraud or concealment to prevent the discovery of the injury, or incapacity of the victim, may extend the statute of limitations. A parent’s action for medical expenses caused by injury to a minor must be brought within five years. It is best to contact a Virginia medical malpractice attorney as soon as you suspect you may have a case.
In legal terms, healthcare professionals are required to meet a standard of care that is ordinary or normal. When a physician is determined to be negligent, it means that he or she has failed to use the same degree of skill and learning, under the same or similar circumstances, used by other members of the medical profession. Some of the most common ways that medical malpractice occurs is through failure or errors in timely diagnosis and ordering appropriate treatment, ordering necessary tests and proper medication, consulting with doctors, and surgical procedures. Although there are numerous types of malpractice claims, here are the most common:
If we are able to prove your medical malpractice case and the medical provider is found negligent, then you are entitled to recover “damages.” Damages are intended to help you return to the condition you were in prior to the injury. There are several forms of damages that you may recover in a medical malpractice award – economic (for lost wages or medical expenses), non-economic (for pain and suffering), or punitive (to punish reckless behavior) damages. You may also receive compensation for future medical expenses and loss of future earnings. Punitive damages occur only in rare cases when it is proved that the medical practitioner had malicious intent.
At Marks & Harrison, we place our clients’ interests above all else. Contact our Richmond medical malpractice lawyers today for a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation. Our lawyers will analyze your case and advise whether you are entitled to compensation. If we don’t think you need an attorney, we will tell you right away.