Norfolk, VA Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Doctors at Norfolk hospitals like Sentara General, Sentara Leigh, and Bon Secours DePaul often provide some of the best medical care in the country. Unfortunately, doctors and others in the medical profession sometimes fail to live up to their responsibilities. When this failure causes you to suffer serious harm, you may be able to hold them liable for the consequences of their actions.
If you or a loved one were injured by doctor negligence, consider consulting a knowledgeable Norfolk medical malpractice lawyer for advice about how to protect yourself. Not only could one of the experienced personal injury attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers investigate your situation and advocate on your behalf both in and out of court, but we may also be able to provide personalized advice that prevents costly mistakes in the construction and presentation of your case.
Determining When a Situation Constitutes Malpractice
Medical malpractice usually does not involve intentional wrongdoing with an intent to cause harm, but rather negligent behavior. However, as the claimant in a doctor’s negligence case, you must prove that the breach of duty was the specific cause of the harm you experienced in order to show negligence.
In a claim for medical malpractice, it is usually necessary to first establish what the reasonable standard of care should have been in a particular situation. However, the standard for an individual situation will vary depending on the circumstances. For example, if a building is on fire and patients are being evacuated, a doctor would not generally be expected to spend the same amount of time evaluating a patient’s condition as they would during a regular examination or scheduled appointment. A lawyer in Norfolk could assess a medical malpractice case and determine if a doctor may be considered negligent in court.
Use of Expert Witnesses in Doctor’s Negligence
Often, medical malpractice attorneys in Norfolk use expert witnesses to establish what a defendant’s duty of care should have been. The opinions of the same or different experts may also help show how a doctor’s conduct failed to meet the reasonable standard of care, and how that failure caused you to suffer harm.
In addition, expert witnesses may also testify regarding the extent of harm suffered due to malpractice. Even if a case settles before going to trial, the opinions of expert witnesses can prove invaluable in demonstrating liability and recovering compensation.
Limitations That Apply to Medical Malpractice Cases
One key limitation to be aware of in medical malpractice cases—and which a qualified Norfolk-area lawyer could help ensure you are not disadvantaged by—is the statute of limitations. This is a legal limit on the amount of time in which an injured person must file a malpractice claim in court. While referred to as a single statute, the limit actually varies based on various statutes and according to certain circumstances.
In most malpractice cases, the time limit is two years from the date of the incident causing the harm. However, the period may be slightly longer in some situations, such as with injuries occurring to children under the age of eighteen. In addition, if you allege malpractice against an employee of the state, you must file notice of the claim within one year.
Another limitation that may affect your malpractice case is the monetary limit established by Virginia tort law. Virginia Code §8.01-581.15 describes the limit of total damages that may be awarded in most doctor negligence cases. The amount increases each year until it reaches a cap of $3,000,000. A lawyer in the nearby area could explain the various limitations of a medical malpractice case in Norfolk.
How a Norfolk Medical Malpractice Attorney Could Help You
Causation can be difficult to prove in a malpractice case. Healthcare providers, hospitals, insurance companies, and any others who may be involved in a case will likely make use of seasoned legal advocates to defend themselves against liability.
If you are trying to obtain compensation for the harm caused by a doctor’s lack of responsibility, you deserve to have an experienced Norfolk medical malpractice lawyer fighting for your rights. To learn if you or a loved one may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other consequences of medical malpractice, call our local law firm—Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers—for a free case evaluation.