Liability in Virginia Beach Medical Malpractice Cases

Establishing liability is critical to the success of a medical malpractice case, but it also complicated. Due to the inherent risk in many medical procedures, proving liability in Virginia Beach medical malpractice cases can be extremely difficult and often relies on the word of one expert against another.

This is why it is important to work with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer if you are considering bringing a claim against a doctor or health care professional. An attorney with experience handling these claims know the common pitfalls and can help you avoid them to give your claim the best chance of success.

How Does Liability Work in Medical Malpractice Cases?

A doctor is liable in a Virginia Beach medical malpractice case if they do not meet Virginia’s standard of care for healthcare professionals. That standard of care has been defined as the degree of skill and diligence practiced by a reasonably-prudent practitioner in their field of specialty. In other words, a Virginia Beach doctor’s actions are measured based on what a reasonably diligent doctor would do in Virginia, they are not measured against the standard of care that may be provided in different regions of the country.

Under this standard, a healthcare provider can be liable if they negligently commit a procedural error. For example, a pharmacist may be liable for a prescription error if they misread the prescription or if they do not properly mix medications, which results in harm to the person taking the medication.

A common misconception about liability in medical malpractice claims is that, if someone is harmed or is not helped by a particular procedure, it must be the result of medical negligence. Unfortunately, because there is an inherent risk in any surgical procedure, the fact that there were complications is not always a sign that the doctor acted negligently.

The Effects of a Consent Form in Virginia Beach

Signing a consent form may or may not affect a person’s medical malpractice case depending on the specific circumstances. A patient must provide informed consent to any given medical procedure. This consent form often outlines some of the known risks and hazards that can occur as a result of the procedure or medical treatment. However, a consent form may not prevent a claim for medical negligence but it is something for a jury to consider.

By signing a consent form, the patient is merely acknowledging that they have been advised of some of the known risks of a procedure. They are not signing away their ability to pursue a claim if that doctor were to act negligently. Now, if someone signs a consent form that specifically lists a known hazard that the patient later claims they were never advised of, it is evidence to be considered and weighed by a judge or a jury.

What Makes Liability Complicated

Liability is complicated in medical malpractice claims because medicine is a very complicated field and there often is disagreement between experts as to whether the doctor acted negligently or the injury was just an unfortunate, unavoidable consequence of the medical procedure. Medical malpractice cases often end up being determined based on which expert is more believable and credible could be very important to the outcome of the case.

Some instances sound like medical negligence but may be an unavoidable risk of surgery that will happen no matter how careful or diligent a physician is. There are also situations where, to a layperson, the harm may seem like a common effect of the surgery, however, doctors will note that a particular result should never happen.

Learn More About Liability in Virginia Beach Medical Malpractice Cases

Liability in Virginia Beach medical malpractice cases is extremely complicated. Establishing liability relies on the opinions of experts which can make it difficult to find a clear-cut answer about whether the actions of the doctor were negligent. Additionally, when a patient signs a consent form, the matter may be complicated further. Therefore, if you were injured and you believe it is because of a doctor’s negligent actions, it is crucial that you reach out to an experienced attorney. The lawyers at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers have worked to build cases against negligent doctors and we could use our experience to help you. To learn more, call today.