We live in a wonderful state that has many protections and wealth, but medical malpractice still happens in Virginia too. And, just like in all other states, you can seek compensation for it because medical malpractice has serious consequences, including death, dismemberment and disability.
What is it?
Medical malpractice is a broad term that can encompasses any negligence of a health care provider against a patient that causes harm. For health care providers, negligence is the failure to provide care that meets the standard of care that a reasonably competent provider in the same situation would have met. As a result, unlike other negligence cases, to prove this standard, you usually need expert testimony of current or former health care providers.
Virginia medical malpractice claims
In Virginia, the statute of limitations (the time you have to file your claim) is 2 years from the malpractice incident. Though, if you could not have reasonably discovered the injury within that time limit, you have 1 year from the date you should have known.
If the injury is an object left inside your body, then the statute of limitations is 1 year from the date it is discovered or should have been discovered. Though, there is a 10-year limit from the original surgery.
Minors also have a different rule. If the patient is under 8, the claim must be filed within 2 years. Alternatively, it must be filed before the child turns 10, whichever is later.
Disabled persons also have a different rule. For example, if a person was mentally incompetent at the time of the negligence, the claim must be filed within 2 years of their cure.
Finally, as to expert testimony, Virginia law requires a certification from an expert witness that is the same field as the defendant. They must attest to the standard, and it must be attached to the original medical malpractice complaint or filed within 90 days after serving the medical provider.
If you experience medical malpractice, you do not have to just work with the doctor or accept however they want to solve the issue. You have options.