West Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

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A West Virginia medical malpractice attorney can help individuals, or their family members, who have suffered any injury or even death because of negligence. Specifically, the attorney will help them pursue a legal claim against the negligent health care provider A health care provider, such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, pharmacist or medical care facility that has failed to provide standard medical care causing injury or death may be found negligent in a malpractice claim.

Medical malpractice is defined as an act or an omission by a health care provider who is professionally negligent. Under medical malpractice, it must be proven that the care that was provided was not of accepted standards in the medical community, and therefore caused death or injury to a patient. It is a tort law form of the law, and provides remedy to a patient who has suffered from medical malpractice.

Because there is a statute of limitations, which gives you a time limit on filing a malpractice claim, it is best to contact a reputable and experienced attorney at your first inclination of a problem with your medical care. Your attorney can help determine whether your situation warrants a medical malpractice case, and the date on which the statute of limitations expires. In many cases this is two years from the date of injury, although there are typically exceptions made for injuries which are only discovered long after they were caused.

As in other personal injury cases, most medical malpractice attorneys provide a free initial consultation to discuss the merits of your case. You may want to bring your medical records to this appointment. Attorneys in medical malpractice cases are most often paid on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they do not take money upfront, but instead receive a percentage of your final settlement. West Virginia does not have statutory limits on attorney's fees, so you will want to discuss the potential fees with your attorney. In addition to attorney's fees, there are other costs associated with the pursuit of a medical malpractice case. These costs can include things like copies, postage, expert witness fees and travel expenses. You will want to have an understanding of the costs involved and the repayment of those costs.

Expert witnesses, while not specifically required by West Virginia law, are still used in most all medical malpractice cases. The expert is often a medical practitioner in the same field as the defendant. Expert witnesses help a jury understand what the appropriate standard of care was, how the defendant failed to provide that care and how this failure led to the injuries or death of the patient.

There are specific elements in a medical malpractice case that have to be brought forth in order to have a case be successful. They have to show that a duty was owed, meaning that there is a legal duty that exists whenever a health care provider or hospital engages in the care or treatment of a person. It's also crucial to show that the duty was breached, or that the provider did not conform to the standard of care that is relevant to their case. This is proven by an expert testimony or by obvious errors. One has to show that the breach caused an injury, and also demonstrate what the specific damages are. If there are no damages, then there is no basis for a claim, even if the medical provider was negligent.

West Virginia provides for the recovery of both economic and non-economic losses in a medical malpractice case. The jury in a medical malpractice case in West Virginia is informed that non-economic damages cannot exceed $1,000,000. Non-economic losses are for pain and suffering, while economic losses are for lost wages and medical costs.

Medical malpractice cases often take years to pursue. You will have a relationship with your attorney and his or her staff throughout this time. Many offices have nurse legal consultants, paralegals and others who will work with you and keep you informed throughout the legal process.


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