A medical malpractice or medical negligence claim requires extensive investigation and also requires supporting medical evidence in order to prevail. The way that a medical malpractice lawyer handles the initial investigation of a medical malpractice or medical negligence claim involves obtaining all of the pertinent medical records, having those records reviewed by a practitioner in that particular field of specialty and then obtaining an opinion from that medical specialist as to whether there is some negligence or fault on the part of the doctor or hospital that treated you.
In the state of Virginia the medical profession has been able to lobby for the passage of laws that protect them from medical negligence in large measure. In a medical malpractice action in Virginia the health care provider (doctor, hospital, physical therapist, etc.) may request that the case be reviewed by a medical malpractice review panel consisting of one physician, one attorney and a Circuit Court Judge. The opinion of that medical malpractice review panel may then be presented at trial if in fact you go to trial.
In Virginia there is currently a cap on the amount that an injured party can recover. As such, even though your medical expenses may exceed the cap and/or you suffered a debilitating injury that requires lifelong, twenty-four hour care, you can not recover more than the cap.
In the District of Columbia, there is no cap on damages in medical malpractice actions and likewise the physician does not have any right to have the case reviewed by a medical malpractice panel. Instead, in the District of Columbia doctors are treated the same as all other citizens; i.e., if they are guilty of negligence they may be sued and, if a Judge or jury determines that their negligence was in fact a cause of injury to you, then they may be held liable for the full amount of damages that were caused and awarded by the Judge or Jury.In the District of Columbia there is a requirement to give notice to the health care provider before filing suit so that the parties have an opportunity to mediate the claim.
Legal answers provided by Brien Roche, a medical malpractice lawyer with over 35 years of trial experience. Contact Us today to discuss your malpractice matter.