In West Virginia, medical malpractice accounts for any harm a patient receives because a medical professional failed to meet his or her standards of care. This means that if another reasonably skilled specialist would not have made the mistake that caused an injury, the patient can seek compensation through a medical malpractice suit.
But who is considered a medical professional? And what about cosmetic procedures, are they eligible?
Who Can Commit Malpractice
There are dozens of professions at risk for a medical malpractice claim. Though these parties may have their own malpractice insurance, individuals are not required to carry it in the state of West Virginia. If any of these specialists commit a negligent act that injures a patient, they may be sued:
- Physician’s Assistants
- Practical Nurses
- Emergency Technicians
- Plastic Surgeons
According to West Virginia laws, any person, business, or facility licensed to provide health care or a professional service is held to equal standards of care. Though cosmetic procedures are optional, they are included in this ruling. In fact, there is even some precedence for these settlements.
Real-Life Cosmetic Medical Malpractice Claims
A West Virginia court recently awarded a large settlement to Angela Eldridge for damages she suffered at the hands of a negligent plastic surgeon. The surgery failed to safely address previous reconstructive operations and a double mastectomy, and, as a result, caused deformities and other similar problems. The negligence was largely in part to the defendant’s failure to warn his client that her previous surgeries put her at a greater risk of necrosis. The case settled for $564,000.
Has Your Plastic Surgeon Committed a Negligent Act?
Eldridge’s case clearly demonstrates a negligent act that led to pain and suffering that another plastic surgeon could have reasonably avoided. However, even cases that seem straightforward are complex; doctors do not want to admit to any mistakes, and insurance companies will try their best to minimize payouts. Furthermore, documenting your claim may be difficult. To prove someone committed malpractice, you must demonstrate:
- A patient-doctor relationship. The plastic surgeon must make a diagnosis or perform a service as your official doctor. Self-inflicted injuries caused by material read online, for example, would not be eligible for a malpractice claim.
- The surgeon failed to meet the standard of care you were owed. Would another surgeon have made the mistake in similar circumstances? If not, your malpractice claim can proceed.
- That failure led to your injuries. The negligent act must have caused the plaintiff a specific injury. An unrelated complication or even negligence that did not cause an injury is not eligible for a malpractice suit.
When a plastic surgeon fails to exercise a reasonable duty of care and causes an injury, the patient should reach out to a West Virginia personal injury lawyer and file a malpractice claim. These suits ensure the economic loss, pain and suffering, and future treatments needed to recover from such incidents are fully covered by the responsible parties.
Trust Your Care to an Experienced Malpractice Attorney
Though these surgeries are cosmetic, negligence still has life-altering consequences. When individuals agree to be patients of these professionals, the last thing they expect is to be injured by a practitioner who promises an improved quality of life. When these specialists breach their duty of care, they should be held accountable – whether they are dentists, ophthalmologists, or plastic surgeons. Those who need more information on these cases should reach out to trusted medical malpractice attorneys in West Virginia.
Contact the compassionate advocates at Tiano O’Dell, PLLC to start your claim. We will help you gather evidence and construct a compelling argument, and we will not rest until you are justly compensated for any injuries. Begin by setting up a free consultation today.