If you or a loved one must seek medical care, the last thing that you should have to worry about is a mistake being made that will cause an injury or illness. Unfortunately, preventable medical errors are not uncommon in the United States. At Tiano O’Dell, we are here to help if you need a Morgantown medical malpractice lawyer by your side. Our personal injury attorneys in West Virginia have the resources necessary to conduct a complete investigation into medical malpractice claims so we can help our clients secure the compensation they are entitled to for what happened.
Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have stated that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the country. There are various actions that medical providers can take that constitute malpractice, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Failure to diagnose
- Surgical mistakes
- Anesthesia mistakes
- Healthcare-acquired infections
- Failure to prevent patient falls
- Failing to obtain informed consent
- Prescription medication mistakes
- Obstetrical errors
Four elements of medical malpractice claims must be present for a case to be valid:
- Duty. In order for a claim to be valid, there must have been a doctor-patient relationship established between the victim and the alleged negligent provider.
- Breach. It needs to be shown that the doctor somehow breached their duty of care. Showing this requires proving that the doctor failed to provide an adequate standard of care to the patient, which will be judged by analyzing how a similarly trained professional would have acted in similar circumstances.
- Causation. If there was a breach of care by the medical professional, it will also need to be shown that the breach directly caused the patient’s injuries or illness.
- Damages. Finally, it needs to be shown that the patient suffered some sort of monetary loss as a result of the medical malpractice.
Types of Compensation Available
There may be various types of compensation available to medical malpractice victims in Morgantown, West Virginia. Damages could include the following:
- Complete coverage of medical bills resulting from the malpractice
- Lost income if a victim is unable to work while they recover
- General household out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of quality of life damage is
The total amount of compensation available will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the particular case. In general, the more severe the injury or illness, the more the claim will be worth.
Time Limits for Medical Malpractice Cases
The West Virginia medical malpractice statute of limitations is two years from the date the incident occurred. This two-year timeframe begins at the time of the incident occurred or from the date when the patient reasonably should have discovered an injury or illness caused by medical malpractice.
Are There Limits on Compensation in West Virginia?
In West Virginia, there are no limitations on the total amount of economic damage compensation available to medical malpractice victims. This includes coverage for medical bills, lost wages, and other calculable expenses. However, West Virginia does place a cap on the non-economic damages that can be paid out in medical malpractice claims. This includes how much can be paid out for pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.
The West Virginia medical malpractice non-economic damage cap is $250,000. This cap rises to $500,000 for wrongful death claims or serious permanent or injury as a result of medical malpractice.
Contact a Morgantown Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you or somebody you love has been injured or become ill due to the careless or negligent actions of a medical provider in Morgantown, West Virginia, contact the team at Tiano O’Dell. Our attorneys have the resources necessary to conduct a full investigation into your claim. Call our Morgantown medical malpractice attorneys for a free consultation today.