Medical Malpractice – What Is It and Do I Have a Claim?

Patients go to the doctor to seek answers to the conditions that ail them. So what happens when you are left with an injury and more questions than answers (and even more medical bills) after visiting a healthcare provider? You may have a claim for medical malpractice. 

When a patient is injured by a healthcare provider, and the patient’s injury is related to the negligence of the healthcare provider, the individual may be compensated for their medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and even loss of their future earning capacity. An injured person has the option to bring a claim for compensation against the healthcare provider in the form of a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice claims in West Virginia are permitted under the Medical Professional Liability Act (W. Va. Code § 55-7b-1, et seq.).

Two of the biggest issues in any medical malpractice case are causation and damages. The causation question may be answered by asking, “Was the patient’s injury caused by a healthcare provider’s negligence?” Negligence in the realm of medical malpractice is determined by whether the healthcare provider’s treatment of the patient deviated from the standard of care, and further whether that deviation resulted in injury to the patient. The “standard of care” is measured by what a reasonably prudent health care provider would or would not have done in similar circumstances.

Medical malpractice cases are extremely fact-specific. They are also extremely costly to pursue. This goes to the second issue mentioned above – the issue of damages. Damages are the monetary and non-monetary losses suffered by a person as a result of a healthcare provider’s negligence. Damages come in the form of specific damages (e.g., medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity) and general damages, things that don’t have a specific monetary value (e.g., pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, annoyance and inconvenience). 

Our attorneys at Adams Legal Group, PLLC, have significant experience in dealing with medical malpractice cases and can help to evaluate your potential claim. If you have suffered an injury due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, please contact us for a free consultation with one of our attorneys