Medical Malpractice (medical negligence, med mal) lawsuits may be filed in West Virginia when a medical provider injures a person through negligent medical care of the person. Negligent medical care in West Virginia is that medical care that falls below the adequate standard of medical care generally followed by other similarly educated and qualified medical professionals. These acts or omissions can be reasons to file a medical malpractice case:
It is quite advantageous to discuss an injury that results from a health care provider's treatment with a West Virginia medical malpractice lawyer.
Who Can Commit Malpractice In West Virginia?
Health care providers (individuals or organizations licensed, authorized or certified to provide medical services) can be sued for medical malpractice in West Virginia. In West Virginia, examples of health care providers include (not exclusively) psychologists, physicians, chiropractors, nurses, dentists, hospitals, assisted living facilities and hospice care centers. If you are confused about who or what is a health care provider, you must contact a West Virginia med mal lawyer to address any questions you may have.
West Virginia Medical Malpractice Statutes of Limitation
The statute of limitations is the time period within which you must file your claim for medical malpractice in West Virginia, if you have been injured by a medical provider's negligent actions or care. In West Virginia, you must file your claim within two years of when the injury occurred or of when you discovered the injury. In any case, you must file your claim within ten years after the date of the injury.
If the claimant is under age ten, he must file his medical malpractice action within the longer of two years of the injury, or before his twelfth birthday.
To be sure that your claim is filed within the appropriate statute of limitations and that your claim is not barred and your chance for damages not lost, hire a West Virginia med mal lawyer.
Damage Limitations On West Virginia Medical Malpractice Claims
There are several kinds of damages available in West Virginia medical malpractice cases; damages available include: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are split into non-economic damages (pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of companionship) and economic damages (loss of wages, medical bills). In contrast, punitive damages are only awarded if the defendant's conduct was fraudulent, malicious, or willful. West Virginia limits non-economic damages against a medical provider to $250,000 per occurrence. This amount is increased to $500,000 per occurrence in cases involving permanent disability or wrongful death.
Damages vary greatly depending on the case. Because this is the case, you should be sure to seek counsel from a West Virginia medical malpractice attorney to be certain that you understand the kinds of damages it is possible for you to receive in your med mal case.
How To File A West Virginia Medical Malpractice Claim
The process of filing and arguing a medical malpractice claim in West Virginia can be multifaceted, drawn-out, and costly. Filing the claim often requires the assistance of a West Virginia medical malpractice lawyer to take depositions, hire expert medical witnesses, and deal with the defendant's lawyers and insurance companies. Additionally, it is possible that several defendants may need to be sued (i.e., doctor, nurse, manufacturer of medical equipment that caused your injury), and a West Virginia med mal attorney will know how best to structure your med mal lawsuit.
West Virginia Code