Medical Malpractice FAQ
Helping injured victims in West Virginia get answers
If you believe that you have been injured by the negligence of a medical professional in West Virginia, you should take immediate steps to protect your rights. At Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, we help you seek answers about what went wrong with your medical care. You may also be entitled to recover compensation for the physical, emotional and financial harm you have suffered due to your injuries or the loss of a loved one.
Our experienced and dedicated medical malpractice attorneys will find out what really happened. Our legal team knows where to look for evidence of negligence by medical professionals. We also consult medical experts who can determine if your doctor met the standard of care expected in your treatment. Our goal is to help you to get your life back on track after you were harmed by medical negligence. It's not just business for us - it's personal.
We have provided answers to several common questions about medical malpractice cases. In a consultation, our lawyers can learn more about your case, including the medical treatment you received - or believe you should have received - and the harm you have suffered. We can also answer any questions you may have about your case and what goes into pursuing a medical malpractice claim in West Virginia. Take the first step in your case today. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I have a medical malpractice claim?
Your case will require a thorough investigation. The goal will be to determine whether the medical professional in your case failed to fulfill a basic duty that was owed to you as a patient. Under West Virginia law, the duty of doctors and other medical professionals is to exercise the care, skill and learning that would be expected or required of a reasonable, prudent medical professional in the same area of medicine when facing the same or similar circumstances. If our investigation reveals that the medical professional in your case provided care that fell below the relevant standard of care, and that failure cause you to suffer actual harm, then you may have the grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
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Who can be sued in my medical malpractice case?
Any medical professional who has harmed you by contributing to negligent care, treatment or confinement of you can, potentially, be held liable in a West Virginia medical malpractice claim. This list includes doctors, nurses, dentists, therapists and emergency care providers. Hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other care facilities - whether private or government-operated - may be liable as well. West Virginia recently enacted a law that allows a party to be held liable only for the percentage of fault attributed to him or her. So, in your case, it will be crucial to identify and take action against all health care providers who are responsible for your harm.
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What can I recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit?
The goal of pursuing a medical malpractice claim would be make you "whole" again. In other words, our lawyers would seek a financial recovery that would seek to put you in the position you enjoyed before you were harmed by a medical professional's negligence. A medical malpractice claim in West Virginia typically would seek a recovery of:
- Economic damages such as past and future medical expenses, lost income and loss of future earnings
- Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium
- Punitive damages if the medical professional acted with fraud, malice or intent to harm you.
West Virginia, like many states, places a cap on the non-economic damages you can recover in a medical malpractice claim. Call us for a free consultation if you believe you or a loved one was the victim of medical malpractice.
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How long do I have to bring a medical malpractice claim?
You must file a medical malpractice claim in West Virginia within two years from the date of your injury, your discovery of the injury (or when you reasonably should have discovered it), or your loved one's death due to malpractice. In no event can you bring a medical malpractice claim more than 10 years after the date of the injury, regardless of when you discovered it. Two exceptions to these time limits, or statute of limitations, may come into play in your case:
- A claim may be brought on behalf of a child under age 10 within two years after the date of injury or within two years after the child turns age 12 - whichever is longer.
- The clock will not start running on your claim if you were the victim of fraud, misrepresentation, concealment or collusion by medical professionals.
Because it takes time to prepare a medical malpractice claim, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you believe that you have been harmed by medical negligence. If you wait too long to act, you could lose your right to take action.
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How can a West Virginia medical malpractice lawyer help me?
Medical malpractice cases in West Virginia can be highly complex. It is important to work with a lawyer that has experience in these cases and the skill and resources it takes to hold health care providers accountable for their negligence. Our firm provides the aggressive representation you need by:
- Investigating your case - We can focus, in particular, on the medical records in your case to determine why you were harmed and who should be held responsible. We can also examine the medical equipment used in your case and interview witnesses.
- Working with experts - We can turn to experts to review the care that was provided in your case. In most cases, an expert from the same medical field as the health care provider in your case will need to submit a "screening certificate" before a lawsuit can be filed.
- Seeking timely resolution - A medical malpractice trial can be lengthy. Our goal will be to carefully prepare your case and seek a more timely resolution of your claim through a settlement, if it is possible to reach one that meets your needs.
- Fighting for you at trial - If a medical professional or hospital refuses to provide a full and fair settlement offer, our attorneys will be ready to present the strongest case possible for you in the courtroom.
Our lawyers know how to overcome obstacles that often arise in medical malpractice cases. You can count on us to work hard for you and pursue maximum compensation for your losses.
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