Medical malpractice has been rampant in the U.S., including in West Virginia (WV). In fact, a recent study suggests that a number of deaths in the U.S. are attributable to errors in the delivery of medical care. Needless to say, nobody wants to be on the receiving end of a medical mistake. Mishaps such as these can be costly and can lead to lifelong health issues. It is the duty of all professional healthcare providers to give each patient quality medical care. If that duty is not upheld and you fall victim to a WV medical mistake, the law supports your right to bring a lawsuit.

What Circumstances Constitute a WV Medical Mistake?

Medical malpractice, medical negligence, medical error, and medical mistake are terminologies often used interchangeably, all referring to a negligent act or omission of quality care by a health care professional or institution resulting in injury or death of a patient.

A WV medical mistake can occur at any stage in the delivery of care: assessment, diagnosis, operative procedures, treatment, and aftercare. Here, we will examine a few of the most commonly reported errors that can fall into the category of medical negligence:

  • Unreasonable delays in detecting and diagnosing a medical condition
  • Failing to treat a known diagnosis of a patient
  • Performing surgeries that are unnecessary or on the wrong site
  • Injuries during birth (to mother or child)
  • Improperly managing prescriptions

These are only a few examples. Please note that you should discuss your specific case with a WV personal injury attorney to better understand where your situation falls on the legal spectrum.

WV Law Governing Medical Malpractice

There are a few specific rules applicable when it comes to bringing a lawsuit after a WV medical mistake. First, you should be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice or neglect case. You must follow these rules to meet the statute of limitations:

  • An injury-related claim must be filed within two years from the date of the injury or the date that the injury should have been reasonably discovered.
  • A death-related claim must generally be filed within two years from the date of death.
  • For claimants under the age of 10, the case must be filed within two years from the date of injury, or before their 12th birthday, whichever period is longer.
  • No claim can be filed 10 years after any injury.

Furthermore, WV law imposes caps on non-economic damages related to medical mistakes. Non-economic claims must not exceed $250,000 unless there is a death. In the case of a death then the amount must not exceed $500,000. It is important that an individual understand that while there may be certain limitations in their case, each claim is unique. There are a number of factors that will determine the outcome and each person who suspects that he or she may have been a victim of medical malpractice deserves to have a proper legal evaluation.

Who Might Be Liable for a WV Medical Mistake?

According to the WV Medical Professional Liability Act, any person or institution that holds any type of medical license or certification (known as a health care provider) may be sued for medical negligence or malpractice. Included in this classification are primary care physicians, specialists (such as surgeons, cardiologists, or anesthesiologists), dentists, nurses, therapists, clinics, and health care facilities.

You may always reach out to legal counsel to help you determine whether a health care provider may have been responsible for your WV medical mistake.

Legal Counsel

Do you have a WV medical mistake case? The legal system can be complicated and intimidating, but you do not have to face it alone. At Hendrickson & Long, we understand the important role  a great lawyer can play in helping injured people get the justice they deserve. Located in Charleston, WV, our law office provides comprehensive legal counsel with over 20 years of experience. Call us today with your questions about your case: 304-346-5500.