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How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Virginia?

If you were harmed due to medical malpractice, you likely have many questions and want to know what you should do next. What types of cases qualify for medical malpractice? How long do you have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Virginia? To learn more about medical malpractice and how long you have to file your particular lawsuit, contact a Richmond medical malpractice lawyer today. At Lantz & Robins, P.C., our trial lawyers have over 40 years of combined experience helping clients just like you get the compensation they deserve. We have handled numerous Virginia medical malpractice lawsuits. We understand how complex medical malpractice cases are. Let us put our knowledge and skills to work for you.  How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Virginia? The amount of time you have to file a lawsuit is known as the statute of limitations. This deadline varies based on the type of claim you are presenting and the circumstances surrounding your case. The deadline for personal injury cases in Virginia is two years from the date of the accident. Medical malpractice is somewhat different. In most cases, you have up to two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. If your family member passed away from medical malpractice, you have two years from the date of their death. If the victim is a child, the medical malpractice statute of limitations for a minor in Virginia can be confusing. There are different rules in place if the child is under eight years old—you must bring an action before their 10th birthday. That means if your child is five years old at the time, you could have up to five years. If they are close to turning eight, you would have only two years. If your minor child is 10 years or older, you have two years to bring an action. Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Virginia? There are limited circumstances that could change your filing deadline.  Continuing Treatment Rule The continuing treatment rule says that if you’ve had substantially uninterrupted treatment for the same condition, your time to file a claim would not begin counting down until the last treatment date. However, this is a very complex exception. Your attorney will be able to tell you what deadlines apply in your individual case. Foreign Objects In some cases, medical malpractice involves a foreign object, such as a needle or surgical sponge, being left in your body. In that case, you have two years from the date it occurred, or one year from the date when you discovered the foreign object or reasonably should have discovered it, whichever amount of time is longer. Fraud If there is proof of concealment, fraud, or intentional misrepresentation that prevented you from discovering the malpractice, then you have a year from the date of discovery or when it reasonably should’ve been discovered. Failure to Diagnose Some medical malpractice cases involve a negligent failure to diagnose a malignant tumor or cancer. In those cases, you will have a year to file a claim after you learn of the diagnosis if certain conditions exist. However, this rule applies only to cases where the omission or underlying act occurred after July 1, 2008. Government Employees Another exception to the two-year rule to note is when your malpractice involves a medical professional employed by the Commonwealth of Virginia. That could be a doctor at UVA or VCU, for example. These claims fall under the Virginia Tort Claims Act. Under these rules, you must provide notice to the Commonwealth within a year of the alleged malpractice. Statute of Repose Even if an exception applies that would extend the statute of limitations in your case, Virginia’s statute of repose may prevent you from bringing your claim more than 10 years after the malpractice occurred. For example, if you discover a foreign object 13 years after surgery, you would not be able to bring a claim even though you would typically have a year from the date of discovery. What Happens If You Miss the Deadline to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit? Missing the deadline means the statute of limitations has expired or run out. If this happens, you cannot legally pursue a claim any longer. If you were in the middle of negotiations with the insurance company, they do not have to continue settlement talks with you. That is one of the reasons why retaining a skilled Richmond medical malpractice lawyer is crucial. When you hire us as your attorneys, we will make sure a lawsuit is filed before the deadline. How Do You Know If You Have a Case for Medical Malpractice? When you see a medical professional, you expect that the people you entrust your life to will ensure you receive the proper care. When mistakes occur and you suffer harm at the hands of a doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, etc., you may have legal recourse for your injuries. However, not all incidents will rise to the level of medical malpractice. Your case must meet specific criteria for you to bring a successful claim for damages.  Duty First, you must prove that the physician had a duty to provide you with reasonable care. The existence of this duty depends on whether you had a doctor-patient relationship. There has to be an identifiable relationship showing you are a patient of the medical professional. You cannot claim damages for decisions you made following an offhand comment from a physician at a social gathering, for example. In most cases, it’s relatively straightforward to show a doctor-patient relationship. Where it can be tricky is if you had a consulting doctor who didn’t administer treatment directly. Breach The next element you must show is that the physician breached their duty to you. You don’t have the right to sue just because you’re unhappy. To prove they breached their duty, you must provide evidence that another reasonable doctor with similar training and experience […]

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What Is the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury in Virginia?

If you or someone you love was injured due to someone else’s actions, you might have a valid personal injury claim. Personal injury claims can arise from many incidents, from car accidents and slip and falls to defective products and medical malpractice. It’s important to know what your rights and obligations are regarding the statute of limitations in Virginia for personal injury. If you miss the filing deadline, the court could bar your case. That is why you want to retain an experienced Richmond personal injury lawyer. At Lantz & Robins, P.C., our team of personal injury lawyers has over 40 years of combined experience helping Virginia clients. When you meet with us, we will evaluate your case and let you know the personal injury statute of limitations that applies to your particular claim. How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim? In most Virginia personal injury claims, you have two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. Examples include: Car accidents, Truck accidents, Bicycle accidents, Motorcycle accidents, Slip and fall accidents, Negligent security, False imprisonment, Defective products, Medical malpractice, Wrongful death, and Assault and battery. If you present a claim for defamation, such as libel or slander, the statute of limitations is only one year. If you want to bring a lawsuit against a former lawyer for alleged malpractice, you could have three or five years, depending on whether there’s a written retainer agreement. Trespass claims also have a five-year statute of limitations. Getting the statute of limitations right is crucial. You can legally file a claim or lawsuit on your own without legal representation, but we don’t recommend it. There are too many variables that can affect the statute of limitations. It is not worth risking your entire case if you inadvertently miss the deadline to file. How Is the Statute of Limitations Calculated? The statute of limitations usually starts counting down from the date of the accident or injury. However, some situations can complicate determining the statute of limitations. For example, consider someone who is diagnosed with an occupational disease years after exposure or someone who discovers a foreign object left inside their body three years after surgery. These victims can’t meet the two-year deadline for reasons beyond their control. Occupational Diseases or Medical Malpractice Consider someone who is diagnosed with an occupational disease years after exposure or someone who discovers a foreign object left inside their body three years after surgery. These victims can’t meet the two-year deadline for reasons beyond their control. If your personal injury claim does indeed involve occupational diseases or medical malpractice, it’s even more important you contact our skilled Richmond personal injury attorneys. If the victim is a minor, the rules are different regarding the statute of limitations. For most personal injury matters, a minor has two years after they turn 18 to file a claim. That means the deadline to file would fall on the child’s 20th birthday. This is because someone under 18 cannot enter into a contract—they don’t have legal capacity. However, the statute of limitations is very different if the case involves a minor and medical malpractice. For children under eight years old at the time of the malpractice, Virginia law says they have until their 10th birthday. But children ten years of age and older have only two years to file a lawsuit. That means the parents have to file a medical malpractice suit on behalf of their children. If the parents don’t do so, a child won’t be able to pursue a claim once they become an adult. If these examples aren’t convoluted enough, you could have multiple statutes of limitations to deal with in your case. Work Injuries Some injuries result in multiple claims, and those claims may not have the same cut-off period. For example, if you are injured in a work-related car accident, you may have two or more types of claims. You might have a workers’ compensation claim for your injuries since you were on the job. You may also be able to present a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance if they caused the accident. Car Accidents For auto accidents, there are also two separate time limits. For your physical injuries, your claim falls under the two-year statute of limitations. But if you are pursuing a claim for only property damage, the deadline is five years. Your attorney will let you know if you have multiple avenues of recovery in a personal injury claim and what the statute of limitations or claims deadlines are for each. Is There Any Recourse If You Miss the Deadline to File a Personal Injury Claim? In most cases, the court will throw out your case if you missed the filing deadline. Your main hope is that the defense won’t raise the issue when they file the answer. The defendant needs to assert an affirmative defense that you filed beyond the statute of limitations. If they fail to do so, they may waive their right to argue that you didn’t file in time. What Falls Under Personal Injury? Personal injury is any legal dispute that results from damage or harm caused by another party. That harm can be due to negligence, recklessness, or even an intentional act.  Negligence There are two main issues in most personal injury cases resulting from negligence: liability and damages. When someone harms you, they have a legal responsibility to you for your damages. However, you cannot bring a successful personal injury claim without proving liability and damages. To prove liability, you must first show that the other party owed you some type of duty. The most straightforward example is a car accident. Drivers owe a duty to others to exercise reasonable care when behind the wheel of a car. They must follow all laws and rules of the road. Failure to do so is a breach of duty and can result in an accident. If a driver runs a red light, for example, that’s a […]

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Types of Nursing Home Negligence in Virginia

Nursing home negligence care can take many forms. Residents can suffer abuse or neglect, both of which can lead to significant harm. Nursing home negligence can also lead to slip and fall accidents.  Nursing homes are not likely to admit their liability. This is why you need to retain a skilled Richmond nursing home negligence attorney. Types of Nursing Home Negligence Nursing home abuse and neglect are rampant problems in nursing homes all across the country. When a nursing home breaches its duty and provides care that results in residents suffering harm, they are negligent. Neglect and abuse are two distinct problems. Nursing home abuse takes one of four primary forms: Physical abuse, Emotional or mental abuse, Sexual abuse, or Financial abuse. Nursing home neglect points to a lack of interaction and care. A nursing home must provide its residents with basic necessities. Examples are food, water, safety, medical treatment, medications, and a clean environment. Neglect can lead to harm and significant injuries, such as those sustained in a slip and fall. Either abuse or neglect can support a negligence claim against the nursing home. Such a claim can be based on the nursing home’s direct actions or on the actions of its staff. Negligent hiring, training, and supervision are common causes of nursing home abuse and neglect. Slip and Falls in Nursing Homes in VA Around three million older people get treated in emergency rooms across the country for injuries related to a slip and fall every year. Nursing home falls in Richmond can point to negligence in many cases. Nursing homes are obligated to assess each resident. If someone has a notation that they are a fall risk, the resident should never be left alone when they are out of bed. The nursing home should be assisting with wheelchair transfers, monitoring the person while using the bathroom, etc. Nursing home falls in VA could result from a poorly trained staff member, lack of adequate staff to monitor residents, or even the lack of proper medical equipment that would’ve kept the resident safe. If you or a family member is in a nursing home and suffered injuries due to a fall, you could have a legal claim for damages. At Lantz & Robins, P.C., our Richmond personal injury lawyers have years of experience representing clients in medical malpractice and nursing home neglect and abuse cases. Let us evaluate your case and help you hold the nursing home accountable for their negligence. Nursing Home Defenses in Richmond, VA If you present a claim against the nursing home for negligence, you can expect that the facility will vigorously defend its position that there was no wrongdoing. These facilities usually have experienced legal counsel. They will attempt to intimidate you in hopes you drop your claim. That is why working with a skilled Richmond nursing home personal injury lawyer is essential. We already know all the tactics and potential defenses their lawyers will raise. Nursing homes will almost always claim that the resident contributed to their own injuries by getting out of bed without assistance, didn’t use their call button, or refused to wait for staff to arrive.  Contact a Richmond Nursing Home Personal Injury Lawyer Today Pursuing a nursing home negligence claim can be complicated. You need an attorney on your side with the skills and experience to hold the facility accountable. Our Richmond nursing home personal injury attorneys are here to help. With our extensive experience in personal injury, nursing home abuse, and medical malpractice claims, we can help you get the compensation you and your family deserve. To learn more about how we can help, contact Lantz & Robins, P.C., today.

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Common Examples of Medical Malpractice in Richmond, VA

If you were injured during a medical procedure, you may be wondering what to do next. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are held to a high standard of performance. There are risks associated with any medical procedure, and healthcare professionals are bound to make mistakes. Some mistakes, however, are unacceptable. If the medical professional who treated you was negligent in providing or omitting treatment, your medical malpractice complaint may set an example in VA that can discourage other providers from acting negligently.  What Are the Four Elements of Negligence? Negligence is a legal theory that allows injured parties to recover financial compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress, among other losses. Proving negligence requires you to establish four elements:  Duty,  Breach,  Causation, and  Injury.  When a healthcare provider takes you on as a patient, they accept a duty to provide you with reasonable care. To prove that your healthcare provider breached their duty, you must prove that their treatment fell below the required standard of care for their profession. The standard of care for a healthcare professional requires that professional to behave as a reasonably prudent healthcare professional would in the same circumstances. If your provider breached their duty of care and caused you injury, you can file a complaint about medical malpractice.  What Are the Most Common Examples of Medical Malpractice in VA? Medical negligence can occur in any number of treatments and procedures. If a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional failed to act as a reasonably prudent person in their profession and in the same circumstances would act, they were medically negligent. There are certain procedures and mistakes that most commonly result in medical malpractice cases. Examples of medical malpractice in Richmond include:  Diagnostic errors, Birth injuries,  Medication errors (type of medication and dosage), Hospital-borne infections, Nerve damage,  Surgical errors,  Premature discharge, and Anesthesiology errors.  If you experienced an example of medical malpractice in VA or you were otherwise harmed during a medical procedure or treatment in Virginia, you should speak to an experienced Virginia medical malpractice attorney. A medical malpractice attorney can explain your options going forward and communicate with insurance companies on your behalf.  What Percentage of Malpractice Cases Make It to Trial? Medical malpractice cases are complex and time-consuming. In addition to meeting with clients and writing court briefs, medical malpractice attorneys spend a significant amount of time negotiating with insurance companies and hospital legal departments. The settlement is often the preferred method for resolving a case. The settlement is often more efficient and less expensive than taking cases to trial. However, when insurance companies and hospital claims departments make unreasonable settlement offers, experienced medical malpractice attorneys have no choice but to take the case to trial. In a 2007 report, the United States Department of Justice found that only 5% of medical malpractice cases go to trial.  How Lantz & Robins, P.C., Can Help  The attorneys at Lantz & Robins, P.C., have years of experience litigating medical malpractice claims in Richmond, VA. Our clients are our first priority. We will research your claims, communicate with hospital claims departments, negotiate with insurance companies, and file necessary documents with the court. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our medical malpractice attorneys will walk you through your options, step by step, in the hopes of securing your best financial recovery. We look forward to hearing from you.

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