Marion County Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Undergoing a significant medical procedure can be a stressful endeavor, even if everything goes well. If something went wrong and you suffered an additional injury as a result, it is understandable to feel unsure about what to do next. What are you supposed to do when the doctor you trusted to help you feel better just made your condition worse?
The answer could be to talk to a personal injury attorney who could help you consider your options for filing a lawsuit for compensation. A Marion County medical malpractice lawyer could work with you to identify the precise nature of your compensable damages, navigate all the procedural hurdles mandated by West Virginia state law, and effectively pursue a positive resolution to your case.
When to File a Medical Malpractice Case in Marion County
All civil injury cases filed in West Virginia must abide by a statute of limitations that establishes how soon a case must be filed after the incident, which caused the injury occurred. However, different types of cases have different statutory periods, as an experienced Marion County medical malpractice attorney could affirm.
For medical malpractice cases, the applicable statutory deadline is two years from either the date of the injury or the date when the injured party discovered—or reasonably should have discovered—their injury, according to West Virginia Code §55-7B-4. This section also includes a statute of repose, which sets a final deadline of 10 years following the injury for a suit to be filed.
There are only a few exceptions to this statute of limitations. Specifically, anyone injured by medical malpractice as a child must have someone file on their behalf within two years of the injury or before the minor’s 12th birthday, whichever provides more time. The statutory period may also be “tolled”, or paused, if the alleged defendant fraudulently hid evidence of malpractice.
Requirements and Limitations for Filing
Plaintiffs seeking to recover damages from a negligent medical professional must fulfill particular prerequisites before their case can proceed. First, according to W. Va. Code §55-7B-6, plaintiffs must notify all defendants of their grounds for a lawsuit and list all the care providers being sued through what is known as a “notice of claim.”
This notice must include a certificate of merit drafted by an expert in a comparable field. In this certificate, the expert must prove they are a relevant expert, define the applicable standard of care for the procedure that led to the plaintiff’s injury, and provide a professional opinion on whether the defendant doctor acted negligently in causing the plaintiff’s injury. Once these documents are submitted by either the plaintiff or their Marion County medical malpractice lawyer, the case can proceed as usual.
One obstacle to note is that West Virginia enforces a cap on recoverable non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Specifically, W. Va. Code §55-7B-8 sets a maximum limit of $250,000 in non-economic damages under normal circumstances, with a cap increase to $500,000 in the event of a catastrophic injury or wrongful death.
Pursuing Justice with the Help of a Marion County Medical Malpractice Attorney
In most situations, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals can be trusted to do their jobs carefully and effectively. However, given the potentially life-altering consequences that a doctor’s negligence could have on your health, it could be a good idea to act quickly and contact an efficient attorney if you suspect your doctor has mistreated you.
The first step to recovering fair compensation for your damages could be talking to a Marion County medical malpractice lawyer. Call today to set up an initial consultation.