West Virginia Filing Deadlines
West Virginia Code § 55-7B-4 allows plaintiffs and their medical malpractice lawyers in West Virginia two years to file a legal complaint. The clock starts ticking for this statute of limitations from the date of the injury, or if the injury was not discovered until a later date, the date of discovery.
It is essential for anyone considering a claim to know about this filing deadline and its importance. If this two-year mark passes and a claim is not filed, the plaintiff may very well lose their ability to seek compensation for their injuries. While they could still file a case, the attorneys for the defendant may file a motion asking the judge to bar the lawsuit based on the expired statute of limitations.
Many people feel like they need time to heal or time to think about the circumstances of what happened before contacting an attorney and filing a lawsuit. While this is understandable, it is important to start the process as soon as possible to avoid missing any deadlines.
Proving Medical Malpractice
Jurors must follow the law when determining a verdict in a medical malpractice case. The law instructs the jurors that to render a verdict in favor of the plaintiff the following elements must be proven:
The doctor or other medical professional had a duty to the patient By acting negligently, or not in a manner that another reasonable medical professional would have acted, they breached their duty The plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the breach of duty The injuries caused damages to the patient such as additional medical expenses, disfigurement, pain, and suffering, or lost wages
If the plaintiff and their attorney can prove each of these elements, they may be able to recover compensation. However, West Virginia law places a $250,000 cap on damages that a jury can award for noneconomic losses such as loss of consortium, pain, and suffering, and mental anguish.
Economic losses, on the other hand, are not capped. If the case settles before trial, these caps are taken into consideration when determining a settlement amount. A West Virginia medical malpractice attorney can explain how these caps may affect a claim.If you have suffered harm from a medical misdiagnosis, treatment, or a procedure, an Elkins medical malpractice lawyer could evaluate your case and advise the next step for pursuing compensation.