Virginia’s Medical Malpractice Laws: What You Need To Know

When it comes to finding quality healthcare, patients in Virginia trust their doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to provide accurate diagnoses and proper treatment. However, what happens when something goes wrong? What happens when you suffer harm because of the negligence of your healthcare provider?

That’s where Virginia’s medical malpractice laws come into play. In this article, we will explain what you need to know about medical malpractice laws in Virginia, including what constitutes medical malpractice, the statute of limitations for filing a claim, and more.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a form of negligence committed by a healthcare provider that results in harm to the patient. Negligence can take many forms, including misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, surgical errors, anesthesia errors, medication errors, and more.

For an act to be considered medical malpractice, certain criteria must be met. First, there must be a doctor-patient relationship. Second, the medical professional must have breached the standard of care. Standard of care refers to the level of skill and care that a reasonable healthcare provider would have exhibited in the same situation. Finally, the breach of the standard of care must have resulted in harm to the patient.

Statute of Limitations

In Virginia, there is a time limit for filing a medical malpractice claim. The statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim is generally two years from the date of the incident that caused the injury or harm. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the medical malpractice was not discovered until later, the two-year statute of limitations may be extended.

If you’re considering filing a medical malpractice claim in Virginia, it’s important to keep in mind the statute of limitations. Failing to file within the prescribed time frame will likely result in your claim being dismissed.

Medical Malpractice Caps

Medical malpractice caps refer to the limit on the amount of money that a plaintiff can recover in a medical malpractice case. In Virginia, there is a cap on the amount of damages that a plaintiff can recover for non-economic damages. Non-economic damages refer to things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress.

As of 2021, the non-economic damages cap in Virginia is $2.4 million. However, this cap only applies in cases where the medical malpractice occurred on or after July 1, 2018. If the medical malpractice occurred prior to July 1, 2018, there is no cap on non-economic damages.

It’s important to keep in mind that there is no cap on economic damages in Virginia. Economic damages refer to things like medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial losses that result from the medical malpractice.

State Licensing Requirements

In Virginia, healthcare providers are required to obtain a license from the Virginia Board of Medicine before they can practice medicine. The Virginia Board of Medicine is responsible for ensuring that medical professionals meet certain competency and character requirements.

If a healthcare provider fails to meet these requirements or engages in conduct that violates the Medical Practice Act, their license may be suspended or revoked. If you believe that your healthcare provider has engaged in conduct that violates the Medical Practice Act, you can file a complaint with the Virginia Board of Medicine.

Finding a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice in Virginia, it’s important to find an experienced medical malpractice attorney to represent you. A good medical malpractice lawyer can help you navigate the legal system, build a strong case, and recover the compensation you deserve.

When looking for a medical malpractice lawyer, it’s important to find an attorney with experience in this area of law. You should also look for an attorney who has a track record of success in medical malpractice cases and who is willing to take your case to trial if necessary.

Conclusion

Medical malpractice can have devastating consequences for patients and their families. Fortunately, Virginia’s medical malpractice laws provide a way for victims to seek compensation for their injuries and losses. If you believe that you have been the victim of medical malpractice in Virginia, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options. By working with an experienced medical malpractice attorney, you can recover the compensation you deserve and hold negligent healthcare providers accountable for their actions.

Scroll to Top