What We Do

Accident & Medical Malpractice Attorney

We handle cases involving people with serious injuries caused by negligence.  The negligence may be from a driver, a doctor, a hospital, or a nursing home.

Cases We Handle

  • Medical Malpractice
  • Medication Error
  • Failure to Diagnose
  • Failure to Monitor
  • Birth Injury
  • Malnutrition
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Wrongful Death
  • Car Accident
  • Truck Accident
  • Repeated Falls
  • Bed Sores
  • Surgical Error
  • Delayed Diagnosis
  • Dehydration
  • Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

What a Successful Medical Malpractice Case Requires in Virginia

A successful medical malpractice case in Virginia has two components: the legal components and the practical components.

Legal Components

To prove a medical malpractice case, there are four legal elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages.

Duty

We must establish the doctor (or other health care provider) had a duty of care to the patient.  In Virginia, this is established by law, but we also have to prove the specific acts required by the doctor under the specific circumstances.

Breach

We must establish the doctor breached his duty.  In other words, we must show the doctor’s actions were different and less than how a reasonably careful doctor would have acted.  

Cause

We must prove a connection between the doctor’s breach and a bad result.  Think of texting and driving.  It is not safe, but, fortunately, not everyone who texts and drives causes a wreck.  Without a wreck, there is no causation.  The same is true of doctors who act poorly, but do not cause harm.

Damages

We must show the patient suffered harm.  Using the distracted driver analogy, if that driver does cause a wreck, but does not injure anyone, then damages cannot be proven.

Practical Components

Virginia law on medical malpractice requires those four legal elements – duty, breach, causation, and damages – to be proven by expert testimony.  Depending on the type and complexity of the case, that could easily involve a handful of experts.

This leads directly to the second component of a successful medical malpractice case in Virginia – practicality.

Because of Virginia’s laws, which include an absolute upper limit on how much victims of medical malpractice can recover in damages, we must not only consider the legal requirements of a claim, but also whether it makes sense for a family to pursue a case.  In other words, a medical malpractice case must be legally and practically advisable. 

One of the main ways it becomes inadvisable is when the costs are likely to exceed what a family can reasonably expect to receive.  The more experts that are required, the higher the costs go.  Similarly, the more medical liens there are, the less money there is for the client in the end. 

We do not pursue cases where only experts, health insurers, and court costs are paid, leaving little or nothing for clients.  To the contrary, we are in the business of making a meaningful impact in people’s lives.  When we are not reasonably confident we can do that, we say so.

One of the most frequent and difficult conversations to have with people is when they have clearly been treated poorly, but we still cannot help them.  This is hard to tell people, and undoubtedly even harder for families to hear, especially families who are desperate to hold the doctors accountable.  Despite its difficulty, we feel a moral obligation to be honest, upfront, and advise families of this reality from the beginning.

What Can I Recover?

Every medical malpractice case is different, but in general, a patient injured by medical malpractice can recover compensation for their damages, including:

  • Physical injuries & their effects
  • Past & future physical pain
  • Mental suffering
  • Physical disfigurement & deformity
  • Humiliation & embarrassment
  • Inconvenience
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Future lost income
  • Loss of future earning capacity