Whether it’s an emergency, a routine surgery, delivering a baby, or a routine checkup, Virginians continually rely on medical professionals. Virginia has some of the top hospitals in the United States, but medical errors still happen. Medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in America with over 250,000 fatalities per year as of 2016. We all understand that medical professionals are just people and people make mistakes. However, if you were injured by a medical professional’s negligence, that is a different story. The Regan Zambri Long medical malpractice lawyers can help. Call for a free initial consultation to get your claim started.
Our medical malpractice lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience and the financial backing to take on even the largest hospitals in Virginia. Suffering an injury, especially a life-threatening or permanently debilitating one, is an awful experience. We know we cannot change what happened to you. And we know that you don’t want to be our client for a single minute more than you have to. That’s why we will do everything we can to secure the maximum amount of compensation in the smallest amount of time possible.
The Regan Zambri Long medical malpractice lawyers are nationally recognized and highly respected personal injury attorneys. Our attorneys have secured millions of dollars for our clients over the years and will do the same for you. One of our cases included an $11 million medical malpractice settlement against a health maintenance organization. The organization failed to perform a pregnancy test on a patient before admitting her for heart surgery. The patient suffered a stroke during surgery and is now severely disabled. The $11 million we were able to recover will help offset our client’s medical expenses and lack of earning capacity.
Virginia’s legal definition of medical malpractice is “any tort action or breach of contract action for personal injuries or wrongful death, based on health care or professional services rendered, or which should have been rendered, by a healthcare provider, to a patient.” In other words, if you are a patient of a healthcare worker in Virginia and suffer an injury due to his or her negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
In Virginia, “healthcare” is defined as any act, professional service, or treatment performed for, to, or on behalf of a patient during the patient’s medical diagnosis, care, treatment, or confinement. A “healthcare provider” means a person, a corporation, or a Virginia facility licensed to provide health care. It includes, but is not limited to:
According to the National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI), the top forms of medical malpractice are:
The issues can include failure to diagnose, a delayed diagnosis, or an incorrect diagnosis. For example, “anchoring bias” is when a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional insists on an initial diagnostic impression despite evidence of another diagnosis. Anchoring bias is, unfortunately, very common and is a major source of diagnostic issues. Other examples of diagnostic errors are:
The most common misdiagnosed conditions included strokes, heart attacks, spinal epidural abscesses, pulmonary embolisms, meningitis, hemorrhages, lung cancer, fractures, and appendicitis.
Communication among healthcare providers and communication between providers and patients is another leading cause of medical errors. If medical personnel doesn’t communicate with each other properly, or if medical charts are ignored or incorrect, it can cause a dangerous gap in a provider’s knowledge about the patient. If a healthcare provider does not thoroughly and consistently communicate with the patient and/or the patient’s family, the wrong care can be given when the patient leaves the facility.
Surgeons, nurses, or techs may leave equipment like sponges inside the patient’s body. There are also cases where the surgeon makes an incision in the wrong location or even the wrong body part. If the patient’s surgical site is not sterilized, it can lead to a life-threatening infection. Finally, anesthesia errors such as administering too much or too little can be deadly.
While many injuries to a baby and mother cannot be prevented, some are due to negligence. Serious birth injuries can lead to the baby having cerebral palsy, nerve damage, spinal cord damage, brain damage, and neonatal strokes. Some examples of birth injuries are:
Birth injuries can be devastating to the newborn and the family, leaving the infant with lifelong debilitating injuries.
If a doctor diagnoses an illness or injury correctly, but then fails to treat the patient properly or effectively, the patient is still at serious risk. Failure to treat a patient properly includes discharging the patient too soon, prescribing the wrong medication, prescribing an incorrect dosage of medication, failing to order the proper tests, and failing to follow up with the patient. The NCBI stated that patient characteristics, such as obesity contributed to specific exam elements being skipped.
Other forms of medical errors are:
The elderly are among the most vulnerable in Virginia. While nursing homes should be a safe place for the elderly, many times they are the exact opposite. It is far too common to hear horror stories of abuse and neglect in these facilities. Different medical malpractice situations that occur in nursing homes are:
Nursing home patients may be neglected for days at a time. Patients who have not been properly positioned, moved, or bathed may form very painful bedsores. Bedsores can lead to serious and even fatal infections. When patients’ specialized diets or medications are not tended to, it can lead to malnutrition, infections, dehydration, and worsening of an existing illness.
Many nursing home residents need assistance with walking or bathing. Some have dementia or Alzheimers and need constant supervision to ensure their safety. If a resident is not properly watched, they may wander off or slip and fall, causing severe injuries.
If the nursing home staff does not properly wash the clothes, bedsheets, patient rooms, and common areas in a nursing home, the risk of serious illness among the patients increases.
If your loved one suffered any of the following medical malpractice injuries in a nursing home, a Regan Zambri Long medical malpractice lawyer can help you secure financial compensation for their injuries. Filing a claim and speaking out about the abuse your loved one suffered may help others find their voice to speak out or even avoid a harmful situation altogether.
The effects of medical malpractice on a victim can be catastrophic, both physically and emotionally. Here at Regan Zambri Long, our medical malpractice attorneys understand that while the legal implications are important, the long-term effects on the victim and their families should be the priority. The consequences of medical malpractice can be physical, emotional, and financial. That is why we will work tirelessly to ensure a favorable settlement so you and your family can recover and move on with your lives as quickly as possible.
Physical consequences may include a condition that gets worse because of a missed or delayed diagnosis. This is especially true when someone has cancer. When a victim sustains an injury due to a surgical error, the pain can be almost unbearable. Birth injuries may leave the newborn with traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries. Being prescribed the wrong medication may cause allergic reactions or interfere with other medications taken.
Virginians are taught to trust medical professionals. They hold authority and can quite literally hold our lives in their hands. When a person we trust actually puts us in danger, it can affect the state of our mental health. Emotional trauma and distress can be a direct result of medical malpractice and may linger for years.
If a victim sustains a life-threatening or permanently debilitating injury due to medical negligence, he or she may never be able to fully return to work. Some medical injuries require the victim to have long-term treatment and around-the-clock care. When someone sustains such an unexpected injury, the sudden medical expenses combined with the loss of income can send the individual and their families into extreme financial debt.
A: In Virginia, a medical malpractice victim may collect compensation for economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic damages include:
Current and future medical expenses, including hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatment
Lost wages and loss of future wages or earning capacity
Noneconomic damages are not tangible so it is more difficult to put a monetary value on them. They include:
If your loved one passed away due to the negligence of a medical professional, the Regan Zambri Long medical malpractice lawyers will help you navigate a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim can help you recover compensation for medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and loss of consortium. Loss of consortium is the loss of a familial relationship, like a spouse or a parent.
While economic and non-economic damages are meant to award the victim with compensation, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant. These are rare, but if your healthcare provider intentionally or recklessly disregarded your rights, despite being fully aware that his or her actions would cause you harm, then your Regan Zambri Long medical malpractice attorney will pursue the maximum amount of punitive damages possible.
A: A statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum amount of time a person can initiate legal proceedings against another individual or company. Virginia’s statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims is two years from the date of the injury or from the discovery of the injury. While this may seem like a long time, once the window closes, you will not be able to pursue compensation. The safest thing to do is speak to a Regan Zambri Long medical malpractice lawyer and file your claim as quickly as possible.
A: Yes, they do. Virginia is one of the five jurisdictions (that also includes Maryland and Washington DC) that still practices contributory negligence. The law states that if the person bringing the claim is responsible for any portion of the injury, then he or she cannot collect any damages. If you are found to be at fault, even a small percentage, for your injury then you cannot proceed with a medical malpractice case. The Regan Zambri Long medical malpractice lawyers work with a team of medical consultants and other legal advisors to build a rock-solid case that will prove you had nothing to do with your injury. We will determine all the parties at fault for your injury and hold them accountable.
We offer free initial consultations to go over all possible legal avenues for your claim. You will speak to one of our leading medical malpractice attorneys who will give you reasonable advice on how to proceed with your case. Going up against a large hospital and their insurance company can be intimidating for the victims, but not for us. We have a deep understanding of Virginia law and we have the financial backing to see your case through until the very end. Our medical malpractice lawyers prepare every case as if it were going to trial, so if we cannot agree on a settlement, we will be prepared to go to court.