Medical malpractice in Virginia is defined by law. The definition of medical malpractice in Virginia is defined in Virginia Code Title 8.01, Chapter 21.1. Medical Malpractice, Definitions.
The Definition of Medical Malpractice in Virginia
By law in Virginia, medical malpractice means,
“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 health care provider, to a patient.”
Medical Malpractice Defendants
Defendants in malpractice cases can include not only doctors, but dentists, surgeons, nurses and other physicians. It also can include hospital facilities, outpatient surgical centers, dialysis clinics or other healthcare providers or facilities. Wrongful death cases can also be a type of medical malpractice case in Virginia.
If in the rare instance it is found that a person is practicing medicine without a license, the potential litigation would not be medical malpractice but would likely be a personal injury, negligence or fraud type of case.
Proving Medical Malpractice in Virginia
In Virginia, to prove medical malpractice, a plaintiff must prove four elements:
A Duty of Care
Duty of care is the easiest to prove, as usually there is ample evidence of a doctor-patient relationship, which is what this element requires. The duty of care, specifically, is the duty of the practicing professional to accord his or her actions to the standard of care for the medical specialty and community in which he or she is practicing.
A Breach of Duty
A breach of the duty of care is when a professional fails to uphold the expected standard of care.
Injury or Harm
Injury or harm must be causally related. It must be proven that A led to B, or that the breach of duty directly led to the injury or harm suffered.
Damages are the financial impact of the injury or harm. Judges and juries cannot restore victims’ former health, but they can compensate the patient for their injuries that can be quantified.
Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Virginia
If you are harmed by someone elses’ negligence and that person is a healthcare provider, you may have a claim for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Contact us today to find out if you have a valid medical malpractice claim.