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What You Need to Know About Medical Malpractice Law in West Virginia

An oversight or misstep made by a medical professional can result in catastrophic consequences, even death in the worst case scenarios. If you or someone you love suffered health complications at the hands of a negligent healthcare professional, do not wait to speak to a medical malpractice attorney. You have legal options, and knowing what these options are could significantly help you afford the costly medical bills and / or rehabilitative costs associated with your recovery.

The Facts

By law, medical professionals and healthcare providers have a duty to provide quality care to the patients they treat. This care must meet industry-accepted standards and must be upheld by all professionals in the field, with no exceptions.

Confused about whether or not you have a case? Ask yourself if your experience involved one or more of the following:

  • Unreasonable delay in diagnosis, or misdiagnosis
  • Unreasonable delay in treatment, or improper treatment
  • Failure to properly diagnose or treat your condition
  • Prescription error
  • Birth injury

These are just some of the many types of medical negligence that can result in a malpractice claim. The best way to determine if you have a case is to meet with a lawyer for a full evaluation of your situation and the legal options available to you at this time.

Don't Wait – You Only Have 2 Years to Take Legal Action

In West Virginia, all medical malpractice claims and lawsuits must be brought within the state's two-year statute of limitations. This means patients who are injured or made ill by the negligent acts of a healthcare provider have exactly two years from the date of the injury or illness in which to take legal action. In some cases, the statute allows for legal action after this two-year period; instead accepting claims made two years from the date the injury or illness was first discovered (within reason). In all cases involving wrongful death, the claim must be made within two years of the date of death.

Who Do You Sue in a Medical Malpractice Case?

Some cases of medical malpractice are more straightforward than others. Sometimes it's very clear who should be sued, and other times the lines are slightly blurred. By law, any person or entity licensed to practice medicine / treat patients / provide medical care in West Virginia is considered a healthcare provider and therefore subject to the liabilities that come with it.

Common defendants in West Virginia medical malpractice cases include:

  • Doctors, surgeons, nurses, dentists & other individual healthcare professionals
  • Hospitals
  • Health clinics
  • Nursing homes
  • Medical groups

For cases involving multiple defendants, West Virginia enforces "joint and several liability." According to this law, each defendant is liable for the entirety of a verdict rather than a percentage of the fault. The only exception to the joint and several liability rule is for individual physicians whose share of the overall negligence amounts to less than 25% of the total. In such cases, the provider will be fined a pro-rated amounted of the total verdict. This amount will reflect the provider's percentage of fault.

Ready to File a Claim? Contact Hartley law Group, PLLC.

Filing a medical malpractice claim in West Virginia can be difficult, often extending over long periods of time and requiring court appearances. However, do not let this deter you. With the right legal representation on your side, the entire process – from filing deadlines, building a claim, and even finding expert witnesses – can be made much easier.

Contact a West Virginia medical malpractice lawyer at our office today for a free, confidential consultation.

Categories: Medical Malpractice
The Wagner Building, 2001 Main Street, Suite 600, Wheeling, WV 26003
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