What Procedure Should I follow if a Family Member is a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
Personal Injury Lawyer
Every individual should know what they can do to protect themselves in the unfortunate event of medical negligence. If you or a family member has been a victim of medical malpractice, then we have a few guidelines that will help uncomplicated the process of filing a malpractice lawsuit.
Here we detail a few key areas that you need to be aware of if you decide to file a lawsuit against a medical practitioner or hospital for negligence. There is a statute of limitations, a cap for non-economic damages, and a good deal of paperwork involved in the procedure. We hope that the breakdown of the procedure will give you more confidence and clarity when it comes to protecting your rights.
The Statute of Limitation for West Virginia
In West Virginia, if you decide to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for injury or even wrongful death, you need to file the suit within two years of the event occurring. If the result of medical negligence was only discovered at a later date, then the case needs to be filed within two years of the discovery. However, there is a ten year limit from the time of the perceived malpractice after which a lawsuit cannot be filed.
If you feel that you or a family member is a victim of medical malpractice and you would like to file a lawsuit you should contact a lawyer to guide you through the process. Your lawyer will be able to tell you if you are within the statute of limitations, especially if the negligence was only discovered sometime after the treatment was received.
Don’t be intimidated by the amount of paperwork involved when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit – your lawyer is there to help you with the details. Here are the some of documents you will require as part of the procedure, in West Virginia:
- 30 days before you file a lawsuit you need to send a formal notice of claim and a screening certificate of merit to the hospital or doctor/doctors who are being sued. The notice along with the screening certificate have to be sent by certified mail. There are specific details that need to be included in the notice of claim and the screening certificate, and your lawyer will keep you informed about that. Without these prerequisite documents, you will not be able to proceed with your case.
- You will also need a copy of all medical record pertaining to the case. Your medical malpractice attorney trusts should also receive a copy of the medical records.
- And finally, there is the actual filing of the lawsuit. It is absolutely necessary to have a lawyer do this for you to avoid any problems later.
Cap on damages
In West Virginia, there is a cap on non-economic damages that can be claimed. The amount is set at $250,000/- and can be increased to $500,000/- for more catastrophic injuries and for medical malpractice injuries that result in a wrongful death. There is no cap on economic damages like loss of income or costs of past and future medical care.