Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, and Insurance Disputes

Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact BenGlassLaw. The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have. If you don't find the answers here, you can either use the Live Chat option on the left or send attorney Ben Glass a confidential message.

You may also want to read The Virginia Accident Book, Why Most Malpractice Victims Never Recover a Dime, The Truth About Lawyer Advertising or Robbery Without a Gun.

If you would like to talk with our team of experts today, you can contact us by phone at (703)584-7277.

  • Page 7
  • Which Objects Are Commonly Left In Patients After Surgery?

    Sponges account for more than 2/3 of reported objects left inside the body after a surgery. This is because sponges are easily compacted into incisions and often turn the same color as the surrounding fluids they absorb. Some surgical procedures involve hundreds of sponges, which makes them difficult to keep track of.

    Other objects left inside the body after a surgery include: 

    • towels;
    • gauze;
    • needles;
    • broken scalpel blades;
    • surgical tubing; and
    • clamps. 

    In many cases, objects left inside the body are discovered when the patient complains of pain or discomfort in the surgery area. Although in some cases, no symptoms are present and the object is discovered through an unrelated imaging scan.

    When objects left inside the body are discovered, they usually require additional surgery to remove. When discovered, objects left inside the body are cause for a medical malpractice claim. By filing a medical malpractice claim in Virginia, you can seek damages for the additional expenses, recovery time and pain and suffering the surgical team's negligence caused.

    The major issue with objects left inside the body is the fact that additional treatment and procedures are needed to correct the surgical error. Your medical malpractice claim filed with the assistance of an attorney can help you recover the damages these additional medical treatments create.

    Contacting a Fairfax Medical Malpractice Attorney

    You don't have to deal with insurance companies and hospitals alone when you're looking to file a medical malpractice case in Virginia. Fairfax medical malpractice attorney Ben Glass fights to help victims in the Virginia and D.C. areas settle their medical malpractice claims.

    For more information about Medical Malpractice Cases, you can download a FREE copy of my book, Why Most Medical Malpractice Victims Never Recover a Dime, from my website. You can also contact BenGlassLaw at (703) 584-7277 or by filling out at contact form at JustAskBenGlass.com.

  • How can I be sure I have a Virginia medical malpractice case?

    As with any sort of personal injury claim, a Virginia medical malpractice case is based mainly on negligence. To have a valid Virginia medical malpractice case, you need to be able to prove that the negligence of another party was responsible for your injury or the death of a loved one.

    You also need to show evidence that you sought advice and care from a medical professional for a condition. The medical professional must have been negligent in their diagnosis or treatment of that condition and you must have suffered further injury as a result of that negligence.

    Medical negligence resulting in a Virginia medical malpractice case can come in many forms including: 

    • failure to diagnose;
    • medication errors;
    • surgical errors;
    • birth injuries;
    • wrong site surgery; and
    • misdiagnosis. 

    When proving negligence in a medical malpractice case, you will need good documentation of your condition before intervention by the medical professional. You will also need documentation of the testing, diagnosis, and any treatment you received, as well as the negative effects you experienced following the medical professional's conduct.

    The process of filing a Virginia medical malpractice claim and proving negligence can be complicated, frustrating and time consuming. A medical malpractice attorney can give you a break in dealing with all the paperwork while you take care of recovering from your injuries.

    Contacting a Fairfax Medical Malpractice Attorney

    You don't have to deal with insurance companies and hospitals alone when you're looking to file a Virginia medical malpractice case. Fairfax medical malpractice attorney Ben Glass fights to help victims in the Virginia and D.C. areas settle their medical malpractice claims.

    For more information about Medical Malpractice Cases, you can download a FREE copy of my book, Why Most Medical Malpractice Victims Never Recover a Dime, from my website. You can also contact BenGlassLaw at (703) 584-7277 or by filling out at contact form at JustAskBenGlass.com.

  • How do I prove my doctor failed to diagnose my condition?

    Unfortunately, many cases of failure to diagnose aren't discovered until the condition has reached critical status. A patient rarely knows they are the victim of the failure to diagnose a condition until they are seen by another doctor or they end up in the ER. To prove your doctor failed to diagnose your condition, you will need the diagnosis and testimony of another doctor.

    Failure to diagnose a medical condition can result in significant further injury or even death. This failure to diagnose can be especially harmful for immediately misdiagnosed medical issues such as heart attacks or strokes as well as serious medical conditions such as cancer, which will typically worsen or spread without treatment.

    When you visit a doctor and do not receive a diagnosis or are treated for the wrong condition, then your symptoms may continue or worsen, leading you to seek another doctor for a second opinion. This second opinion often leads to the real diagnosis, and usually the discovery that your original doctor may be guilty of medical malpractice for failure to diagnose.

    You may then be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim against the original doctor with the help of a medical malpractice attorney. Your attorney can assist you in filing the medical malpractice claim, and also help develop the evidence and obtain expert witness testimony to help prove your claim. Expert testimony is critical in cases of medical malpractice as you need to prove that your original doctor was negligent in your diagnosis.

    Contacting a Fairfax Medical Malpractice Attorney

    You don't have to deal with insurance companies and hospitals alone when you're looking to file a Virginia medical malpractice case. Fairfax medical malpractice attorney Ben Glass fights to help victims in the Virginia and D.C. areas settle their medical malpractice claims.

    For more information about Medical Malpractice Cases, you can download a FREE copy of my book, Why Most Medical Malpractice Victims Never Recover a Dime, from my website. You can also contact BenGlassLaw at (703) 584-7277 or by filling out at contact form at JustAskBenGlass.com.

  • Who can be compensated for a wrongful death claim in Virginia?

    When you file a Virginia wrongful death claim, there is an order of beneficiaries eligible to collect the damages won in the lawsuit. The Virginia Code sets forth this order to determine how any damages will be distributed. The order is determined by the beneficiary's level of dependence on the deceased.

    It should come as no surprise, then, that family members and relatives are first to be considered for compensation in a wrongful death claim in Virginia, unless otherwise stated in the deceased's will.

    In Virginia, the spouse of the deceased is first to be considered for compensation from a wrongful death claim. If no spouse is present, the children of the deceased are considered next, or if they are deceased, their surviving children. If no children are present, the parents of the deceased are next in the order of beneficiaries, followed by the deceased's siblings.

    After all of these beneficiaries are depleted, the damages may be awarded to any other relative who was dependent on the deceased for support and lived in the same household. When you file a wrongful death claim, it's best to have a wrongful death attorney to help make sure you are fairly represented.

    Contacting a Fairfax Wrongful Death Attorney

    The unexpected loss of a loved one is a difficult time in your life that shouldn't be made worse by the stress of dealing with insurance companies. Fairfax wrongful death attorney Ben Glass fights to help victims in northern Virginia settle their wrongful death claims.

  • Does My Insurance Company Share My Records With My Employer?

    The health information you supply to your employer's disability insurance company should not make its way back to you employer. This would be a violation of confidentiality laws. In my experience, most disability insurance companies are very good at making sure this private information does not go to the employer.

    For more information about disability insurance claims and to get a FREE copy my book, visit RobberyWithoutAGun.com

  • Handling Car Repairs: I was hurt in a car accident in Fairfax and my car was damaged. How do I go about handling the car repairs, so that it doesnt affect my injury claim?

    When it comes to Virginia car accidents, you are generally looking at two factors, property damage and personal injuries.  One does not necessarily affect the other in terms of compensation.  That means if you accept money from the other driver’s insurance company to pay for your car repair, it will not impact your injury claim.  Most insurance companies want to settle quickly, so it shouldn't take too long to receive compensation.

    You can also handle the car repair through your own auto insurance company.  What will end up happening is your insurer will go after the other driver’s insurance company.  If your insurance company denies your claim at first, be persistent and they will probably give in.

    For more information, order a copy of my book, Five Deadly Sins That Can Wreck Your Injury Claim.

  • Is It Better to Settle a Car Accident Case or Go to Court?

    People are sometimes surprised to hear about car accident cases going to trial. Typically, this happens if the car accident case is large and there is a dispute over who is at fault. Virginia is a contributory negligence state. This means that if you are at fault for an accident, even just 1%, then you will not be able to recover damages from the accident. Insurance companies will do everything they can to find you at fault for the accident, so many cases go to trial if there is debate over who caused the accident.

    Car accident cases involving major injuries are more likely to go to trial. Small cases involving soft tissue damage, neck pain, and mental trauma rarely go to court. These cases are generally settled, and often victims don't need an attorney for small personal injury cases. The insurance company has more at stake in cases with major injuries or wrongful death. Major injuries generally mean the insurance company will have to pay the victim a large sum, and some insurance companies would rather take their chances at trial.

    What Most People Don't Know about Car Accident Cases and Trials

    A trial for a car accident case isn't like "Judge Judy." The types of car accidents that go to court are serious and often traumatic. The insurance company will be represented by one (or more) attorney who will present evidence of the accident and do their best to convince the jury that you are at fault or your injuries don't merit a large settlement. That is right, car accident cases are heard by juries in Virginia.

    Juries are an unknown factor in many car accident cases. They decide how much your injuries are worth. They base their decision on what they learn during trial, but each jury has a unique personality. One jury could award you a high settlement, while another may decide against you. That is why car accident attorneys have to choose the cases they take to trial carefully. If there are any factors in your case that may sway the jury against you, an attorney may decide to settle with the insurance company before trial.

    Can You Persuade a Lawyer to Take Your Case to Trial?

    Personal injury attorneys are paid in contingent fees. They take a percentage of your settlement after you reach an agreement with the insurance company. If your case goes to trial, the attorneys' fees will be higher than if you settle with the insurance company.

    If you pressure your attorney to take your case to trial, and your case does not merit one, then you may ultimately lose money. Additionally, trials are risky, even for cases where the fault is clear and the damages are high. You can lose part or all of the settlement your insurance company offered before trial.

    Not all personal injury lawyers have trial experience, either. That is why you must select your attorney carefully. Some personal injury attorneys only work on small cases, while others work on larger cases. The only way to know for certain is by checking their reviews, testimonials, case results, and interviewing several attorneys before you sign someone to work on your case. If your case is large and complex, you don't want a lawyer that will settle when the insurance company makes their first offer.

    Should You Settle or Go to Trial for Your Car Accident Case?

    The answer is not simply "if your injuries are X then go to trial." You and your attorney must consider the risks, your injuries, the potential value of your case, and the results of other cases similar to yours in your county. You should also have an attorney willing to go to trial if your case calls for it. Depending on the details, a trial may be best for your case. If your injuries were small, and there was only property damage, you will not need to risk a trial.

  • Will I have to reimburse my health insurance company if I win the lawsuit against the driver who caused the car accident?

    If you have health insurance, it is likely you used to to cover your medical bills after your car accident. After all, it would be difficult to pay for lengthy hospital stays, physical therapy, and prescriptions out of pocket. Particularly if you are missing work because of your injuries.

    What most Virginians don't know is that your health insurance may expect repayment for all your medical care. This is known as subrogation.

    Subrogation is where another party has a claim on your verdict or settlement. Since another driver caused your injuries and is financially responsible, your health insurance company is entitled to part of your settlement to cover their expenses. This makes your health insurance more of a loan than actual coverage. To find out if your health insurance require repayment, contact an attorney or review your health insurance contract.

    If you are not aware of this, it can be disastrous for your claim. We have spoken to people who have settled their claim assuming they didn't have to pay back their health insurance company. After the settlement was signed, they ended up losing part of their settlement to their health insurance company, with little left over to cover lost wages and pain and suffering.

    That is why we recommend consulting with an experience personal injury attorney before you speak to the adjuster. We like to tell clients when they can settle cases themselves, particularly if they didn't need to go tot he hospital. However, if you had to use your health insurance to pay for expensive medical bills, you may need an attorney to negotiate your claim with the insurance company so you get all the money you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

  • The nurse gave me a steroid injection to treat my allergies. Since then, my arm has been numb and weak. I went to see another doctor and he said that she might have hit a nerve connected to the tendons. He also said that the medicine the other doctor prescribed was old. Can I sue?

    We hold medical professionals to a high standard, as we should. When a doctor or a nurse makes a mistake, it is frustrating and scary. In those situations, it is a good idea to see another doctor to asses your injuries. Sometimes, the second doctor will make comments about your previous provider, and tell you they would have done things differently. When this happens, it is easy to assume that your old doctor committed malpractice.

    Though medical mistakes are always tragic, they are not always malpractice. In a Virginia medical malpractice lawsuit, you have to show that the medical professional provided care that fell below the acceptable standard of care. Even if one doctor would have used a different treatment plan, it does not always mean the old treatment plan was wrong or negligent.

    Your injuries also have to be serious enough to warrant a lawsuit. Minor injuries, like a temporary arm weakness, are not large enough to require a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice cases are very expensive to pursue, and you are likely to lose money pursing a case about minor injuries.

    However, seemingly minor injuries could develop major complications over time. Keep in mind that you generally have two years to pursue a medical malpractice claim and recover compensation. If you have lost trust in your doctor, seek out a different doctor and follow their treatment plan. If your arm weakness persists, it may be a good idea to consult with a medical malpractice attorney.

  • Can I file a medical malpractice case against my doctor even if I wasnt injured that badly?

    When it comes to Virginia medical malpractice claims, we understand that every case is important to the patient. Unfortunately, the legal system is not equipped to handle what are considered small medical malpractice cases.  That is why we have to turn away hundreds of medical negligence claims each year.

    Even if it appears that your doctor was careless, if you didn’t suffer significant injuries, you probably don’t have a case to pursue.  For example, just because a pharmacist incorrectly fills a prescription, which makes you feel ill for a week, it doesn’t mean that you have a strong case.  The costs of pursuing a lawsuit will probably exceed the amount you can recover.

    For more information about Medical Malpractice Cases, you can download a FREE copy of my book, Why Most Medical Malpractice Victims Never Recover a Dime, from my website. You can also contact BenGlassLaw at (703) 584-7277 or by filling out at contact form at JustAskBenGlass.com.