Frequently Asked Questions About Virginia Disability Claims

Do you have questions about your Virginia medical malpractice claim? The team at BenGlassLaw has answers to the most frequently asked questions our medical malpractice attorneys hear from callers and clients.

You can search for answers to your questions below.

Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?

The best things you can do if you think that you have a medical malpractice claim in Virginia are the following:

  1. Order our free book about Virginia medical malpractice claims
  2. Call our office at (703)584-7277 to speak with our team of experts
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  • How Will Signing a Consent Form Before My Surgery Affect a Potential Medical Malpractice Claim?

    Does signing a consent form mean I ruined my medical malpractice claim?Generally, signing a consent form will not affect your medical malpractice claim in Virginia. In a lawsuit against a doctor, you must prove:

    1. What the standard of care required
    2. There was a deviation from the standard of care
    3. Damages occurred directly as a result of the deviation from the standard of care
    4. The damages are significant

    In most cases, you will have signed a general surgical consent form. That form may or may not list specific "bad things" or complications that can occur as a result of the surgery.

    The Supreme Court of Virginia has ruled in several cases that the fact you signed such a form is not relevant to the issue of whether the doctor is guilty of medical malpractice. Thus, such forms are generally not admissible in a lawsuit against a doctor in Virginia.

  • After A Car Accident, I Was Taken to The Hospital. They Performed the X-Rays and Imaging. Later, I Found Out I Was Pregnant. Should I Sue for Malpractice?

    Medical malpractice is one the of the most challenging type of case to prove in Virginia. State laws protect doctors and nurses, and your claim has to meet certain criteria to be considered for medical malpractice. To establish a medical malpractice case you need to show:

    1. a breach of the standard of care
    2. definite damages
    3. a firm link (proximate cause) between the two.

    The hosptial didn't test for pregnancy after my car accident, should I sue for medical malpractice?In other words, medical malpractice does not occur just because something bad could have happened due to negligence. You must prove something did happen due to negligence.

    Unfortunately, in this scenario, you will have to wait until the doctors identify issues with your baby. Your doctor may find issues during your pregnancy using an ultrasound. Otherwise, you will need to wait until your child is born.

    Additionally, you will have to prove that you were indeed pregnant at the time of treatment. If you were only a week or two along in your pregnancy, then the insurance company could argue that you weren't pregnant at the time. Since pregnancy tests aren't accurate until you are two or three weeks along, then it is possible you got a false negative. If the test came back negative, there was no breach of the standard of care, and you cannot prove medical malpractice.

    Finally, if your baby has a birth defect, you will have to prove that this is directly related to the imaging test that was performed during your hospital visit. This will be difficult, considering all the potential causes of birth defects. There will need to be a clear link between the injury and the imaging tests performed.

  • If I Suffered Injuries During Surgery, Do I Sue the Surgeon or the Hospital?

    When you are the victim of a surgical error, there are many parties that may have been involved in your surgery. In some cases, you may only need to hold the surgeon responsible for your medical malpractice claim. However, if the injuries you sustained during a surgical error started back in another department of the hospital, you may have more than just the surgical team to blame.

    A medical malpractice claim can be filed against an individual or a larger party such as the hospital where the surgery was performed. Before you go filing a claim, know who should be held liable for your surgical error by bringing your medical malpractice claim to the attention of a Fairfax medical malpractice attorney.

    Who do you sue after a surgical error, the hospital or the surgeon?Your attorney can review the details of the surgical error and help you determine the parties to hold liable for your medical malpractice claim. In some cases, it may be best to seek resolution for your injuries by approaching the hospital directly, or you may be able to prove that the surgeon alone was responsible for your injuries.

    Filing a medical malpractice claim can be made unusually difficult when you're at a loss as to who to hold liable. The insurance company isn't likely to offer you any help in this matter, as they want to resolve your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible. When you have a Fairfax medical malpractice attorney, they will be working to get you the highest settlement possible, because in most cases they are not paid unless they win you a substantial settlement.

    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.

  • How Long Do I Have to File a VA Medical Malpractice Claim?

    The Virginia Code allows for only two years to have elapsed from the date of injury before you are unable to file a Virginia medical malpractice claim. This is known as the "statute of limitations."

    This is for medical malpractice where the incident occurs in a single case such as an incorrect medication being administered. For cases that may not be reasonably discovered within the two years such as an object left behind after surgery, the time limit is extended one year beyond the date the object is discovered.

    There are many exceptions and nuances to these time limits, so it is best to speak with a Virginia medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible after you believe the negligence has occurred.

    How long do you have to file a medical malpractice claim?An experienced attorney can help you quickly file a medical malpractice claim so you can hopefully avoid the statute of limitations deadline. If you have surpassed the two years since the medical procedure or emergency occurred, depending on the nature of your case you may still be able to file a Virginia medical malpractice claim due to the unreasonable time it took to discover the medical negligence.

    However, you also must have an expert in the form of a certified physician or medical professional to back up your claim before you file the lawsuit. Since this, too, can take a significant amount of time, you need to speak with an attorney right away if you are serious about filing this type of claim.

    Contact 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.

    Before you go any further with your decision, order a copy of my free guide to Virginia medical malpractice claims, Why Most Victims of Medical Malpractice Never Recover a Dime. To set up a free consultation, call the team at BenGlassLaw at (703) 584-7277.

  • What Is the Difference Between Failure to Diagnose and Misdiagnosis?

    What is the difference between misdiagnosis and failure to diagnosis?When a doctor fails to diagnose a serious condition, the signs are often overlooked, allowing the disease to persist and often grow worse. Misdiagnosis can also result in the serious condition being overlooked, but also often results in the wrong treatment being given, sometimes leading to further complicating treatment of the original condition.

    Failure to diagnose a condition and misdiagnosis of a condition can both result in the same fact: The serious condition you are suffering from has been ignored. The danger of failure to diagnose is that because the condition is not properly diagnosed, it cannot be treated, often allowing it to only get worse.

    Misdiagnosis is a two-fold danger of medical malpractice as not only is the serious condition not identified, but you may be going through unnecessary or harmful treatment for a condition you do not have. The unnecessary or wrongful treatments resulting from a misdiagnosis will create additional medical bills, as well as create the danger of further aggravating your actual condition.

    Misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose are most commonly seen with cancer, although heart attacks and stroke are also common conditions that are often negligently handled. When your doctor fails to properly identify your condition and you suffer injury from that lack of scrutiny, you are eligible to file a medical malpractice claim for medical negligence.

    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.

    Before you go any further with your decision, order a copy of my complimentary guide to Virginia medical malpractice claims, Why Most Victims of Medical Malpractice Never Recover a Dime. To set up a no-cost consultation, contact me today - 703-591-9829.

  • What are the Common Causes of Wrong Site Surgery?

    Why do wrong side surgeries happen?Neglecting to follow the "universal protocol for patient safety" during surgery is the main factor contributing to wrong site surgery. The universal protocol was established to create a series of safety checks that every surgical team should follow to prevent surgical errors.

    Wrong site surgery can occur when the surgical team fails to meet before the procedure and verify:  

    • the patient's identity,
    • the procedure to be performed, and
    • the exact location where the surgery is to take place on the patients' body.

    Unfortunately, wrong site surgeries continue to happen, despite what seem like clear-cut guidelines in confirming these details.

    One member of the surgical team should be charged with marking and verifying the surgical site and must be present during the operation to verify the site again.

    In the operating room, before an incision is made, the team should call a time-out and re-verify the operation details to prevent a wrong site surgery. Many surgical teams skip this step because they may have performed the procedure so often that the steps seem automatic. Unfortunately, skipping the time-out step is often the cause of most wrong site surgery claims.

    Wrong site surgery errors are generally the product of an overconfident surgical team thinking they can skip necessary protocol, or a team that is in a rush to get a surgery underway. Either case can lead to an increase in wrong site surgery errors and medical malpractice claims.

    Thinking of Contacting a Virginia 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.

    Before you go any further with your decision, get your free copy of Why Most Victims of Medical Malpractice Never Recover a Dime, our guide to medical malpractice claims in Virginia. To set up a free consultation, call BenGlassLaw today at (703) 584-7277.

  • 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.

  • 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.