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What to Expect: A Guide to Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

January 29, 2013 by The Parrish Law Firm

Medical malpractice law is complex, and when you’re considering filing a medical or dental malpractice claim, it’s important to have a general idea of how the process works to help ease your anxiety. While every case is unique, there are some general steps you can take to ease yourself into the process.

  1. Contact a Virginia medical malpractice lawyer. Do the research online, and ask those persons in your community who have gone through such a lawsuit about potential law firms and lawyers to consider. The malpractice lawyer will likely contact a medical expert to determine whether the doctor or dentist was negligent. Quality lawyers will not ask you for any payment up front and will only get paid when you win the case and get paid yourself.
  2. Determine the injury and calculate damages. Alongside your malpractice lawyer, you will establish the injury and associated damages, both emotional and physical, that the injury has caused.
  3. Determine proof of negligence. The malpractice lawyer will need to prove negligence on the part of the doctor or dentist, verifying that their careless actions caused the injury.
  4. File the medical malpractice claim. Once your lawyer has sufficient evidence that the doctor or dentist was negligent, he or she will file the case in court.
  5. Negotiate with their insurance company. Likely, settlement negotiations between your legal team and the doctor or dentist’s insurance company will begin. If a settlement is successfully reached, the case will not go to court. If, however, settlement negotiations fail, the case may go to litigation.
  6. Hear the claim in court. At this point, it’s vital to have a lawyer who has experience in medical malpractice trials.
  7. Claim is successful. Hopefully, you are successful in court and are awarded sufficient damages for your injuries. Out of your winnings, you will pay your malpractice lawyer for his or her services.

While this is not an all-encompassing list, hopefully it has worked to give you a general outline of how some medical or dental malpractice lawsuits unfold, and what you might expect from your own case.

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