What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a physician, nurse, therapist, or other medical provider fails to deliver medical treatment that meets acceptable standards of care. This can involve either an omission (like failing to diagnose a life-threatening health condition) or an active mistake (such as giving a patient the wrong medication or operating on the wrong body part).
Malpractice can occur in any setting where patients receive medical care. Examples that we have personally seen include:
- Anesthesia and pain management errors
- Brain injuries resulting from a lack of oxygen (hypoxia)
- Birth injuries involving either the mother or child
- Bariatric surgery (gastric bypass, lap band) complications
- Bowel issues and injuries, including perforations and obstructions as well as delayed diagnosis and treatment of injuries
- Bile duct injuries during gallbladder surgery
- Cerebral palsy due to physician errors during birth
- Delayed diagnosis and improper treatment of cancers such as breast cancer, brain cancer, colon cancer, kidney cancer, and bladder cancer
- Failure to diagnose or treat a heart attack
- Failure to diagnose or treat a stroke
- Negligent hiring and medical credentialing practices
- Medication errors
- Radiology and x-ray errors
- Surgical errors, including wrong-site and wrong-level surgeries
- Veterans Administration (VA) hospital negligence
While medical malpractice can occur in any medical facility, studies suggest that most incidents of medical negligence happen in outpatient medical centers, like a primary care physician’s office.
One of the first challenges and most important tasks involved in successfully pursuing a medical malpractice case is to identify the correct culpable party or parties. Multiple at-fault health care providers often contribute to our clients’ medical catastrophes. Our team at Phelan Petty commonly handles complex cases involving multi-party litigation against doctors, hospitals, nurses, long-term care facilities, and other medical organizations.
Medical Malpractice Victims Need an Attorney Who Can Take On the Insurance Companies
Medical malpractice victims often struggle to find an experienced attorney who will handle their claim. Many lawyers will not even consider handling medical negligence claims because they are complicated, expensive, and incredibly time-consuming. Often, the cases go on for years with no guarantee of a favorable outcome.
Insurance companies know that only a small percentage of medical malpractice victims will find an aggressive, skilled medical malpractice attorney, so they typically refuse to compensate injured patients who raise claims themselves. When a victim does retain counsel, the insurance companies hire teams of lawyers to fight these cases no matter how flagrant the doctor’s negligence or careless conduct was. They assume they can win most cases by outspending the injured victims and paying expert witnesses to say whatever is necessary.
Unfortunately, in too many cases, these tactics work. Without a knowledgeable malpractice lawyer, victims give up and either accept an unreasonably small settlement or drop their claims. Either outcome can lead to enormous financial burdens for victims on top of the physical and emotional trauma they have already suffered.
At Phelan Petty, we have a long history of successfully handling medical malpractice lawsuits in Richmond and throughout Virginia. We understand the struggles and confusion that patients face after they suffer from an inaccurate diagnosis, receive inappropriate treatment, or fall through the cracks when doctors do not listen to them. It is our mission to fight for these victims and help them obtain the compensation necessary to allow them to carry on with their lives.
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Our medical malpractice team is headed by Jonathan Petty, an award-winning attorney with more than two decades of experience handling medical negligence claims. Jonathan brings a unique perspective to the claims he handles—he defended doctors, hospitals, and their insurance companies for a decade. Now, he uses the insight he gained as a defense attorney to hold negligent medical providers accountable for their errors.
If you or someone you love has suffered because of a medical professional’s negligence in Virginia, please get in touch with us today. Our experienced legal team will listen to your story and answer your questions during an initial consultation, all at no cost to you.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Protect Our Communities and Demand Accountability From Doctors and Hospitals
Some medical malpractice lawyers only focus on the profitability of medical negligence claims. At Phelan Petty, we understand that there is more at stake than dollars and cents. When prepared and litigated by experienced and dedicated attorneys, medical malpractice lawsuits help improve patient care and make our hospitals, medical centers, and nursing facilities safer.
According to researchers, medical errors frequently go unreported. Unfortunately, the organization that should provide data regarding medical mistakes, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), does not even track these incidents. However, data from a 2016 study indicates that medical errors cause roughly 250,000 deaths each year, making them the third most common cause of death in the United States.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to medical malpractice in Virginia, you deserve answers. At Phelan Petty, our experienced medical malpractice attorneys work to hold negligent hospitals and healthcare professionals responsible for their actions. Our team carefully investigates our clients’ claims by studying medical records, interviewing witnesses, and consulting with world-class experts. Then, we use aggressive legal strategies to demand justice and accountability.
A Sophisticated, Team-Based Approach to Medical Malpractice Claims
Even the best attorney cannot and should not handle a complex medical malpractice case alone. At Phelan Petty, we work with a dedicated team of lawyers, nurses, and paralegals plus a nationwide network of physicians and surgeons to put your medical malpractice case in the best possible position for success. When you choose us to represent you, we use our extensive medical and legal knowledge to build your case, calculate your damages, and counter the insurance company’s defenses.
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Because we only take on a select few medical malpractice claims each year, we can give your case all the time, attention, and resources it deserves. Our attorneys stay involved at every step of the process, gathering evidence and taking care of the legal details while letting you know what to expect. And we always work to strike the right balance between keeping you informed about the status of your claim and giving you the space you need to heal and live your life as normally as possible.
Phelan Petty: Virginia’s Medical Malpractice Team
Phelan Petty is one of Virginia’s premier medical malpractice law firms. We combine extensive medical knowledge with trial-tested litigation strategies to fight for our clients. To schedule your free consultation and get advice from one of our attorneys, just complete our easy and convenient online contact form or call us at 804-980-7100.