Going to the doctor is necessary when you’re sick or hurt and need treatment. You expect the medical professionals who are there to help you will take proper care of you, but sometimes they can make mistakes from negligence. There are many factors that go into medical negligence, but regardless, the injuries and damages you were caused could have been prevented.
That’s why you might be interested in filing for medical malpractice. One of our med mal lawyers from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC are here to guide you through a claim and get you the justice you deserve. We’ll help you determine what you’re owed and give you the legal support you need.
Let’s take a look at West Virginia’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice so that you know if you are still able to file a claim for your injuries.
West Virginia Code
After you’ve suffered from further injuries from your doctor’s negligence, you’re likely interested in filing a medical malpractice claim. Before you do, though, you’ll need to know if you’re within the state’s statute of limitations, which can be complex. According to West Virginia Code § 55-7B-4, your medical malpractice claim must be filed within these time constraints:
- Within Two Years. A med mal claim must be filed within two years of the date of the injury against a doctor, or within two years after the discovery of the injury, or when the injury should have been discovered with reasonable diligence. Even if the injury is discovered later, there is an outside limit of ten years.
- Within One Year. If you’re filing a claim against an assisted living facility, skilled care home, or a similar institution, all of the above restraints are the same, except you only have one year instead of two.
- Before the Twelfth Birthday. If you are bringing on a claim on behalf of a minor who is under ten years old, you have two years within the date of the injury, or before the minor’s twelfth birthday, whichever comes later.
All of this can be confusing, which is why hiring a medical malpractice lawyer can benefit you in ensuring you have a case. At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, we can answer your questions and help you determine if your injury from medical negligence is within the statute of limitations.
Let’s take a look at what events qualify as medical malpractice so that you can be sure that you’re eligible to file against your doctor or other medical provider who injured you.
What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?
Within West Virginia code, there are requirements to meet in order to have a med mal claim in the first place. Here are the elements that you need to prove in order to file for medical malpractice against a medical professional who caused you harm, according to West Virginia Code § 55-7B-3:
- A doctor-patient relationship was established with an expected duty of care.
- The doctor breached that duty of care.
- That breach directly led to the patient’s injury and damages.
Additionally, it’s important to add that there are limits to the amount of damages that West Virginians can recover through a medical malpractice claim. While there are no limits for economic damages, which are also known as the actual costs from the injuries, there is a cap on noneconomic damages that a person can recover, which are for damages like pain and suffering.
A person filing a med mal claim can only recover a total of $250,000 for noneconomic damages, according to § 55-7B-8 of the code. However, if wrongful death or other more severe injuries are involved, like permanent disability, then the cap on noneconomic damages is raised to $500,000.
One of Our Lawyers Can Help You
Filing for medical malpractice can be complicated and confusing. When you’re already dealing with your injury, damages, and figuring out how you’re going to continue to support yourself and your family, it can feel overwhelming to try to figure out how to navigate the legal process. That’s where our medical malpractice attorney can help.
At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC in Charleston, we understand how intimidating taking legal action against a doctor, hospital, or other medical institution can be. We will fully investigate your claim and defend your rights against the negligent party who injured you. Reach out to us today so that we can get started on your case right away.