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for West Virginia
Injury Victims


Charleston Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Charleston Medical Malpractice Lawyer

One careless action by a doctor, nurse, or hospital employee can change your life forever. If you were hurt because a health care provider violated their duty to give the highest standard of medical care, you are not alone. Each year in the United States, thousands of individuals are harmed by surgical errors, medication errors, and other types of medical negligence.

Medical professionals should never be allowed to get away with delivering substandard care. The trust that should exist between patients and doctors deteriorates when there is no accountability in the health care system. If you were injured by a preventable medical mistake, you may be eligible to hold the at-fault party accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

A skilled and experienced Charleston medical malpractice lawyer can make justice possible.

The Experienced Team at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC

Our team of Charleston medical malpractice lawyers is made up of West Virginia SuperLawyers®, attorneys with the highest Martindale-Hubbell® rating, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, The Best Lawyers in America “Lawyer of the Year” award winner, and one of the first lawyers in the country to use DNA testing to free an innocent person from prison.

We are confident we have the expertise and resources to handle even the most complex Charleston, WV medical malpractice cases.

But we are much more than our credentials. We are people who care deeply about the citizens of our communities in Charleston. We use our position as medical malpractice lawyers to make sure no injured patient is left on their own to deal with the serious consequences of substandard medical care.

We invite you to schedule a free consultation to discuss your medical malpractice case with us and learn more about:

What Our Charleston Medical Malpractice Lawyers Can Do for You

As your team of Charleston medical malpractice attorneys, we will use our combined 150+ years of professional experience to build you the strongest case possible. We will:

  • Begin with a 100% free consultation to discuss your legal options
  • Investigate to determine if and how a doctor failed to uphold the duty of care owed to you
  • Examine your medical records, partner with top medical expert witnesses, and gather evidence to support your claim
  • Give your personal injury case the highest value, taking into consideration medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages
  • File your medical malpractice lawsuit within all deadlines
  • Communicate with you through every step of the legal process

If you or a loved one suffered serious injury because a doctor, nurse, or other health care provider failed to uphold a legal duty to do no harm, we are ready to help. Contact DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney today.

How Often Does Medical Malpractice Happen?

Instances of medical malpractice are much more common than many people realize. In 2016, Johns Hopkins released a study revealing that more than 250,000 U.S. deaths per year—nearly 10% of all deaths annually—are due to medical errors. This makes medical mistakes the third-leading cause of death in the country, after heart disease and cancer.

Here in Charleston, we are home to West Virginia’s largest hospital system—Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC). Whether you receive medical care at one of CAMC’s hospital campuses or through the WVU Medicine program at Thomas Memorial Hospital or Saint Francis Hospital, you are one of thousands of other patients who pass through these doors every day.

Most doctors in our local hospitals are competent, caring individuals who devote their best efforts to getting sick patients better. But even one bad actor, one oversight, or one administrative professional who put profits above patient safety can cause irreparable harm.

Types of Cases We Handle

Medical malpractice is an overarching term that refers to many different situations. Some of the medical malpractice cases our law firm is well equipped to handle include:

When a health care provider commits one of these or other types of medical malpractice, injury victims have the right to seek legal representation. As your medical malpractice attorneys, we will walk you through the legal action appropriate to your situation. Even if your injury or a loved one’s death was caused by a different error from the ones listed above, we will be able to assess the unique details of your case to advise of the best course of legal action.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Medical Malpractice in West Virginia?

Different types of medical malpractice involve different doctors, medical staff, and various other health care providers. The type of medical malpractice injuries you or a loved one sustained will dictate who should be named as defendant(s) in your personal injury case.

For example, surgical errors often involve surgical teams and anesthesiologists. Medication errors may involve a preventable error on the part of a pharmacist or nurse administering drugs. Birth injuries may occur due to the negligence of an OB-GYN professional or other member of the birth and labor team.

Almost any type of medical professional or health care facility may be held accountable for taking part in medical malpractice. Those who may be held responsible include:

  • Doctors
  • Physicians’ assistants
  • Nurses
  • Surgeons
  • Medical technicians
  • Pharmacists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Dentists
  • Physical therapists
  • Emergency room staff members
  • Urgent care center staff members
  • Chiropractors

Requirements for Filing a Claim

Medical malpractice claims are highly complex and difficult. The laws surrounding medical malpractice lawsuits are dense and extensive, and proving that a patient’s injury was caused by medical negligence can be an uphill battle.

One reason for this is because hospitals and medical facilities are often owned by powerful corporations backed by legal departments paid to protect the facility from liability when medical malpractice occurs. To succeed with your claim, you’ll need a medical malpractice attorney who’s familiar with complex cases; the loopholes corporations often exploit, and all federal, local, and West Virginia medical malpractice laws that apply to the case.

All medical malpractice claims are based on the concept of medical standard of care. Whenever a health care provider makes a decision that deviates from the accepted standard of care given the circumstances, it can be considered medical malpractice.

In order to prove medical malpractice, you must be able to show that:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed (thus creating a professional duty to provide a certain standard of care)
  • The doctor breached their duty to meet the standard of care
  • Another doctor would have acted differently in the same situation (thus meeting the standard of care)
  • The doctor’s breach of duty resulted in your injury or illness
  • Your injury or illness led to specific damages (such as medical bills or pain and suffering)

If you lost a loved one due to a medical error you believe to be malpractice, the deceased’s family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek justice on their behalf. To learn more about recovery options for families grieving a wrongful death, contact the law firm of DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC for a free case consultation.

Why Does Medical Malpractice Happen?

There is never an excuse for a medical professional to deliver poor patient care. When your medical malpractice lawyer takes your case, they will examine the actions of all parties involved in providing treatment. Many patients are harmed when the following dangerous patterns and omissions are present in a hospital setting:

  • Poor communication
  • Failure to relay vital important patient information
  • Poor organization of shift coverage, patient charts and medical history, paperwork, disinfection schedules, and other important hospital tasks
  • Inexperience and inadequate training
  • Understaffing
  • Overexertion and fatigue
  • Substance abuse
  • Unsterilized equipment and tools

West Virginia Medical Malpractice Laws

Medical malpractice is a complex, multi-faceted, and ever-changing field of law. But in any Charleston, West Virginia medical malpractice case, it’s important to have a general understanding about these facts:

How long you have to pursue a case under the statute of limitations. 

Most claims for malpractice must be brought against the defendant within two years of the date of injury or within two years of the date it should have been discovered. There are some exceptions to this two-year time window, but generally you must act quickly and consult with a personal injury law firm as soon as possible.

Why expert testimony is needed for your claim. 

Under medical negligence laws in West Virginia, it must be proven that the defendant failed to uphold a reasonable standard of care and that this failure led to the patient’s injury. To demonstrate this, expert witness testimony is usually required. This typically takes the form of statements and testimony from medical professionals who are highly regarded in their field.

When your claim might actually be a product liability claim.

In West Virginia, House Bill 2011 might change the way your medical claim is handled. If your doctor or health care provider prescribed a drug or used a medical device within the parameters and guidelines set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they are not liable for injuries caused by a faulty product. Instead, you may have a dangerous drug claim or defective product claim against the product manufacturer.

When your financial award might be limited. 

Our state’s medical malpractice law places monetary limits on the damages you can collect through a malpractice claim. These West Virginia damage caps are:

  • $250,000 for noneconomic damages
  • $500,000 for noneconomic damages in cases involving wrongful death or permanent physical or cognitive impairment

Keep in mind that these caps are only for noneconomic damages (non-financial losses like pain and suffering), not economic damages (financial losses like medical bills).

What Damages Can You Recover?

There are generally three types of damages that may be recoverable through a Charleston medical malpractice lawsuit: economic, noneconomic, and punitive.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the monetary losses you suffered. This often includes financial compensation for:

  • Medical expenses (including cost of medication, hospitalization, treatment, follow-up care, and medical devices)
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Rehabilitative therapy
  • Domestic services
  • Transportation costs
  • Renovations or cost of moving to accommodate a new disability

Noneconomic Damages

These less-tangible damages don’t have a direct cost ascribed to them. Noneconomic damages are calculated to provide compensation for losses such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional and mental distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium

As mentioned above, the limit for non-economic damages is $250,000, unless the case involves wrongful death or catastrophic injury, which increases the cap to $500,000.

Punitive Damages

Instead of compensating the victim’s losses, punitive damages are used by West Virginia courts to punish actions that are especially harmful. These damages are rare in personal injury cases but may apply to a particularly egregious case of medical professional misconduct. By using punitive damages as a tool, a medical malpractice lawsuit can help deter the same situation from happening to another patient in the future.

An Experienced Charleston Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help You

At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, we work diligently to defend patient rights. If a doctor carelessly dismissed heart attack symptoms as indigestion, if a nurse failed to check a patient’s allergies before administering medication, if a nursing home staff member ignored signs of severe infection in a resident, we take action.

All of us in Charleston, West Virginia deserve medical care that doesn’t put us at risk of harm. Our law firm strives to create a safer, more accountable health care system that prioritizes patient care over everything else.

Contact our Charleston office to learn more. A compassionate and experienced Charleston medical malpractice lawyer is ready to answer your questions in a confidential, no-obligation meeting.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. Viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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