Medical Malpractice Defense

My emphasis of practice for much of my legal career has been medical malpractice defense.  I have tremendous respect for the medical profession and have gained great satisfaction representing health care providers in medical malpractice cases and health care regulatory matters. 

Resources, key points and definitions

·      Virginia Medical Malpractice Act – Chapter 21.1, Code of Virginia, §§8.01.581.1 through 8.01.581.20.1

·      Statute of limitations – Code of Virginia, §8.01-243(A) and (C); minors – Code of    Virginia, §8.01-243.1

·      “Malpractice” means any tort action of breach of contract action for personal injuries or wrongful death, based on health care or professional services rendered, or which should have been rendered, by a health care provider to a patient.

·      There is a statutory cap on the maximum recovery that can be obtained in a medical malpractice case in Virginia.  The current statutory cap is $2,250,000.  The cap will increase to $2,300,000 on July 1, 2017 and will continue to increase each year until it reaches $3,000,000 in 2031.  See §8.01-581-15, Code of Virginia.

·      The standard of care by which the acts or omissions of health care providers are to be judged shall be that degree of skill and diligence practiced by a reasonably prudent practitioner in the field of practice or specialty in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

·      The testimony of an expert witness is generally required to establish both the applicable standard of care and whether the standard of care has been breached.

·      Code of Virginiahttp://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode

·      Virginia’s Judicial Systemhttp://courts.state.va.us/courtadmin/library/va.html