Medical malpractice takes many forms, but one of the most disturbing issues involves mistakes with diagnosis. Delays mean a medical condition may worsen or become terminal, and a misdiagnosis could lead to unnecessary treatment while not getting the right care. The implications are especially concerning when it comes to the so-called “Big Three” in misdiagnosis, which Johns Hopkins Medicine has identified as vascular events, infections, and cancers. These conditions account for almost 75 percent of patient harm linked to misdiagnosis.
Under Virginia medical malpractice laws, you may recover compensation if you can prove that a physician did not comply with the proper medical standard of care when treating you. Misdiagnosis might qualify when another health care provider would have not made the error. Beyond this basic summary, there are many other details that you should entrust to a Winchester medical malpractice attorney. However, a few points are noteworthy.
Details on the Big 3 in Misdiagnosis
Johns Hopkins researchers estimate that more than 100,000 individuals suffer harm from diagnostic mistakes every year. The Big 3 that affect three-quarters of them are:
- Misdiagnosed cancers, at 37.8 percent;
- Vascular events, representing 22.8 percent of all diagnosis errors; and
- Infections, at 13.5 percent.
Time Restrictions in Virginia Med Mal Cases
The statute of limitations for legal claims based upon misdiagnosis is 2 years from the date of the injury. If you do not file a lawsuit in court before this time period expires, you are barred from recovering compensation. Note that there is no discovery rule in Virginia, so you cannot extend the deadline by alleging that you did not know about your injuries. Still, it is possible to toll the statute of limitations if you are continuously receiving treatment due to a medical mistake. This can allow extra time to initiate litigation.
In the case of a fatal diagnosis mistake, the statute of limitations starts to run on the date of death.
The Role of Medical Experts
Medical malpractice cases involve highly technical subject matter, so state law requires input from those who know it best. You will need to retain a medical expert to:
- Establish the applicable standard of care that a physician should apply under the circumstances; and
- Describe how the doctor deviated from this standard when issuing a diagnosis.
Virginia’s Statutory Cap for Med Mal
The state has limited what a person can recover in a claim for medical malpractice, including misdiagnosis cases. The amount changes every year, so from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, the statutory cap is $2.50 million. This limitation applies to the total amount recoverable as damages, including:
- Medical costs for treatment;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Emotional distress.
Contact a Winchester Medical Malpractice Lawyer for Additional Facts
These points about Virginia medical misdiagnosis cases are helpful, but you will certainly want personalized information based on your unique circumstances. To learn more about your rights and remedies, please contact the Correll Law Firm at 540-535-2005 or via our website. We can schedule a free consultation to discuss the details.