Thursday, 21 of June of 2018

Tag » Cooper

Medical Malpractice Damage Cap Increases in Virginia Over Governor’s Initial Veto

What’s even more outrageous is if a jury awards a victim more than $2 million in non-economic damages, the award must be reduced to comply with the damage cap. So, even if a person has future medical bills and lost wages way over the limit , they only get the cap no matter how deserving they are and no matter what the jury says is fair.

By John Cooper, Medical Negligence Lawyer

In a surprising turn of events, the Virginia General Assembly overrode the governor’s veto on a medical malpractice damage cap increase bill. HB1459 mandates a phased-in increase the maximum award from $2 million to $3 million by 2031. The cap rises by $50,000 per year beginning this July.

Seven Republican senators crossed party lines and voted with Democrats to undo Gov. Bob McDonnell’s rejection of the legislation. They deserve praise for accepting a compromise that was worked out over time between the hospitals, doctors, and medical folks on one side and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association plaintiff’s bar on the other.

In an ideal world, there would be no cap on medical negligence damages. The limits punish helpless victims and benefit insurance companies. What’s even more outrageous is if a jury awards a victim more than $2 million in non-economic damages, the award must be reduced to comply with the damage cap. So, even if a person has future medical bills and lost wages way over the limit , they only get the cap no matter how deserving they are and no matter what the jury says is fair. That makes no sense considering the jury system is the bedrock of our society and should be the final arbiter of what a victim receives in a medical malpractice case.

But we’re faced with the reality of damage caps in Virginia. Fortunately, the medical malpractice damages bill that passed is a step in the right direction.

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About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC).  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Consumers Could Suffer Due to Dominance of Hampton Roads Health Insurance Market by Two Companies

By John Cooper, Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney

The domination of the health insurance market in Hampton Roads by two companies is revealed in a report from the American Medical Association, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

The companies in question are WellPoint, the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Virginia (VA), and Optima Health. An expert said this could be bad for consumers. Read more here.

DM

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC).  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Dedicated Emergency Rooms for Elderly Patients May Reduce Misdiagnoses

Some ER doctors and nurses currently don't take enough time to properly diagnose the multiple ailments with which older people tend to have.

By Kevin Duffan, Virginia Medical Malpractice Attorney

Would dedicated emergency rooms for elderly patients reduce misdiagnosis?  Some emergency room doctors and nurses currently don’t take enough time to properly diagnose the multiple ailments with which older people tend to have.  Those patients may not even have the same symptoms as younger people.  Urinary tract infections sometimes cause enough confusion to be mistaken for dementia, find out how you can protect your loved ones.

 

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About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC).  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Zimmer Inc’s Durom Hip Replacement Defective

By Rick Shapiro, Dangerous Products Attorney

Are you one of the many patients implanted with the Zimmer Durom Cup that reported pain and discomfort long after the surgery?  I know it must have been frustrating to report these symptoms to your doctors to no avail.  We now know that defects in the actual replacement implants themselves were the cause of the persistent symptoms in many cases. Find out more.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC).  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Virginia Beach Man Died After Doctor Failed to Notify Him of Pneumonia Diagnosis

Misdiagnoses can have tragic consequences. At the same time, some mistakes are excusable or unavoidable. The inexplicable actions by numerous doctors in this case include not attempting to reach an accurate diagnosis in the first place (e.g., failing to take x-rays) and then not doing everything possible to get in touch with the sick man so he could receive proper treatment for his ultimately fatally illness.

By John Cooper, Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

A Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), family recently received a small measure of justice nearly four years after losing a husband, father, son and uncle due to a shocking case of repeated medical malpractice that included misdiagnoses, negligence and errors by multiple private-practice and hospital-based doctors.

The victim’s widow won a $3.5 million verdict against the man’s primary physicians in September 2010, but the money must provide little comfort in light of the circumstances that led to this preventable loss of life.

In late 2006, the 24-year-old man went to his doctor because he was coughing and experiencing chest pain. The physician prescribed a narcotic painkiller but did not take x-rays or diagnosis any lung infection. Over the next week, the man visited other doctors and emergency rooms, eventually receiving the x-rays that allowed health care providers to diagnose pneumonia.

When the man’s first doctor, after even more delay, finally called to tell him he had bacterial pneumonia, the doctor’s staff called the wrong phone number and never placed any follow-up calls. When the man succumbed to his highly treated lung disease, he left behind two young children and a wife.

Fellow malpractice attorney Phil J. Geib helped the man’s survivors win their lawsuit, although the jury verdict was reduced to an award of $1.85 under Virginia’s unfair caps on malpractice penalties.

As this case shows, misdiagnoses can have tragic consequences. At the same time, some mistakes are excusable or unavoidable. The inexplicable actions by numerous doctors in this case include not attempting to reach an accurate diagnosis in the first place (e.g., failing to take x-rays) and then not doing everything possible to get in touch with the sick man so he could receive proper treatment for his ultimately fatally illness.

I am glad to see that those responsible for this medical malpractice and wrongful death were held accountable in court.

EJL

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC).  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Physician Burnout Could Lead to Higher Risk of Patient Injuries and Medical Mistakes

The Institute of Medicine performed a study which revealed preventable medical errors killed as many as 98,000 people every year in the United States. That is unacceptable, especially if some of those medical errors were due to a physician or doctor working long hours.

By John Coooper, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

According to a recent study, “physicians, and particularly residents (who usually carry larger workloads), were at higher risk of burnout than nurses and other personnel,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

In addition, research conducted at Northwestern found that roughly “half of the anesthesiologists surveyed, 55 doctors in all, were deemed to be suffering from “high burnout” or “moderately-high burnout.”

Dr. Tait Shanafelt, a Mayo Clinic hematologist, highlighted the troubling fact that “burnout is associated with malpractice suits.” This correlation makes sense. If a physician or doctor is tired, irritable, or drowsy they are more prone to make medical mistakes that could seriously injure patients.

The Institute of Medicine performed a study which revealed preventable medical errors killed as many as 98,000 people every year in the United States. That is unacceptable, especially if some of those medical errors were due to a physician or doctor working long hours.

All physicians and doctors must be responsible and take the necessary steps to prevent burnout. Why? Because is a doctor or physician seriously injures a patient and a medical malpractice claim is filed against them, the excuse of being tired probably will not prevail in court. In fact, this reason  for medical errors is the type of explanation that the best VA medical malpractice lawyers should look for to have a jury understand why a qualified and experienced physician or surgeon might make a glaring error resulting in permanent and catastrophic harm to a patient.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC).  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Surgical Tools Left Inside A Patient Can Cause Serious Health Problems

By John Cooper, VA/NC Medical Negligence Attorney

A study conducted by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health found that 1,500 patients discover that a surgical instrument like a scalpel, scissors, sponges, etc. was left inside their body.

Laws are in place that impose the duty upon surgeons and their assistants to exercise reasonable care to make sure that before they end the surgery, any towels, sponges, and other surgical tools have been removed from the patient. Failure to do so can be considered a preventable mistake, and some sources of medical literature estimate that the average cost incurred by a patient who has a surgical tool/foreign object left in them exceeds $50,000. These preventable injuries frequently result in sepsis, which require lengthy hospitalizations and a number of additional surgeries.

Our law firm has experience handling these types of cases. We represented a woman in Richmond, Virginia (VA) who had a hysterectomy and later discovered a surgical sponge was left inside her body (she didn’t find this out until six months after the surgical procedure). This created a fistula in her bowel which required a subsequent bowel resection surgery. Fortunately, we were able to reach a successful settlement to help her with medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Medical malpractice lawsuits filed in VA follow a two-year statute of limitations, although special exceptions may extend the medical negligence statute of limitations. One of these exceptions is when something is discovered some time later after an initial surgery or medical procedure, and this is called the “discovery rule.” When it applies, the “discovery rule” permits a suit to be filed within a certain period of time after the injury or illness is discovered, or reasonably should have been discovered. The discovery rule does not apply to all injuries, and sometimes the period of time for bringing a claim post-discovery can be short, so it is important to seek legal assistance quickly in the event of the late discovery of an injury.

The Virginia discovery rule extension is still limited for medical negligence and you should consult a lawyer to get a fully overview of how to deal with a case that may involve something that you believe was “hidden” by the hospital, doctor, or surgeon (like a sponge or towel sewn up in your body, or a piece of a surgical tool left in a surgical site).

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, take a moment to review out our free consumer reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the Top 5 Surgical Errors You Must Know About. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube .We have offices based in Virginia Beach, VA and Elizaberth City, NC but we’ll come to you.  Our lawyers hold licenses in VA, NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We provide this blog as a pro bono service.

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