When you suffer an injury or illness because someone on your health care team makes a mistake, Virginia law gives you the right to sue that person and the company for which (s)he works for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice lawsuits, however, represent some of the most complicated types of civil suits due to the technical nature of not only the facts but also the evidence you will need to present in court.
Per FindLaw, you will need to prove the following five things in order to win your suit:
- The fact that the defendant(s) owed you a duty of care
- The fact that (s)he or they breached this duty by providing substandard care
- The fact that you sustained an injury or illness because of this breach
- The fact that this breach represented the proximate cause of your injury or illness
- The fact that your injury or illness resulted in compensable damages for which the defendant(s) must pay
Proving your damages
You can compellingly testify as to the injury or illness you suffered as a result of the defendant(s)’s medical malpractice, its physical and emotional consequences, and the expenses you have already encountered and likely will encounter in the future. But your testimony alone will not be sufficient. You will also need testimony from expert witnesses, including from physicians who subsequently examined and evaluated you and your condition. Keep in mind that each of your expert medical witnesses will need to “match” one of the defendants with regard to the area of practice, educational level, expertise, etc. Only such witnesses can testify about the specific standard of care the matching defendant owed you and how (s)he breached this standard.