If you have suffered injuries as the result of a medical error, medical misdiagnosis, or lack of an accurate diagnosis, you may be facing challenges that include significant emotional, physical, and financial consequences. The emotional toll of medical malpractice is often severe, even life-altering. You may feel betrayed by the healthcare system, resulting in feelings of anxiety and mistrust. Some victims of medical malpractice even experience embarrassment and shame, wondering what they could have done differently. The simple answer to this issue is that there is nothing you should have or could have done differently. 

Medical professionals owe you and every patient a duty of care to act in a way that another similarly trained medical professional would have done. When they breach that duty of care, they must be held responsible for their error, misdiagnosis, or lack of accurate diagnosis. Medical malpractice also has significant financial consequences in the form of additional expenses incurred by seeing other physicians or seeking or undergoing treatments, corrective surgeries, or procedures. One of the most severe consequences of medical malpractice comes when the failure to diagnose a serious medical issue allows that illness to become much worse than it would have been if properly diagnosed and treated initially. 

If you are facing illness or injury as the result of medical malpractice, you need a strong legal advocate in your corner. You need a Petersburg medical malpractice lawyer who has the experience, knowledge, and skills necessary to ensure that you are properly compensated for all of your damages. The law firm of Tronfeld West & Durrett has been helping people in similar situations since 1972. Personal injury, wrongful death, and medical malpractice are all we do, so we have a positive track record of success. 

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional acts in a manner that is not consistent with how another medical professional—given the same circumstances, and with similar training and education—would have acted. When a healthcare professional neglects to provide appropriate treatment, fails to take appropriate action, or provides substandard treatment that results in harm, injury, or death, he or she could be guilty of medical malpractice. Most often, malpractice involves a medical error. This error could be in relation to a medical diagnosis—or lack of a proper diagnosis. The error could also be related to prescribing the wrong medication or dosage, mismanaging a health condition, making an error during a surgical procedure, or administering the wrong treatment for an illness or health condition. 

According to Justpoint, about 26% of medical malpractice claims are related to failure to diagnose, about 24% are related to surgical errors, almost 29% are related to improper treatment, and a little more than five percent are related to adverse drug events. The remaining claims involve adverse reactions to anesthesia, lack of informed consent, improper monitoring, and injuries at the injection site. Medical errors currently rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States, following cancer and heart disease.   

For answers to your questions with a medical malpractice serving Petersburg, call:
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What Is Medical Malpractice vs. Negligence?

Medical negligence occurs when a medical provider’s actions or inactions fail to meet the medical standard of care. If that medical negligence results in an injury, illness, or death, it becomes medical malpractice.  Despite ongoing preventative measures put into place for medical practitioners—along with medical rules and regulations constantly being updated to improve patient safety—medical errors continue to occur. 

While negligence and malpractice are often used interchangeably, negligence is a general term that denotes conduct lacking in due care, carelessness, or a deviation from the medically accepted standard of care. Malpractice requires actual damages as a result of the carelessness, as well as a clear doctor-patient relationship. In other words, if your cousin June—who is a nurse—tells you at Thanksgiving dinner that you probably have allergies and it turns out that you have strep throat, June is not liable for medical malpractice because there is no nurse-patient relationship. Medical malpractice requires the following elements:

  • There was a patient-medical professional relationship
  • The medical professional owed you a duty of care as a result of that relationship
  • The duty of care was clearly breached
  • The breach of duty of care resulted in injury or harm
  • The injury or harm resulted in clear damages (financial, physical, and/or mental)

How Can a Lawyer Help You Prove Medical Malpractice?

When you seek advice or treatment from a medical professional, you are placing a huge amount of trust in that person. Your health, your safety, and sometimes even your life are being placed in the hands of a medical professional because you believe that they have the education, experience, and knowledge necessary to diagnose and treat you. 

Medical malpractice claims are among the most difficult personal injury cases to prove because the burden of proof is both higher and more complex than it might be in a “typical” personal injury case. Medical professionals train for years and use technologies and methodologies to diagnose and treat patients that are far beyond the average person’s level of understanding. 

Your Petersburg medical malpractice lawyer will comprehensively research and gather evidence that will back up your claim of medical malpractice. Your medical malpractice attorney will also have significant knowledge of medical procedures, treatments, illnesses, and surgeries. To prove medical malpractice occurred, your attorney will show that you were not afforded the same level of advice or treatment that another medical professional would have provided given similar circumstances. 

What Is Your Medical Malpractice Settlement Based On?

Your attorney will determine what your actual damages consist of when determining a fair settlement amount. Your damages may include one or more of the following: 

    • New illnesses, injuries, or disabilities as a result of the medical malpractice
    • Physical pain and suffering
    • Disfigurement
    • Scarring
    • Psychological trauma
    • Loss of ability to work or engage in normal daily activities
    • Loss of consortium
    • Loss of enjoyment of life
    • Medical expenses
    • Loss of income and loss of earning capacity 

Victims of medical malpractice often struggle to regain control of their lives. Seeking emotional support from a therapist or support group can help manage the emotional trauma resulting from an instance of medical malpractice. 

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About Tronfeld West & Durrett

As the victim of medical malpractice, you have many choices when deciding on a Petersburg medical malpractice lawyer. At Tronfeld West & Durrett, we understand you have choices but we believe strongly that once you’ve spoken to one of our highly skilled attorneys, your choice will be clear. We have obtained favorable settlements and jury verdicts for thousands of clients over the years and are committed to helping our neighbors in need. Our partners were born and raised in Virginia and are all heavily involved in the community. 

We have law offices in Richmond, Chesterfield, Mechanicsville, and Petersburg and represent clients throughout the state of Virginia. When necessary, we can come to you and will always go the extra mile for you and your family. We are highly experienced negotiators who will obtain a full and fair settlement whenever possible. When an insurance company refuses to pay what the damages are actually worth, we never hesitate to file a lawsuit and persuasively argue the case in court. We are wholly dedicated to obtaining an equitable settlement in the quickest, most professional manner possible and will ensure that you get the help you need and deserve from caring, knowledgeable attorneys

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How a Petersburg Medical Malpractice Lawyer from Tronfeld West & Durrett Can Help

The experienced Petersburg medical malpractice lawyers at Tronfeld West & Durrett have been obtaining full and fair settlements and jury verdicts for their clients since 1972. We understand that medical malpractice can turn your life or the life of a loved one upside down. You may be in significant pain or facing mounting medical expenses while you are unable to work and make a living. You may feel as though your entire future has been derailed and wonder whether you will ever get back to your life as it was prior to the medical malpractice incident. We are ready to help you get the settlement you need and deserve while protecting your rights and your future at every turn. Contact a Petersburg medical malpractice lawyer from Tronfeld West and Durrett today. 


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