Medical Malpractice

Gavel & Stethoscope

Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you suffered injury as a result of a physician’s error, you may be entitled to compensation. In most cases, you may not know whether you have a claim until you talk to someone that can analyze your medical history. Our experienced attorneys stand ready to assist you in investigating your potential claim and developing a plan of action.

Working With Doctors to Review Your Claim

To pursue a claim for medical malpractice in Virginia, the law requires that you obtain a letter of merit prior to filing suit.  This letter, prepared by a licensed physician, must state that the physician breached the applicable standard of care.  The term “standard of care” means the diagnostic and treatment process that a clinician should follow for a certain type of patient, illness, or clinical circumstance. If you have a potential medical malpractice claim, we will work with you to find an experienced physician to review your treatment history.  Once the physician has reviewed your medical records and discussed your medical history with you, they will issue a written opinion.  This opinion will lay the groundwork of your potential claim by providing a detailed analysis of the physician’s conduct.  The opinion will also provide analysis of the applicable standard of care that applies to your situation, and details the standard of care the physician should have followed.

Analyzing Your Injuries to Determine the Value of Your Claim

Once we determine that the physician breached the standard of care, our attorneys’ focus will then shift to determine the value of your claim.  A number of factors can be used to determine the value of a medical malpractice lawsuit.  Those factors include the nature and extent of your injuries; your medical bills and costs; lost wages; future lost earning capacity and permanent disability.  Pain, suffering, and inconvenience are also significant factors to be considered when valuing a medical malpractice claim.  After reviewing these factors, our attorneys will compare your case to similar cases that have either reached a verdict, or settled.  These comparisons give us insight into what a potential jury may decide with regard to your case.  Alternatively, review of settlements allows us to determine how an insurance company or defendant may value your claim, in the event that it can be settled without a trial.

Drafting a Comprehensive Complaint

All medical malpractice litigation is commenced with a complaint.  A complaint is a legal pleading that outlines the basis for your malpractice claim in factual and legal terms.  We well plead complaint will outline the specific nature of the alleged malpractice and will further outline your claim for damages.  Defendants and their insurers rarely offer to settle claims that have not been filed with the court.  While there are exceptions, the leverage provided by a well drafted complaint can create incentive for settlement negotiations.  It also serves to provide a strong foundation to build your case for trial.

Gavel, scales of justice, writing in book

Conducting Discovery to Find Critical Evidence

Preparing a case for trial requires months of careful planning. As part of this process, our attorneys will propound discovery requests that will allow you to obtain critical evidence necessary for you to present your case. This evidence will include copies of your medical records and films. It may also include notes and other information that could potentially reveal evidence of negligence. Discovery will also include conducting depositions to ask witnesses to answer questions, under oath, that will help to locate additional evidence and prepare for trial.

Gavel & American Flag
Shaking Hands

Helping you determine whether to settle or go to trial

Throughout the litigation process, we will continue to keep you informed, discuss our findings with you, and evaluate your plan of action and goals.  Every case that we undertake starts with the assumption that it will see trial.  However, in most cases, there will be some discussion between the parties about whether the case can be resolved through settlement.  If the parties have an interest in settlement negotiations, they will typically exchange a demand and offer.  The plaintiff’s demand is a statement as to what amount they will accept to settle the case.  An offer is the defendant’s statement as to what amount they will pay to settle a claim.  Typically, the parties will move from their initial positions towards a central figure.  At any point, however, each side may make a statement that their position is final, and that any further concessions will not be made.  At this point, the parties must determine whether further negotiations will be fruitful or, in the alternative, if the matter should continue to proceed towards a trial. 

In some cases, the parties may attempt to reach a settlement through a more formal process called mediation.  In a mediation, the parties are assisted in their negotiations by a mediator.  Mediators are typically retired judges that can share the wealth of their experience with the parties.  The mediators experience and assistance can, in some cases, assist the parties in reaching a resolution.  However, there are always cases that cannot be resolved and will require a trial.

Attorney & Scales of Justice

Preparing and Conducting a Trial

In the event that the parties are unable to reach a resolution, a trial will be required.  Preparation for a medical malpractice case requires significant planning and organization.  Most trials will require a week or more to conduct.  Our attorneys and staff will prepare your case for trial by organizing your evidence, subpoenaing and preparing witnesses to testify, and filing pretrial motions where appropriate.  We will also work with your experts to prepare their trial testimony, and any exhibits they may require.

Success at trial relies upon effective presentation of the evidence and thoughtful argument. However, the ultimate decision of a jury may or may not be favorable, or even predictable.  Any time you entrust your case to the decision of seven strangers, there are risks involved.  At the Reed Law Firm, we will work tirelessly to present your medical malpractice case in the best possible light, and to advise you of the range of possible outcomes.   In the end, the decision will rest in the hands of the court and will come from the collective determination of the jury.

Our Process

Step 1

Initial Review and Development of Litigation Plan

The client will meet with the attorney to review the current status of the case, develop a plan of action, determine a budget, and formulate a timetable for resolution. The attorney will discuss the client’s specific goals, review any relevant caselaw or statutes related to the litigation and answer the clients questions about the process.

Step 2

Pleadings, Discovery, and Motions

Being party to a lawsuit requires ongoing effort to organize your case through written documents that are submitted to the court and opposing parties. It also may require court appearances to argue pretrial motions. During this stage, we will prepare any pleadings to be submitted to the court, draft discovery requests, responses and objections, issue subpoenas, conduction depositions, and prepare and argue any pretrial motions. This stage typically occupies 70-80% of the total timeline for your case.

Step 3

Trial Preparation and Settlement Negotiations

This stage includes review of all relevant evidence, preparation of any potential witnesses and the formulation of trial strategy. Our experienced staff will assist in the assembly of trial notebooks that include all documents you intend to present at trial. During this stage, settlement negotiations may take place in an effort to resolve your case without a trial if it is possible.

Step 4

Trial

If your case cannot be resolved through negotiation, a trial will be required. Based upon the plan we develop with you, we will present the evidence and witnesses that we have prepared to present your case in the light most favorable to you. Trials can sometimes have unpredictable outcomes. However, when you hire the Reed Law Firm, you can be confident that the evidence, arguments, and testimony you want to have heard will be presented in a coherent, organized, and compelling way to provide you with the best possible opportunity to win your case.

Medical Malpractice Settlements

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We represented a client that had undergone hip replacement surgery, but the hip was not sized properly, which caused our client to suffer significant pain and infection. This implant needed to be removed and replaced. We fought for our client’s claim and ensured they received the compensation they deserved.

Client Testimonials