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Medical malpractice: West Virginia economy may be to blame

The head of the medical association in the Mountain State is suggesting that the depressed economy may be partly to blame for the state's ninth place ranking in the country's medical malpractice lawsuits. In a recent report West Virginia showed 29.6 medical malpractice lawsuits for every 100,000 of its residents. The state has laws that cap the amount of some monetary damages for medical malpractice cases against health care providers. Non-economic damages are limited to $250,000 or $500,000 depending upon the severity of the harm.

The state's medical association aims to prevent lawsuits by having a risk management program that requires all doctors to attend workshops and conferences yearly. Thirty-six states have apology laws, and West Virginia is one of them. These laws bar some statements, expressions and other evidence per disclosure from being allowable in a lawsuit.

It has been suggested that disclosure lessens litigation brought about by patients and helps foster more effective medicine to be practiced by doctors. Some also say apology laws also give closure to patients and any affected health care providers, including doctors. Physicians want to give, and patients want to receive the best health care possible.

Those in West Virginia who believe they have been harmed by the acts of a health care provider (or surviving family members of a loved one who died in such a manner) may wish to consult with a lawyer experienced in medical malpractice law. A lawyer will analyze all evidence and guide clients in the litigation process. The attorney will provide ongoing support to a client during each step of a legal proceedings.

Source: wvrgecord.com, "Economy might be cause of high number of medical malpractice suits in West Virginia", Dawn Brotherton, Sept. 8, 2017

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