Medical Malpractice Law Firm, fairfax, arlington, richmond, virginia, va 8270 Greensboro Drive, Suite 700
Tysons Corner, VA 22102
Phone: 703.243.3500
Fax: 703.524.8770
Medical Malpractice Law Firm, fairfax, arlington, richmond, virginia, va
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Medical Malpractice Law Firm, fairfax, arlington, richmond, virginia, va

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Who Protects the Patient?

There has been a great deal of publicity of late about medical malpractice verdicts. Calls for laws protecting doctors, demonstrations of support by nurses, demonstrations of support by nurses and hospital personnel for doctors found to have negligently caused injury; warnings of a future without adequate health care; all appear in the media with increasing frequency.

Little attention is paid publicly to the rights of injured patients. A child rendered quadriplegic due to a doctor's negligence is no less entitled to redress for his injuries than a child paralyzed by the carelessness of a negligent driver. Often, however, a patient who questions the results of treatment must depend upon the treatment provider for answers and information. Too often the information they receive is self-serving or inadequate.

Doctors and insurance companies have powerful organizations which represent their interests and assert their rights on local and national levels. The individual patient has only him or herself, their family and friends for support.

Few patients know that laws protect the discussions and conclusions of physician and hospital review committees, and few patients are able to review a medical chart adequately themselves to identify areas of concern.

Patients and family members who are dissatisfied with the care they have received and the explanations they have been given need forceful and effective advocates to listen to their concerns, obtain answers to their questions and, if appropriate, represent them in their efforts to be compensated for substandard treatment.

This is the function of the office of William E. Artz, P.C. William Artz has practiced law in the Washington for over 36 years. He is licensed in Virginia and the District of Columbia. He has, in the past, represented the interests of doctors, nurses and insurance companies. Increasing concern over the availability of quality legal assistance for the injured individual, however, has led in recent years to his concentration on the representation of the individual against those interests.

Artz feels that patients are very much at a disadvantage in the struggle between themselves, the insurance industry and the medical profession. As he puts it, "One of the real challenges is to uncover what really happened to the patient. Treating doctors, nurses or other hospital personnel (staff) will rarely tell a patient that an act of malpractice has occurred and caused them injury. The patient will be sent home and may be the unknowing victim of medical negligence."

In Virginia, a patient has two years to file a claim of malpractice against a doctor or hospital, and the two years begins to run generally from the date the act of negligence was committed, regardless of whether or not the patient knows malpractice has occurred. Artz says he has seen cases in which the patient doesn't discover that he or she has been the victim of malpractice until after two years has elapsed and it is too late to file a claim.

What Can You Do?

If you or a member of your family has been injured or has died following medical treatment, and you are unhappy or dissatisfied with the explanations you have been given, you can obtain help in compiling medical records, investigating circumstances and evaluating information to determine whether you have a claim for medical malpractice. Consult with an attorney specializing in medical negligence or your family lawyer, if you do not know a specialist. At the very least, you need a prompt independent medical review of your medical records and overall case. Your attorney can arrange for this evaluation. Once this independent evaluation has been made you will generally know if your bad result was caused by the negligence of a doctor, hospital or other health care provider. Educating the patient is the first step in protecting the patient.

William E. Artz is well known and respected in the Washington Metropolitan legal community. A trial lawyer for over 36 years, he is certified in civil trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. In addition to his active practice, Bill contributes his time and services to both the legal community and public. He serves as a Mediator in the D.C. and Virginia court systems; is a past president of the Trial Lawyers of Metropolitan D.C.; past president of the Arlington County Bar Association; and, past Director of the Arlington County Bar Foundation. He is also a fellow in the American College of Trial Attorneys, a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, recipient of 2002 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the Trial Lawyers Association of Washington, D.C., listed in the Best Lawyers in America, Virginia SuperLawyers Top 50, and the Law Dragon 500 (the top 500 litigators in the United States).

The offices of William E. Artz, P.C. are located at 8270 Greensboro Drive, Suite 700, Tysons Corner, Virginia 22102. Telephone (703) 243-3500.

 

Medical Malpractice Law Firm, fairfax, arlington, richmond, virginia, va

Artz Law Office located in Tysons Corner, Va. serving all of Virginia and the District of Columbia.

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