Our Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys Have the Answers You Seek

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  • What is assisted delivery and is it dangerous?

    assisted birth injuries forcepsEven with careful fetal monitoring throughout the birthing process, a delivery can present a surprise or new challenge at any moment. Assisted delivery is one way doctors approach these challenges, but you may be worried that surgical tools could hurt your baby. It’s important you understand what assisted delivery is and what risks it poses to your baby.

    What Is Assisted Delivery?

    Childbirth can be a traumatic experience for both mother and child. However, when the birth becomes too challenging, the doctor must take swift action to protect the mother and the baby. In some deliveries, the doctor may elect to use medical tools to guide the baby through the birth canal. This is known as an assisted delivery, and the two tools used most often are the following:

    • Forceps are a tong-like tool with a large cup on each of the two tips. When a doctor uses this tool, he usually instructs the mother to push, fixes the cups around the sides of the baby’s head, and pulls gently.
    • Vacuum extraction (ventouse) is a technique involving a vacuum-like suction device with a cup attached to the end of its hose, which a doctor attaches to a baby’s head. When the suction is active, the mother pushes, and the doctor uses the suction to guide the child out.

    Your Baby Faces Some Risk

    It’s important to remember that not all doctors will make mistakes when using forceps or a vacuum. Even when doctors use these tools properly and safely, babies may experience some head or facial markings. However, you may have cause for concern over larger issues, which could include:

    • Facial bruising
    • Temporary facial palsy
    • Eye injury
    • Cranial or facial fractures
    • Minor cranial bleeding
    • Seizures
    • Brachial plexus injury

    Do You Have a Birth Injury Case?

    Doctors are human and they can make mistakes and hurt people if they fail to uphold a certain standard of care. If your baby is injured or suffered harm at the hands of a negligent doctor, it’s important you ask an attorney whether you have a case. The team at Tavss Fletcher would be happy to sit down with you, look at your documents, and answer any of your questions. If you’re ready to start a conversation, call our toll-free number today.

  • How can I prove my medical malpractice case?

    Building a successful medical malpractice case requires documenting evidence, making specific connections, and calculating an exact amount representing damages. Additionally, you must be able to file your lawsuit within two years of the inciting incident, and the case must go through a review board before the lawsuit can be filed. If you’re considering filing a med mal lawsuit, it’s important you understand all its necessary parts.

    Proving Medical Malpractice Is Complex

    In order for you to file a successful medical malpractice claim, you and your attorney must be able to show that:

    • A doctor-patient relationship existed. Though this fact usually goes undisputed, part of your case must show that your doctor met with you, diagnosed you, or treated you. This is also known as proximate cause.
    • The doctor was negligent. Doctors and other healthcare professionals must meet an expected standard of care. Legally, a doctor may be found negligent if another reasonable physician—meaning one with a similar skill set and in the same situation—would have made a different decision.
    • The patient was harmed. You must be able to show, with concrete evidence, that you experienced harm. Your word is not enough.
    • The direct link between the negligence and harm. It’s not enough to say that a doctor made a mistake and that you were harmed. With evidence, your attorney must demonstrate that a specific mistake directly led to patient harm.
    • The monetary amount of damages. It’s also critical to prove exactly what harm the doctor’s action (or inaction) caused you. It’s possible you needed further medical treatment or had to miss work because of the doctor’s negligence—and all of these losses are calculable.

    In building a case to prove that your doctor did not meet the expected standard of medical care, he may need specific pieces of evidence, including:

    • Medical records
    • Expert testimony
    • Witness statements
    • Photos or videos

    Get Trusted Legal Advice Today

    If you’ve been injured after a medical professional was negligent, you may have questions about a potential medical malpractice case. The experienced legal team at Tavss Fletcher invites you to come in for a free consultation where we can review your case, answer your questions, and advise you of your next steps. Fill out the online contact form on our website today to get started.

  • What should I do after being hurt by a medication error?

    Medication errors cause harmMedication errors are serious matters that can worsen a condition, create a new one, or injure a patient. If you’ve been harmed by a healthcare professional's mistake with your medication, it’s important you understand how they can happen and what your first steps should be.

    Understanding Medication Errors

    A medication error is a preventable mistake that can occur in a great number of scenarios by many different medical professionals, including when:

    • A pharmacist mislabels a medication
    • A doctor prescribes the wrong medication or an incorrect dosage
    • A nurse administers the wrong medication or incorrect dosage
    • A doctor fails to take drug interactions into account when prescribing a new medication
    • A doctor fails to review a patient’s allergies when prescribing a new medication
    • A medical professional fails to warn a patient of potential side effects when prescribing a new medication

    Additionally, it’s important to note that medication errors can occur throughout the time a patient is in the care of a medical professional and do not only occur with prescription drugs at home. Errors can also happen with chemotherapy drugs or other drug-related treatments.

    What to Do After a Medication Error

    There are steps you can take to help prevent a medication error, but it’s important you know that if a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other medical staff member does commit an error, you should do the following:

    • Call a lawyer. Whether you consider the error minor or major, it’s smart to get in contact with an attorney who can help you understand what just happened, give you the legal advice you need, and help you report to the proper authorities.
    • Seek medical attention. Drugs can be dangerous. Especially if the error has caused you further injury or worsened a condition, it’s important you find a doctor who can correct the issue.
    • Document evidence. Keep any medication bottles given to you, obtain copies of medical records and orders, and get a letter from your employer if you’ve had to miss work.

    Your Attorney Is Your Advocate

    If you suspect that your injury or illness is the result of a medication error, an attorney can help. The legal team at Tavss Fletcher can review the details of your case and explain your options. To get started, fill out the online contact form on our website today.

  • Why do emergency room mistakes happen?

    A hospital emergency room is the last place anyone wants to be. They are often overcrowded and understaffed. Patients are scared and stressed out, and staff members are tired and short-tempered. With long waits, rushed examinations, and quick diagnoses, it’s no wonder mistakes are made.

    Why Your Condition May Become Worse in an Emergency Room

    When you go into the emergency room, you expect to have your condition resolved. You don’t expect to come out worse than when you went in, but, unfortunately, that could happen. In the name of efficiency and cost-effectiveness, hospitals often make cuts that harm the patient. The following are common occurrences in busy emergency rooms and could lead to harm to patients:

    • Inadequate staff
    • Lack of hospital beds
    • Not obtaining medical history
    • Deviating from standard protocol
    • Staff that is stressed and fatigued
    • Overcrowding
    • Lack of equipment or resources
    • Rushing from one patient to another

    As a result, patients can endure a variety of painful and difficult events, including receiving the wrong medications, being injured by rough and unsympathetic staff, having the wrong tests performed, and even undergoing unnecessary surgery.

    You Don’t Have to Suffer in Silence

    Emergency room mistakes are inexcusable. Not only can they harm you, they can end up costing you thousands of dollars. You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s mistakes, and the attorneys of Tavss Fletcher want to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Fill out or online form or call us at 757.625.1214 to get the justice you seek. 

  • How do I know when it’s time to put my parent into a nursing home?

    Up until recently, your father was feisty, independent, and in good health. A recent illness, however, has left him weak and in constant need of care. You fear it’s time to make a decision about whether or not he should enter a nursing home.

    Although Norfolk is filled with reputable nursing homes, you worry about making the right choice. After all, nursing home abuse and neglect are common and you don’t want to expose him to that kind of treatment. The first step, however, is to decide if it is indeed time to start looking into nursing homes.

    Is it Time?

    If your father is not willing to admit he needs help, you may need to look for clues in his surroundings and behavior to confirm your suspicions that it’s time for him to move into a senior facility. Look for the following signs he’s not doing well on his own:

    • He isn’t able to perform daily tasks. Take a look at your parent’s kitchen. Is the fridge filled with take-out containers? Do pot holders carry chars that could reveal the presence of a few past kitchen fires? Is his home a mess? If so, he may not be able to perform the daily and necessary tasks he needs to stay well.
    • His sickness requires constant care. If his health is in such a state that it requires a nurse’s care, he may need to move to a facility. If he can’t administer his medication on his own, monitor his condition, or perform the other tasks his health requires, he could become critically ill if he remains living on his own.
    • He seems depressed. If your father is losing weight, doesn’t participate in the activities he used to, or seems to have a general disregard for life, he could be depressed, which may require constant monitoring. A nursing home may provide the care that prevents him from becoming even more ill.

    We’re Here If You Need Us

    It’s never easy to have to make decisions on behalf of someone you love, especially if he is resistant. You have to trust that you are doing what is best for his health and safety. Take the time to choose a high-quality facility and visit regularly to make sure your parent is safe. If you ever suspect the nursing home you chose is not taking proper care of you parent, Tavss Fletcher is here to help.

  • How can I tell if my hysterectomy caused internal damage?

    You had a hysterectomy last week due to painful fibroids in your uterus. Your surgeon assured you that everything went smoothly and any residual pain should subside quickly. However, after seven days of cramping, residual bleeding, and painful urination (not to mention fatigue and bloating), you’re starting to believe something went very wrong. Fortunately, your husband agreed and convinced you to go to the emergency room.

    After an x-ray and two MRIs, the attending physician informed you that you not only had a perforated bladder but a perforated bowel as well. You were shocked and angry as he prepped you for another surgery, but grateful your husband made you come to the ER. You can’t even imagine what would have happened if you had ignored the signs any longer.

    Have other women had this issue when having a hysterectomy? How did they figure it out?

    Symptoms of Hysterectomy-Related Injuries

    The National Women’s Health Network estimates that over 600,000 women undergo hysterectomy surgeries each year. Clearly, this is a common procedure in the United States and with such a large number of surgeries there are bound to be many women affected by hysterectomy negligence and injuries. According to the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, up to10% of hysterectomy patients (60,000) suffer from adverse complications due to the surgery. These complications can vary from small cuts in the abdominal wall to perforated bowels leading to sepsis.

    Unfortunately, if the injury isn’t identified during the time of surgery, long-term effects could ensue, resulting in embarrassing, painful and even fatal consequences. It is important to stay alert and watch for symptoms of injury following a hysterectomy so that you may seek medical attention as quickly as possible. These symptoms include:

    • Weakness
    • Bloody stool
    • Blood in the urine
    • Noticeable vaginal bleeding
    • Rapid breathing
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Fatigue
    • Diarrhea
    • Pain or tenderness in your abdomen that gets more intense with motion or touch
    • Abdominal bloating or distention
    • Constipation or the inability to pass gas
    • Painful urination
    • Difficulty urinating or passing only a small amount of urine
    • Poor appetite
    • Excessive thirst
    • Fever and chills
    • Cold symptoms due to a suppressed immune system

    Taking a Stand Against Negligence

    Malpractice is a growing concern in the medical profession, and carelessness, negligence and misconduct need to be addressed and stopped before more tragedies occur. If you feel your doctor or hospital has acted irresponsibly and has caused you additional pain or discomfort, don’t be afraid to speak up. Contact us for a free consultation and review of your case. You could be entitled to a medical malpractice settlement and compensation for long-term effects your doctor’s negligence may have caused. Don’t hesitate any longer. Time has already cost you, don’t let it cost you more. Call today to get your life back on track.

    Did this article help answer your questions? Let us know by liking us on Facebook for periodic updates and tidbits, or email us directly for more information at Tavss Fletcher.


  • Are some types of surgeries more at risk than others, for the likelihood of a retained object?

    Your doctor said the procedure was routine. He said that the probability of anything going wrong was next to nothing. He answered all of your questions with precise confidence and affirmation. Perhaps what you should have asked him was whether or not he could count.

    After two weeks of pain and suffering, your primary physician suggested going to the emergency room for an X-ray of your abdomen. Low and behold, the doctors at the emergency room discovered three sponges that were left inside you during your hysterectomy.

    Seriously!? Three sponges!? Although your surgeon never mentioned the possibility of something like that happening, is leaving equipment or tools inside a patient common for certain surgeries?

    Surgeries That Put You Most at Risk for a Retained Object

    Retained surgical instruments (RSIs), also known as retained foreign objects, should never be an issue after a surgical procedure. However, NoThing Left Behind, a national surgical patient-safety project designed to prevent retained surgical items, estimates that 2,000 patients a year in the U.S. suffer from an RSI. These incidents generally occur as a result of surgeons being rushed or having to quickly perform intricate surgeries. Unfortunately, hurried actions can, and do, lead to mistakes and forgotten equipment—which ultimately leads to you paying a high price.

    The types of procedures most commonly linked to retained foreign objects include:

    • Obstetrical surgery. Vaginal deliveries and cesarean sections account for 25 percent of retained foreign object incidents. This alarmingly high rate is most likely due to the chaotic nature and necessity to deliver the baby as quickly as possible.
    • Digestive system procedures. Internal abdominal exams using a laparoscope (an instrument equipped with a camera, scissors, and forceps to aid in surgical endeavors), hernia repairs, colon removals, and partial stomach removals account for 16 percent of RFOs.
    • Hysterectomies. These surgeries account for 10 percent of RFOs, including both abdominal and vaginal approaches and procedures that had to be converted from vaginal to abdominal mid-procedure.
    • Cardiovascular procedures. Heart bypass surgery and the insertion or extraction of pacemakers, account for an additional 10 percent of RFO cases. In most of these cases, the RFO was a sponge that was packed into the wound pocket and became forgotten.

    Fighting Back

    Living with a foreign body inside you as a result of someone else’s negligence is inexcusable. Not only should you be able to trust your surgeon with your life—which you did—you should also be able to trust him to keep track of his instruments. Unfortunately, the chaotic nature of a surgery can cause mistakes to be made, in which you wind up paying the price. That is—unless you fight back.

    If you’re a victim of surgical malpractice, contact us today to learn more about your rights and options for a malpractice lawsuit. Surgeons rely on their hospital’s lawyers to free from them from blame—but you don’t have to allow their blatant mistakes to go unpunished. You owe it to yourself to get compensation and justice for your injuries.

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  • Is it really important to hire an attorney for my medical malpractice claim?

    It’s been almost a month since your botched procedure at Sentara. After a six-hour surgery, you awoke to discover that an error was made, and instead of removing your damaged ovary, the surgeon mistakenly removed the healthy one first, forcing him to remove them both. Now, you are forced to not only suffer through the excruciating abdominal pain the surgery left behind, but you must also suffer the pain of knowing you won’t be able to bear any children.

    There is absolutely nothing worse than suffering a debilitating injury at the hands of someone you trusted, and then feeling as if there is nothing you can do about it. Not only are you in pain and financially troubled, but you also feel alone and depressed that you’ll never be able to get back to the life you had before the injury. All of these feelings are completely natural, and you’re not alone. Thousands of malpractice victims feel exactly the same way, and instead of fighting to get their lives back, they try to take comfort in the fact that they couldn’t do anything about it.

    That’s where they’re wrong.

    What an Experienced Malpractice Lawyer Can Do for You

    Contacting an experienced lawyer will not only help give you an edge when filing for malpractice compensation, it will also allow you to connect with someone who knows what you’re going through, knows your frustrations and concerns, and will fight, tooth and nail, to make sure you get the justice you need to get your life back.

    Malpractice attorneys can:

    • Research, gather and establish the necessary documentation and evidence needed to help secure your claim.
    • Help set up a durable power of attorney. Without a durable power of attorney, no one has the legal authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you’re incapacitated or unable to communicate. An experienced lawyer can help change that by establishing a durable power of attorney instrument.
    • Help you file your claim and combat any unforeseen tricks that insurance companies may throw up to reject, delay, or reduce your settlement.
    • Provide support, encouragement, and a listening ear throughout the entirety of your case, to ensure you’re well informed, your needs are being met, and you’re confident about your settlement options.
    • Fight and argue on your behalf in order to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
    • Give you the courage, morale, comfort and security that comes with knowing you’re not alone.


    When a medical professional makes a negligent mistake, he not only compromises his integrity and reputation, he alters your entire life. Don’t allow him to get away with it merely because you think there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Let us fight to make sure he is held responsible for his negligence and that you receive the justice you are owed. Contact us today to discuss your case with an experienced, and highly motivated, malpractice attorney.

    Do you know someone who may need our help? Feel free to share this page on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus, to show your friends and family that they don’t have to needlessly suffer alone. We’ll have their backs.

  • What are common birth injuries caused by medical malpractice?

    Many times little girls grow up with the dream of having children of their own. They plan and save to give their child the lives they deserve. Sometimes there are life events that can totally change these plans in an instant. One heartbreaking event that might take place is a birth injury caused by medical malpractice.

    There are many ways in which a birth injury may take place. There are times when the birth injury is caused by circumstances that are unavoidable. There are many other times a birth injury is caused by negligence of the doctor or medical staff.

    While there are several ways in which a doctor or staff may cause a birth injury, three common results are:

    • Cerebral palsy. This condition is often affects the child’s brain and nervous system. Cerebral palsy is often caused due to lack of oxygen to the brain or trauma to the head. A child may suffer from tremors or have difficulty walking or speaking. The effects can range from mild to nearly crippling, and may last for the rest of the individual’s life.
    • Erb’s palsy. Erb’s palsy is caused by an unnatural twisting or stretching the child’s arm and shoulder. The child who has Erb’s palsy can experience complete paralysis in the affected arm.
    • Death. Sadly, when negligence occurs it can cause death to the child. There are many ways in which negligence can cause the death of the child.


    If you or your child has experienced an injury during the birthing process and believe negligence was involved, you may be entitled to compensation. To discuss your legal options call 757.625.1214 today.

  • Do you have any statistics regarding medical malpractice?

    When you become ill, your first instinct is to contact a health care professional for treatment.

    As Americans we put a lot of faith and trust in our health care providers. Unfortunately, there are times when a patient seeks the attention of a doctor or health care provider, only to leave in a worse condition.

    Medical malpractice can cause serious injuries, and may even cause a patient to die. Sadly, medical malpractice is much more common than you would think. Reading over statistics regarding medical malpractice can be quite alarming. After learning of these statistics, you may be thinking differently about your doctor visits.

    Some of the statistics relating to medical malpractice are:

    • Death. In the most extreme instances, death becomes the result of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice kills close to 200,000 people every year in the United States. Nearly 12,000 of these deaths occur when people receive unnecessary surgery.
    • Injuries. A large number of Americans are injured every year due to medical malpractice. Every day there are approximately 40,000 injuries caused by medical malpractice. There are another 1.5 million people who suffer injury due to medication errors.
    • Legal action. There is much fewer medical malpractice claims then there are incidents. Only two percent of all people who are injured in a medical error will seek compensation. Half of all malpractice claims are filed against surgeons.

    It is important to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. To discuss your legal options you need to get in contact with an experienced Virginia malpractice attorney by filling out the contact form on this page.

  • What are some of the common ways surgery can result in a Norfolk medical malpractice lawsuit?

    There are many reasons people have surgery—to relieve pain, improve a body function, reduce a symptom, or to discover a problem. Whether the procedure is considered minor or major, the team of healthcare professionals involved should take it very seriously. A successful surgical procedure takes a full team of providers performing at a high level of professionalism.

    Unfortunately, there are times when a surgeon or other healthcare worker acts in a negligent manner. This can result in a surgical error that causes great harm to the patient. Surgery is one of the most common causes for medical malpractice in Virginia. There are many different causes for surgical errors, the most common being:

    • Miscommunication – Staff members may misidentify a patient or mark the wrong site for surgery. In addition, errors can occur when a surgeon is misinformed, misreads drug dosages, or misreads patient drug sensitivities and allergies.
    • Fatigue – Surgeons and other medical professionals work long hours. This can cause fatigue and exhaustion, which can lead to impaired judgment and errors.
    • Neglect – Failing to sterilize instruments or using defective surgical instruments can lead to infection, septic shock, and other serious conditions that may result in harm to the patient.
    • Improper planning – Before a surgical procedure, medical staff should take a complete patient medical history including prior health conditions, drug sensitivities, and allergies in order to assess surgical risks.


    To get the compensation you deserve from your medical malpractice case, contact an experienced Norfolk medical malpractice attorney at Tavss Fletcher. Call 757-625-1214 today for a free case evaluation.

  • I am a victim of medical malpractice and would like to file a claim. What should I look for when seeking a medical malpractice attorney in Virginia?

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    If you have been suffering from medical malpractice, you have firsthand knowledge of the stress, pain, and hardship it can cause. It can be a long, difficult, and emotional road to recovery. Add into the mix a malpractice claim, and you may very quickly feel overwhelmed. It is important to know that some of this hardship can be taken off your shoulders with the help of a Norfolk medical malpractice lawyer. 

    When searching for a medical malpractice attorney, you need to be patient and find the right fit for your situation. You will find that there are many attorneys to choose from, yet there are few that will get you the compensation you deserve. 

    When choosing an attorney for your claim, you should consider:

    • History – Look for an attorney who is experienced in the field of medical malpractice claims. When talking to a lawyer, let them know that you would like to know their history and past settlements.
    • Success rate – An attorney who is experienced in a certain field should have a high success rate with trials and claims. Ask to be informed of the law firm’s success rate. 
    • Knowledge – Your attorney should be extremely knowledgeable with medical malpractice claims. All your reasonable questions should be answered with no problem.
    • Comfort – Going through such a trying time can be difficult. You should feel comfortable with letting your attorney take the lead and trust him to do so. 

    All of these characteristics can be found in a Norfolk medical malpractice lawyer at Tavss Fletcher. Call 757-625-1214 today to speak with an experienced attorney and receive a free consultation.