What could happen if it was no longer legal to sue your doctor or hospital? Some people believe that is a great idea. If your doctor became distracted and left your baby languishing on the birth canal, for far too lengthy, your child’s battle with brain damage will become a tragic, unpleasant event rather than a legal cause of action.
Contrary to what many people believe they do, medical malpractice lawsuits play an important role in improving the quality of healthcare. Medical negligence lawsuits are one of the few ways to make medical professionals and institutions accountable for negligent or negligent patient care. For instance, lawsuits involving healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) caused drastic changes in equipment, disinfectants and methods to minimize or completely eliminate the risk of infections.
If you or your family member is hurt due to the negligence of a medical professional, you have the right to speak to an Seattle medical malpractice lawyer from Menzer Law Firm. You are entitled to find out more about Washington medical malpractice law and the way it applies to your specific situation. It is important to know if you have a valid legal claim, and If so, what you can do to make the claim in order to receive adequate the compensation you deserve.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice, also known as medical negligence is the failure of healthcare professional to maintain the standards of care, or obtain permission from the patient in advance. Complications and side effects are not inherently malpractice. Unexpected outcomes can happen even in the event that your doctor does everything correctly.
In accordance with the standard of care is that medical professionals are expected to practice the level of care, skill, and learning that is required of a reasonably prudent health care provider at the time they are in the profession or class they are a part of, in the State of Washington, acting in similar circumstances or situations. For instance, your cardiologist should act like a cardiologist who is reasonably prudent in Washington in the same kinds of circumstances.
All medical professionals, with the exception of emergency situations, have to obtain your consent in advance. You must be informed about all material information about the treatment you receive before you’re able to give your consent to treatment. It is negligent for a doctor to not speak to you about the facts and risks that are associated with treatment and to obtain your informed consent.
Common Medical Malpractice Types
Medical Malpractice Attorneys Seattle WA have handled negligence claims throughout the Seattle area as well as throughout Washington state for decades. We have worked closely with medical malpractice victims as well as their families, who were injured as a result of the most common types of negligence, including:
- Misdiagnosis/Failure to Diagnose A doctor may fail to accurately diagnose an injury or illness despite the capability to diagnose it. Your physician may not conduct the appropriate tests, not interpret the results correctly or may not be aware of certain symptoms. An inability to diagnose or incorrect diagnosis can cause you to suffer from harmful, unnecessary treatments , causing your health condition to worsen.
- Medication errors: A doctor or pharmacist might make a dangerous medication mistake. A doctor could prescribe a medication that is inappropriate for your condition or could be incompatible with other medications that you take. A nurse might prescribe an incorrect drug or correct medication in the wrong dosage or in the wrong form. A tech or pharmacist could make a mistake when filling prescriptions. The consequences of a mistake in the filling process can be devastating and even fatal.
- Patient Falls: If you are admitted to a hospital or healthcare facility, it is important that you need to receive proper, round-the-clock care. You shouldn’t be left to walk and get around on your own. There is a risk of falling if you are ill in recovery from surgery or illness is too dangerous. Without adequate assistance and reasonable safety precautions, you can slide and cause a devastating head injury or broken bone.
- Surgical Errors: When you are undergoing surgery, whether it’s necessary or elective procedure, you’ll expect that the surgeons will treat you with extreme care of your life. However, a surgeon, nurse, anesthesiologist, or any other member who are part of your surgical team may take careless actions and make mistakes. There is a chance that you will undergo the wrong procedure , or have the surgery done on the incorrect part of the body. You could receive too much or too little anesthesia. You may be exposed to harmful viruses or bacteria which cause an HAI.
- Birth injuries: Pregnant mothers and babies must be monitored carefully so that births and pregnancy progress safely. If doctors or nurses fail to observe pregnant women and fetuses , or overlook signs of distress it can cause the mother and baby to suffer harm. Negligent care can lead to miscarriage, early birth, or even unnecessary C-Sections. The baby to be injured by broken bones as well as brain damage, or cerebral palsy.
Do You Have a Seattle Medical Malpractice Claim?
If you’re the victim of medical negligence there is a chance that you could be facing grave consequences for the remaining years of your life. A lawsuit won’t alleviate you of the pain and suffering, as well as disfigurement or loss of performance resulted from the negligent actions of the hospital and physician. The legal system, however, does provide financial remedies for psychological, physical as well as financial losses that can be attributed to malpractice.
Talk to a Seattle Medical malpractice attorney about whether you can establish a solid and valid legal case against a physician. In order to bring an effective malpractice claim you must be able to demonstrate that the doctor breached the applicable standards of care; that you suffered serious injuries, and those violations of the standards of care were the main source of your injuries.
Fight for Compensation
If you suffer an injury because of recklessness or negligence on the part of a doctor or carelessness, the law may allow you to compensation:
- Past And Future Medical Bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Physical Limitations or Disabilities
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
Insurance companies that represent hospitals and doctors typically are not inclined to offer an adequate amount for injuries. Their lawyers say that there is no legal obligation, leaving you to deal the injury, pain, and financial burdens on your own . However, our malpractice lawyers will be able to fight for your rights.
It is the statute of limitations for Washington medical malpractice.
There’s a time-limit in the amount of time you’re allowed to file a medical negligence lawsuit. The Washington limitation period for medical negligence generally is 3-years from date of the alleged negligent act or one year after the date that you realized or could reasonably have discovered the medical provider’s negligence. There is a second time frame in Washington law, the “statute of repose” which says that any claims, even if there is a reasonably late detection of the carelessness, need to be filed within eight years from the date of the negligence alleged.
How do I determine if my doctor committed malpractice?
One of the biggest challenges to medical mishaps is figuring out whether your doctor did an error that is a sign of negligence. The doctor’s mistakes don’t always have to be considered to be malpractice. Doctors make their of their actions based on the evidence in hand. Sometimes, they don’t have the right diagnosis, or the treatment isn’t effective. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a breach of the law, which is why it’s important to seek out help from an attorney for malpractice so that they can look over relevant medical records . They will often employ a medical expert to inform us of any the possibility of malpractice.
Could I find out if someone had sued my doctor for medical malpractice previously?
You can research the background of your doctor by a variety of methods. You can look for any disciplinary cases that have been taken by or against the Washington Medical Commission. After that, you can search on the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) where you can find the verdicts and settlements for medical malpractice for doctors in the U.S. Another option, though it’s not comprehensive you can search for state court records.
Where can I file a medical malpractice lawsuit?
It is only possible to initiate a lawsuit in the event that a court has jurisdiction over the parties involved and the subject issue. The suit can be filed in the state where the mistake took place. For example, if the negligence occurred at an Seattle hospital, you are able to sue here even if you reside outside of Washington.
Will my medical malpractice case go to trial?
The chances are that, but the vast majority of medical malpractice cases are settled. In Washington laws, it is required for you to go through mediation prior to trial. That means, even after the lawyer files your medical malpractice suit, you’ll have an opportunity to settle the matter without going to the court. Menzer Law Firm’s medical malpractice personal injury lawyer Seattle WA always prepare his cases for trial, which improves the chances of settling.
What happens if I find out about my malpractice after the time of limitations?
In Washington the law generally allows three years from the time the medical malpractice happened to make a claim. However, in certain cases, you don’t find out you had been the target of negligence later. This is why Washington has the “discovery policy.” If you learn or ought to have discovered that your injury was due to negligence the law gives you a year to bring an action. This discovery rule isn’t without limits, however. In Washington you are allowed up to eight years after the date of your malpractice to file a lawsuit.