Hospital Negligence, Medication Overdoes & Errors, and Surgical Mistake Cases
Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider (doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, plastic surgeon, pharmacist, medical technician, etc.) in which care provided deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient. It is the failure of a medical professional or a medical facility to provide a minimum standard of care in the areas in which the medical professional or medical facility specializes.
A medical facility may be a hospital or a birthing center, nursing home, or clinic. If the medical attention fails to meet the standard of good medical practice and harm results to a patient, the medical professional or medical facility may be liable for any resulting damages.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
Each year, Seattle-area patients suffer from medical mistakes which result in serious injuries or death. Nationally, there are more than 1.3 million injuries caused by medical negligence and more than 180,000 deaths because of medical mistakes each year.
A study released in October 2005 by Aon and American Society of Healthcare Risk Management reported on the frequency and severity of medical malpractice claims. Key findings of the study included:
- Overall the frequency of claims against healthcare facilities is decreasing. In 2004, there were 3 claims for each 100 acute care bed equivalents, down from 3.3 percent in 1999. The analysts hypothesize that self-insured healthcare systems have a greater financial incentive to reduce the cost of risk, make investments to improve the quality of care, and reduce medical errors. Consumer attitudes may also be changing as result of the enormous media attention given to the physician insurance crisis and how it relates to availability of healthcare at the local level.
- The frequency of claims against physicians was also declining, based on data from the National Practitioner Data Bank. The frequency of claims against physicians had dropped from 9.3 percent in 1999 to 8.1 percent in 2004.<
- The severity of institutional claims continues to grow from a low of 102,000 to $172,000 in 2004. (This data excludes settlements or awards yielding more than $2 million.
- Using ten years of data, public hospitals were found to have the highest percentage of claims of more than $1 million, with 39 percent of the exposure and 43.4 percent of the total number of large loss counts. Specialty hospitals had the least number of large loss claims.
Medical Mistakes at Seattle-Area Hospitals
Learn about medical malpractice at these Seattle-area Hospitals:
- Tacoma General Hospital
- Northwest Hospital
- UW Medical Center
- Overlake Hospital
- Seattle Children's Hospital
- Auburn Regional Medical Center
- Evergreen Hospital
- Highline Medical Center
- Swedish Hospital
- Virginia Mason Medical Center
- Harborview Medical Center
Types of Medical Malpractice
Proving a medical malpractice case is much different and more complex than with other personal injury claims. The facts surrounding your claim are based on past medical records and testimony from medical experts who are familiar with your type of case.
A “complex” case type simply means that expert testimony and medical records are a vital component to proving that the healthcare professional responsible for treating you did act negligently. The combination of strong medical evidence and qualified expert testimony gives victims the best possible chance of financial recovery.
Clear-Cut Case Types
- “Surgical Souvenirs” (i.e. sponges, clamps or other equipment that is left behind)
- Operating on the wrong body part or wrong side of the body
- Medication errors
- Failure to diagnose or properly treat a medical condition
- Birth injuries
- Plastic surgery errors
- Unnecessary surgical procedures
Complex Case Types
- Post-operation infections
- Dental mistakes
- Falls in hospitals or nursing homes
- Failure to monitor a patient
- Long-term treatment disputes
- Nursing home and elderly care incidents
Medical Malpractice Cases Can Be Difficult to Prove
Seattle medical malpractice attorneys at the Davis Law Group have years of experience in representing accident and injury victims. Be aware that attorneys, no matter how experienced in medical malpractice, are not considered experts in the medical field.
As you know by watching crime and legal dramas on television, all legal cases need evidence. With a medical malpractice claim, the evidence is your medical history and the documentation from medical professionals that an error or misdiagnosis occurred. The stronger the evidence, the more likely it is that our office will be able to help you recover significant compensation for your injuries and lost wages. Multi-million dollar settlements can potentially be at stake in these cases, which makes it even more important that victims have strong evidence of wrongdoing before pursuing a claim.
What information do you need to gather?
In order to determine whether a person has a legitimate medical malpractice claim, our attorneys will need to review medical records and other useful evidence that can be used to prove that a healthcare professional was negligent in providing care to a patient. If you are interested in pursuing a medical malpractice claim and have not yet obtained medical records regarding the incident, it is in your best interest to do so before contacting a medical malpractice attorney.