Suffering an injury or serious illness as a result of negligence from a medical professional can be life-changing in many ways. Washington state law says that patients who fall victim to negligent doctors and physicians may pursue a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit against the medical providers who are responsible for their injuries, illnesses, and other damages.
Medical malpractice is defined as professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider (such as a doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, plastic surgeon, pharmacist, medical technician, etc.) in which the 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.
Davis Law Group handles cases related to hospital negligence, medication overdoes and errors, and surgical mistake cases.
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. If you believe you have suffered losses due to medical malpractice, please fill out Davis Law Group's medical malpractice questionnaire.
Types Of Medical Malpractice Cases We Accept
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.
Below is a list of the more egregious types of medical malpractice cases that the attorneys at Davis Law Group, P.S. are currently investigating:
- “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-related injuries
- Unnecessary or unauthorized surgical procedures
- Nursing home and elderly care incidents
- Falls in hospitals or nursing homes
- Plastic surgery errors
Proving Liability In Medical Malpractice & Negligence Claims
Washington state law permits victims of malpractice to receive compensation if a patient was injured by the negligence of a medical provider (doctors, hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, etc.). Washington state law should provide compensation to injured patients and ensure medical providers take appropriate precautions against adverse medical events.
The report linked below may help patients and victims of medical malpractice understand why it can be difficult to find legal assistance and why many attorneys are less inclined to take on a medical malpractice case.
Why Do Doctors Fail To Diagnose Medical Conditions Or Injuries
The analysis of more than 25 years of medical malpractice records showed, in more than 25 percent of the cases, the reason for the claim involved some form of diagnosis-related error, totaling more than 100,000 claims. The results of diagnostic errors ranged from minor injuries to permanent injuries, and in some cases even death to the patient.
What Are The 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 the 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
- Mary Bridge Children's Hospital
Why Are Medical Negligence Cases 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.
Important Information You Need To Gather To Prove Medical Malpractice
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.
Eligibility for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Several things are required in order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Your injuries, or the death of a loved one, must have occurred because of the negligence of a medical professional.
With Davis Law Group on your side, we will help you prove that:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed. A medical malpractice lawsuit is based on the fact that you were in a professional relationship with the physician. Doctors can only be subject to a lawsuit if they were hired by the patient to provide medical treatment.
- The medical professional acted in a negligent manner. Your attorney will have to prove that the doctor’s actions or lack of action caused harm that a better doctor could have avoided. Usually this requires the testimony of a third-party medical expert to show how the doctor should have acted.
- The patient’s injuries or death were caused by the doctor’s negligence. The injuries you sustained must be directly tied to the doctor’s mistake. Medical malpractice that doesn’t result in injuries cannot be the subject of a lawsuit.
Free Legal Consultation With A Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you have fallen victim to negligence at a hospital or medical center in Washington state, you may be entitled to recover financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and any other damages you may have suffered as a result of the incident. Hiring an attorney can increase the chances of a successful resolution to your medical malpractice case, but the law sets strict time limits for personal injury lawsuits.
The attorneys at Davis Law Group will review your medical negligence case absolutely free. Use the confidential medical malpractice questionnaire on this page to have your case personally reviewed and to request a free legal consultation with our attorneys.