When you go to the doctor or a hospital, you have to trust the person caring for you with your life. They quite literally have your life in their hands. In the vast majority of cases like this, everything is fine. The doctor treats the patient and the patient gets better. But in far too many cases, the healthcare provider is negligent, and the result is tragic.
Medical malpractice harms countless Silverdale, Washington residents every year. But there is good news: You can fight back by filing a medical malpractice claim. If this claim is successful, you can recover compensation for every way in which a careless healthcare practitioner harmed you.
Read on to learn more about medical malpractice in Washington state. For help with your case or to get more answers to your questions, contact the experienced Silverdale medical malpractice lawyers at Ryan, Montgomery & Armstrong, Inc., P.S. today.
What Is Medical Malpractice in Washington?
Medical malpractice is a legal term that can cover a lot of careless or negligent actions that a doctor or other healthcare provider takes. The following are some common types of medical malpractice in Washington:
- Misdiagnosis. Mistakes happen, but if a healthcare provider diagnoses you with the wrong problem when any other reasonable provider would not have done so, they can be liable for the resulting illness or injury.
- Delayed diagnosis. If your doctor should have caught your health problem early on and treated it but failed to, your worsening illness is their fault. That means they have committed medical malpractice.
- Birth injuries. Shoulder dystocia, brachial palsy, cerebral palsy, caput succedaneum, and other birth injuries are often the result of negligent medical care to the newborn or mother.
- Surgery errors. Surgical medical malpractice can include botched surgery, surgery on the wrong patient, removal of the wrong limb or organ, and similar problems.
- Improper treatment. If your doctor got your diagnosis right but prescribed an improper treatment, you may be able to hold them accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
A doctor, nurse, pharmacist, dentist, specialist, hospital, clinic, nursing home, or any other medical provider or facility can be sued for medical malpractice in Washington if they committed one of the above acts and harmed you.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
Between 2014 and 2018, 790 claims of improper medical treatment were made in Washington state, according to the Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Many more claims for other forms of medical malpractice, including vicarious liability, were made during the same period.
Medical malpractice insurers in Washington paid $691 million in medical malpractice claims that did not result in a lawsuit over the same five-year period. That is an average of $342,325 per claim.
Nursing-related medical malpractice claims were the most common in the state, followed by emergency medicine claims.
Washington Medical Malpractice Laws
If you plan to pursue compensation for medical malpractice in Washington, you need to have some understanding of our state’s medical malpractice laws.
Statute of Limitations
In Washington, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is three years from the date of the medical error that harmed you or one year from the date when you reasonably should have discovered the error.
The statute of limitations is how long you have to file your claim for compensation. Miss the deadline, and you likely lose your chance to recover compensation.
Washington state law mandates that you go through mediation with any medical provider you intend to sue for medical malpractice before going to trial. While the mediation is necessary and can be a good chance to get a fair settlement for what happened, it is not binding. If a fair agreement isn’t reached, you still have the opportunity to go to court. Your Silverdale medical malpractice attorney can help you through the mediation process and fight for you in court.
Compensation for Medical Malpractice
If a doctor or other healthcare provider harmed you, you deserve compensation for every way in which you were hurt. The following are some common damages in Washington medical malpractice cases that you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Future treatments related to the medical error
- Lost income because of your recovery or disability
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
Your attorney can help you calculate the value of each of your damages and fight for the maximum available amount of compensation for your claim.
Contact a Silverdale Medical Malpractice Attorney
Sadly, many healthcare professionals do not give their patients the high level of care they deserve. When this negligence results in an injury or illness, patients deserve compensation for what they have been through. But even when they are clearly in the wrong, negligent medical providers fight tooth and nail to avoid compensating victims.
Contact the experienced Silverdale medical malpractice lawyers at Ryan, Montgomery & Armstrong, Inc., P.S. today.