Seattle Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Medical malpractice refers to the negligence of a medical professional, resulting in injury to a patient. Medical malpractice is a serious wrongdoing that can have catastrophic effects on patients. When a physician fails to exercise a reasonable standard of care, serious illnesses, injuries and even wrongful death can occur. If you or someone you love has been a victim, we can help. Contact us today to discuss your case with a Seattle medical malpractice attorney from Washington Injury Law.

Why Choose Washington Injury Law?

  • You will have zero out-of-pocket costs when you hire our firm. We advance all up-front costs of your case and work on a contingency fee agreement. You will only pay if we win – and then, you will pay from your settlement or verdict, not your wallet.
  • You will always come first. Our experienced Seattle personal injury attorneys put our clients first in everything they do. We will work closely with you to understand how medical malpractice impacted your life, and what your goals are for the future. Then, we will create a custom legal strategy.
  • You will not have to worry about anything. We aim to make hiring an attorney as simple as possible. Our firm offers free initial consultations at our Seattle office. We want you to have peace of mind while we take care of your medical malpractice claim.

Seattle Medical Malpractice Attorney Quick Links

Why Do You Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Seattle?

These types of claims are complex and difficult to navigate for plaintiffs or the injured party. Many states make it notoriously hard to win medical malpractice claims to protect their doctors and hospitals. Hiring a lawyer is an important step if you wish to not only win your case but to obtain a fair and full amount for your damages. Your Seattle medical malpractice lawyer will know how to navigate state laws, file a claim within the deadline, and fight for fair recovery on your behalf.

How Common is Medical Malpractice?

Researchers from Johns Hopkins have stated that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, having calculated that more than a quarter of a million people lose their lives each year due to a medical mistake. These medical mistakes can occur in many ways, as we will discuss below. Researchers pointed out that medical errors are not necessarily due to bad medical practitioners. Rather, most of these errors are the result of systemic problems within individual healthcare systems.

Perhaps more alarming are studies that show fear within the healthcare system of reporting medical errors. Medical professionals, according to one study, dread disciplinary actions and fear losing their jobs if they report an incident. When working to understand how common medical errors are, any number will be skewed by the failure to report many medical errors due to these disciplinary fears.

What Is Considered Medical Malpractice?

In Washington State, medical malpractice is defined as “an actual or alleged negligent act, error, or omission in providing or failing to provide health care services.” This definition encompasses various types of potential failures in medical care, including direct actions (or lack of action) by healthcare professionals to systemic issues in the delivery of healthcare services to patients.

Medical malpractice claims revolve around the idea of the “accepted standard of care.” This refers to a few aspects, including the type and level of care that a reasonably competent and skilled healthcare professional with a similar background to the defendant and in the same or similar medical community would have provided under the circumstances.

Essentially, this standard serves as a benchmark for evaluating whether a healthcare provider’s actions or inactions were appropriate. An injury resulting from a healthcare provider’s failure to adhere to this accepted standard of care is a key element in establishing a case of medical malpractice.

It is important to know that medical malpractice claims are not limited only to doctors or surgeons, but can apply to any healthcare provider, including nurses, therapists, and others involved in the provision of healthcare services.

What Are the Common Types of Medical Malpractice?

Any action or omission that doesn’t meet the physician’s duty of care to a patient may constitute as medical malpractice if it injures or kills a patient. This can include the failures of an individual medical practitioner or the facility itself.

  • Failure to diagnose
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Surgical and anesthesia mistakes
  • Failure to treat
  • Lack of approved consent
  • Lack of proper hospital sanitation
  • Malfunctioning medical equipment
  • Emergency room errors

To identify medical malpractice, you must first have an understanding of the duties of care a physician and healthcare center owed you or a loved one in a particular situation. The duties of care in an emergency room, for example, will differ from a birthing center. Speaking to an attorney can help you determine whether your situation qualifies.

Washington Medical Malpractice Laws

You generally have three years from the date of your injury to file a medical malpractice claim in the state of Washington. If you discover your injury after the date on which it occurred, you have one year from the date of discovery to bring your civil action. Missing your deadline usually means the courts will refuse to hear your case. In Washington state, a medical malpractice case must go through mediation, according to its 1993 mandatory mediation program rule. However, plaintiffs do not need medical experts to testify, or affidavits of merit.

Who Is Liable for Medical Malpractice in Seattle?

The party liable, or legally responsible, for your injuries and damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit, will depend on who or what caused the harm. If an independently contracted physician caused your damages, you may have a claim against the individual, but not the healthcare center. If, however, an employee is at fault, the hospital may have vicarious liability. A doctor, nurse, surgeon, physical therapist, hospital, or specialty center may be liable to pay for your medical bills and other losses if you win your medical malpractice claim.

What Damages Can You Recover From a Seattle Medical Malpractice Claim?

Medical malpractice victims in Seattle could recover a wide range of types of compensation, particularly focusing on economic and non-economic damages.

  • Economic damages. For a medical malpractice claim, economic damages revolve around calculable expenses a victim will likely incur due to the mistake and the recovery process. Additionally, these damages are designed to compensate individuals who have to change their lifestyle or work type to adjust for any disability. Some of the most common economic damages associated with medical malpractice claims include:
    • Additional medical bills are rising due to the mistake
    • Long-term lost wages or lost wage replacement
    • Home or vehicle modification costs to aid with mobility issues
    • Any out-of-pocket expenses are rising due to the malpractice
  • Non-economic damages. Medical malpractice non-economic damages are more immeasurable, thus harder to calculate. These types of losses revolve around a malpractice victim’s physical and emotional pain and suffering, which can be extensive. These damages include compensation for a victim’s physical pain, emotional and psychological trauma, as well as loss of quality of life.

Contact Our Seattle Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

The Seattle injury lawyers at Washington Injury Law can investigate your case and help you identify the appropriate defendant to name in your official claim. We have the experience you need for a strong case in Seattle. Send us a message or call (206) 960-4522 to speak to a medical malpractice lawyer in Seattle about your injuries today.