Medical Malpractice in the State of Washington
Each year, thousands of medical errors are made in the state of Washington. When a doctor or healthcare professional fails to provide the standard care to a patient, causing injury or death, it is considered an act of medical malpractice. The standard of care refers to the general procedures and practices that all healthcare professionals in the same circumstance would use when treating a patient suffering from a specific ailment or disease. In your claim, you must prove that the injury led to physical or mental pain, permanent or life changing effects, and lost earning capacity.
According to the 2018 Washington Medical Malpractice Annual Report from 2013 through 2017, insurers paid $31 million for plaintiff verdicts or judgments. Judgments and verdicts were few in number and the 24 plaintiff verdicts, 22 had a payment averaging $1.4 million.
Common Types of Medical Negligence
You must prove that the professional’s actions fell short of the standard care. Here are a few common examples of medical malpractice:
- Misdiagnosis – Physicians fail to diagnose the patient with the correct illness. The most common examples of misdiagnosis are heart attack and cancer. Failure to diagnose conditions of this nature can have serious consequences.
- Failure to Treat – Physicians neglect to perform necessary/ correct medical tests or fail to refer patients to other specialists when the condition demands it. Failing to properly treat a patient can cause delays in treatment opportunities, aftercare, or health management.
- Surgical Errors – Patients who have undergone surgery on the wrong body part, have had an incorrect procedure, or suffered an avoidable mistake during surgery have experienced surgical errors. Some patients have also had surgical equipment accidentally left inside of their bodies, causing multiple recovery complications.
- Birth Injuries – Babies, in and out of the womb, can also suffer from medical negligence. Birth injuries refer to injury or damage caused by the physician during pregnancy, through the birthing process, or postpartum. Subsequent harm to the baby can vary from lack of oxygen, physical and head injuries, or other abnormalities.
There are some general rules in Washington that we must carefully examine about the amount of time available to take legal action. Understanding the rules will help the patient or the party bringing forward the claim, recover damages from the negligent medical professionals.
Statute Of Limitations
The Washington State Legislature gives an injured patient or the deceased’s estate, three years within the act or omission alleged to have caused the injury or condition to file a lawsuit for recovery. If the injury is discovered outside the three-year statute of limitations, there is one year from the reasonable discovery of the injury to bring a claim. Moreover, no action can be commenced more than eight years after the original act or alleged omission.
The state of Washington protects a minor’s claim differently than that of an adult. The time is tolled or paused until the minor turns the age of eighteen. A parent or guardian can initiate a medical malpractice claim before the child turns eighteen, but, if a claim is not filed, the child has one year after their eighteenth birthday to submit one.
Medical Malpractice Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured, or if you have lost a family member, due to the negligent actions of a medical professional, contact the attorneys at Sweet Law Group. With over 44 years of experience in the legal field, we know what it takes to win your personal injury or wrongful death case. Let us help you achieve the justice and compensation that is owed. You should not have to suffer silently from malpractice; let us protect your legal rights. Take action NOW and speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney in the State of Washington at (800) 203-3061.