Medical malpractice is responsible for many patient deaths each year in the United States. A study published in 2013 in the Journal of Patient Safety estimated that deaths by medical malpractice may reach 210,000 to 440,000 patients a year – this would make it the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer.
Many more suffer non-fatal, but serious, harm because of medical malpractice. When medical malpractice causes injury or death, victims or their families have the right to file a lawsuit for damages. Contact Ron Meyers & Associates if you wish to discuss your case – (360) 459-5600.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to administer a reasonable standard of care to a patient. Below are some of the most common types of medical malpractice.
- Wrong diagnosis
- Wrong operation
- Wrong drug/dosage amount
- Wrong treatment
- Birth injuries
- Emergency room/hospital negligence causing serious injury or wrongful death
When any of the above occurs, a patient is at risk of serious harm, including medical complications, further injury and even death.
Causes of Medical Malpractice
There are a number of reasons why any of the above forms of negligence may occur. Below are some possible causes of negligence in a medical setting.
- Communication errors among medical staff or between doctors and patients
- Inadequate sanitization and efforts to prevent infection
- Failure to train nurses and staff properly
- Lack of legible handwriting on prescription orders or other records
- Equipment errors
- Failing to monitor a patient’s condition
When a preventable medical error occurs, the responsible healthcare provider is liable for damages.
Damages Recoverable in a Medical Malpractice Case
When medical malpractice occurs, the victim/his or her family have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible party. The facets of a medical malpractice case include proving that the provider owed the patient a duty of care; the medical professional violated that duty and was negligent; and the negligence resulted in harm to the patient, who suffered damages.
If the malpractice claim proves these factors, then the victim (or family of a deceased victim) is eligible to recover damages. These damages may include all related medical expenses and other financial damages, such as lost wages, damages for emotional pain and suffering, and other noneconomic damages, like loss of companionship of the deceased. Your attorney can review your case to get a more specific idea of the types of damages that you may recover.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Medical Malpractice Case in Washington
If you believe that you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, you have the right to file a lawsuit but must do so within a certain amount of time. In Washington State, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim for damages is three years from the date of the malpractice, per the Revised Code of Washington Section 4.16.350. However, you also may file the lawsuit within a year of discovering the injury or malpractice if discovery occurs after the three-year statute of limitations.
Take Legal Action as Soon as Possible – Call Ron Meyers & Associates
Due to the statute of limitations that caps the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit against a negligent medical professional, it is important to take legal action sooner rather than later. The earlier you consult an attorney and file a claim for damages, the sooner that you can hold the medical professional liable for damages and reclaim the compensation that you deserve.
Contact the attorneys at Ron Meyers & Associations PLLC about your case and the damages you may recover. Our attorneys provide injured patients and their families with the advocacy they deserve. Reach us now at (360) 459-5600 to set up a free case consultation.