Medical Malpractice FAQs
Sept. 19, 2023
Starting a medical malpractice claim can be complex and intimidating. However, with the knowledge and expertise of an attorney, you may be able to navigate through the complexities of filing a claim and fight for your rights and your recovery.
If you think you have a valid medical malpractice case, you probably have a lot of questions and are looking for answers. As a medical malpractice attorney at The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III, I work tirelessly to build effective cases for clients and pursue the compensation they need and deserve. I am here to provide you with the guidance, advocacy, and support you need during this challenging time. With an office in Seattle, Washington, I also proudly serve Bellevue, Everett, Tacoma, the Puget Sound Area, and other parts of Western Washington.
Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice
Below, you can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about med-mal cases. If you need advice about a specific case, do not hesitate to reach out to me for a free consultation.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
While legal definitions of “medical malpractice” may vary slightly from one state to another, it generally means that a health care provider failed to act within the accepted standards of care, which, as a result, caused harm to a patient. Essentially, medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional neglects to take appropriate action or provides substandard care.
How Do I Know If I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
Not all medical mistakes constitute medical malpractice. Similarly, not all instances where the patient is injured give grounds for a med-mal claim. There are four elements the harmed patient or their family members (in the event of death) must prove by a preponderance of the evidence to prove medical malpractice:
A doctor-patient relationship existed.
The health care professional’s conduct fell below the standard of care accepted within the medical community.
The substandard medical care resulted in harm to the patient.
The patient suffered actual losses as a result.
A skilled attorney can help you prove all of the elements of medical malpractice so you can focus on recovery.
Who Can Be Sued for Medical Malpractice/Negligence?
Any medical professional who provides health care services to a patient can be sued for medical malpractice if there is a doctor-patient relationship between them. Potentially liable parties include physicians, doctors, nurses, surgeons, hospital staff, pharmacists, as well as the facility that employs the negligent medical professional (hospital, clinic, pharmacy, etc.).
What Are Some Common Medical Malpractice Cases?
Medical malpractice may occur in a variety of scenarios. Any time a medical professional causes injuries or deaths because of their failure to comply with the accepted standard of care can result in legal liability. Some common examples of med-mal cases include:
Failure to diagnose
Failure to obtain informed consent
Inadequate follow-up care
These are not the only types of medical malpractice, as there can be many other examples.
How Do I Start a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you first need to collect your medical records and other pieces of evidence related to your case. Your attorney can assist you in gathering relevant evidence to strengthen your med-mal case and will also work with medical experts to confirm that the health care provider deviated from the accepted standard of care. Washington law also requires the filing of the certificate of merit when bringing a civil complaint in court. The certificate of merit must be prepared and executed by a health care provider who meets the necessary qualifications to be considered an expert in the field.
Do I Need an Attorney?
A medical malpractice attorney can provide you with skilled legal advice when pursuing your med-mal claim. Your attorney will investigate your situation to determine if you have grounds to file a lawsuit, gather the necessary evidence to bolster your claim, work with medical experts, and walk you through every step of the process to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Get Your Questions Answered During a Free Consultation
The FAQ section above may not cover all of your questions if you think you have been a victim of medical malpractice. At The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III, I welcome the opportunity to answer your questions about medical malpractice and give you the guidance you need during a free consultation. Get in touch today to fight for the justice you deserve.