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Three Common Causes for Medical Malpractice Claims in Washington

The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III  Jan. 18, 2023

Gavel and stethoscope, medical jurisprudenceDealing with incapacitation or death following medical treatment can be an overwhelming and even traumatizing situation for victims and their families. Please know that I am here to guide victims of medical malpractice to their options — where you may be entitled to fair compensation.

If you find yourself wondering about your options in the Seattle, Washington, area (including Puget Sound Area, Bellevue, Tacoma, and Everett), look no further than The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III. I am prepared to guide you and fight for you through the medical malpractice claims process. Reach out today for skilled professional guidance.  

What Is Medical Malpractice? 

Medical malpractice refers to injury or death resulting from a healthcare professional’s negligence. Please note that medical malpractice does not only apply to doctors. It can apply to any medical and healthcare professional interacting with patients.   

Washington State law allows medical malpractice victims and their families to file a claim three years following the incident’s date. After the statute of limitations has passed, the statute of repose allows victims to file within eight years of the incident’s date. However, the victim must prove they didn’t know or couldn’t have known that their injuries were caused by medical negligence within the three-year window. Finally, the toll statute allows victims to file after the eight-year window. The toll statute is reserved for incapacitated victims unable to follow legal proceedings.  

According to Washington State law, consulting with a professional medical malpractice attorney can help victims and their families understand their options. 

What Are the Most Common Causes of Medical Malpractice Claims? 

Here are the three most common causes of medical malpractice claims throughout Washington: 

  • Misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis refers to wrongly identifying a patient’s condition. A misdiagnosis leads to incorrect treatment, which can adversely affect the patient’s health, potentially causing death. Additionally, failure to diagnose refers to missing a patient’s condition. For example, a doctor claims the patient does not have cancer when in fact, they do. This failure to diagnose causes the patient to lack treatment leading to injury, incapacitation, or death. 

  • Improper treatment. Even when doctors get a diagnosis right, they may fail to apply treatment properly. In this situation, doctors prescribe the wrong medication, recommend inadequate interventions, or fail to act promptly. Improper treatment can lead to injury, incapacitation, disability, and death. 

  • Surgical errors. Surgical errors refer to botched operations causing injury, incapacitation, or death. Surgical errors may result from negligence, inexperience, or misdiagnosis. 

Please note that medical malpractice claims depend on proving negligence. Proving negligence can be complicated. Therefore, I recommend medical malpractice victims seek legal counsel from a professional medical malpractice attorney. Experienced attorneys can help victims identify mistakes in the duty of care of medical staff and doctors. 

Who Can Be Liable in Medical Malpractice Claims? 

In essence, any healthcare professional can be liable for medical malpractice claims. Fault in medical malpractice is related to medical negligence. In particular, negligence must stem from the duty of care of medical staff and doctors.  

What Are the Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim in Washington? 

Here is what you must consider when filing a medical malpractice claim in Washington: 

  • There was a clear doctor-patient relationship. This relationship is established with a general practitioner or treating surgeon.  

  • Medical negligence. Medical negligence must be proved in the duty of care of medical staff. Negligence can be proven with evidence and expert opinions from other medical professionals. 

  • Negligence caused injury. The claim must prove that medical negligence led to injury, incapacitation, or death, not underlying conditions. 

  • Damages caused by injuries. Damages can be monetary (i.e., loss of wages or medical expenses derived from negligence) or emotional such as pain and suffering.  

What Is the Fair Compensation Victims Can Get from a Medical Malpractice Claim? 

In general, compensation for medical negligence covers financial damages such as loss of wages, medical expenses related to negligent acts, and funeral expenses in case of death. While Washington does not have a specific cap on damages to be awarded, subjective claims such as pain and suffering should be filed based on fair compensation, as indicated by similar cases.  

An experienced personal injury attorney can help accident victims assess fair compensation for medical negligence. 

Finding the Right Medical Malpractice Attorney in Washington 

At the Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III in Seattle, Washington, I work hard to protect your right to fair compensation. Reach out, and schedule a free consultation directly with me. I know how difficult it can be to deal with the aftermath of medical malpractice. I strive to deliver the best possible legal counsel, so contact me today.