What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is failure to meet industry standards when providing care to a patient. In some cases, only a single individual is at fault, be it a doctor, nurse, EMT, pharmacist, or dentist. In other instances, a hospital or clinic is at fault. This is often the case there have been previous complaints about the doctor in question or the medical care provider was not properly supervised when providing care and/or treatment.

Examples of Medical Malpractice in Seattle

Medical malpractice Seattle is, unfortunately, not an uncommon occurrence. Statistics for the state of Washington show that the most common form of medical malpractice in the state is improper performance. This is followed by failure to diagnose.

Other common forms of medical malpractice include delay in diagnoses and/or treatment, failure to recognize signs of fetal distress, failure to ensure patient safety, and surgical errors such as operating on the wrong body part and/or leaving surgical tools inside a patient after an operation.

Pharmacists can be guilty of medical malpractice as well. Failure to provide the proper medication and/or the right dosage of medication are two common forms of medical malpractice in the pharmaceutical industry. Other forms of malpractice include mislabeling medication and providing improper instructions for the use of medication.

If a person has died due to what family members believe to be medical malpractice, a spouse and/or children can sue the medical care provider for damages. These may include not only compensation for medical bills and lost wages but also loss of emotional support.

How do You Know When it is Medical Malpractice?

A medical professional can do everything right but still fail to improve a patient’s health due to several factors. A genetic condition, a patient’s age and overall state of health, a patient’s willingness, and the ability to follow at-home instructions can all impact one’s chances of recovery. If a doctor accurately diagnosed a condition and provided the right form of treatment in a timely manner, he or she would not be guilty of medical malpractice even if the treatment failed to cure a patient’s condition.

This same point holds true of pharmaceutical care. If a pharmacist provided the right type and dosage of medication along with accurate instructions, he or she cannot be held liable if something goes wrong. A patient cannot hold a pharmacist legally responsible for medical malpractice if he or she does not follow the pharmacist’s instructions or takes other medications along with the prescription medication without prior approval from a medical care provider. A pharmacist also cannot be held responsible if the medication does not work as expected.

In medical malpractice cases, a medical care provider makes mistakes that other medical care practitioners would not make. These mistakes could be due to lack of knowledge, human error, negligence, or one or more other factors. Furthermore, the mistake made by the practitioner has had a negative short or long-term impact on a patient’s life. The impact could be extra medical expenses required to rectify a mistake, pain, discomfort, loss of mobility, the death of a patient or an unborn child, or an inability to obtain needed treatment before a condition becomes unmanageable or incurable.

What Type of Information, Records, and Documents are Needed to Prove Medical Malpractice in Seattle?

A medical malpractice lawyer Seattle will, upon taking a case, begin collecting as much evidence as possible. This evidence includes medical records from the original care provider as well as an assessment from another qualified medical care provider. Documents may also include witness statements from others involved in a patient’s care and treatment along with documents from expert witnesses who can prove that the original medical care provider was negligent in his or her duties. The statute of limitations in the state is three years, so it’s important to obtain legal help right away, so a lawyer can file a case on your behalf before time runs out.

The nature and quantity of information needed will vary depending on the nature of the case. For example, cases in which a surgeon operates on the wrong body part or leaves a tool inside a patient are straightforward. The surgeon was clearly negligent, and the patient is in no way at fault. Other cases are not as clear-cut. For instance, in cases involving an improper diagnosis, the patient would need to prove that the outcome would have been different had the medical practitioner provided the right initial diagnosis.

How Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help

Craig Swapp & Associates has provided stellar representation in medical malpractice cases for many years. We have a winning track record of enabling our patients to receive the compensation that is their due, be it in court or in an out-of-court settlement. If you need a medical malpractice lawyer Seattle, get in touch with us at your convenience and one of our seasoned professionals will start work on your case.

Written By: Ryan Swapp     Legal Review By: Craig Swapp