When we go to see a medical professional, we expect a certain level of care, professionalism and attention. We go to doctors and hospitals because we want to come out of there completely cured or at least feeling better than before. Doctors, nurses, surgeons and other medical professionals owe a duty of care to those who seek treatment. When patients suffer the consequences of medical negligence, they can file a medical malpractice claim seeking compensation for their significant losses.
Requirements for Medical Malpractice Claims
Medical malpractice cases can be complex because there are a number of elements that must be proven. To prove your case, you will have to show that:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed: Claimants are required to prove that they retained the services of a doctor and that the doctor agreed to treat them. This is typically the easiest part of the claim. You may struggle to define the doctor-patient relationship, however, if your injuries resulted from the advice of a consulting physician who did not treat you directly.
- There was negligence: You must show that the doctor was not reasonably skillful or careful in your treatment or diagnosis.
- Negligence caused injury: Since you were already injured or ill when you first met with your doctor, you will have to show that his or her negligence caused you additional harm.
- Damages suffered: You can file a medical malpractice lawsuit if a medical professional’s negligence directly resulted in physical pain, suffering, additional medical expenses, lost wages or a loss or earning potential.
Examples of Washington Medical Malpractice
There are a number of ways in which you can suffer an injury because of medical negligence. The most common types of medical malpractice include:
- Failure to diagnose: This is a when a doctor fails to order appropriate tests or to properly read test results. When a doctor fails to diagnose a disease or a serious medical condition, the patient’s chances of making a recovery, or in some cases surviving, may be greatly reduced or even negated.
- Improper treatment: This includes instance such as administration of the wrong type of treatment or being given the wrong medication.
- Failure to warn: All procedures and medications come with a certain level of risk. It is the responsibility of medical professionals to give patients the data they need to make an informed decision regarding their treatment.
- Surgical errors: There is the scope for a number of errors to occur during surgery such as mistakes relating to anesthesia, wrong-site surgery or surgical fires.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
You can file a medical malpractice claim against a doctor or a medical facility that has been negligent, but you will need help. Medical professionals and large hospitals aggressively fight to protect their reputation. You need an experienced medical malpractice lawyer on your side who has the knowledge, resources and skills necessary to help you secure fair and full compensation for your losses. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical negligence, please contact The Bernard Law Group at 1-800-418-8282 for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.