While most healthcare professionals in the state of Washington can perform their duties carefully and consistently, mistakes still occur even in the most professional settings. Unfortunately, medical negligence on the part of a doctor, nurse, or surgeon can often have lasting consequences for their patients.
If you were hurt by the reckless or careless actions of a negligent healthcare provider, it may be in your best interests to talk to a Kitsap medical malpractice lawyer about your legal options. A seasoned personal injury attorney could help you effectively prove liability and pursue compensation while ensuring that your claim complies with procedural standards for malpractice claims.
Unlike other civil claims, there are several additional steps that victims of medical malpractice must take before they can file suit against an irresponsible healthcare provider. First, Revised Code of Washington §7.70.100 states that any prospective claim against a medical professional is subject to mandatory mediation by a qualified and neutral legal professional before it can proceed to civil court.
Additionally, medical malpractice cases in Kitsap require testimony from a medical expert in order to establish that the defendant(s) violated their standard of care. The expert must practice in the same field as the defendant to offer testimony about whether their actions breached the medically accepted standard of care owed to patients.
Finally, R.C.W. §4.16.350 sets a filing deadline for medical malpractice cases of three years after the date the injury occurred, one year after the harm is discovered, or a maximum of eight years after the injury occurred. A knowledgeable attorney could offer further clarification about how these various legal requirements may impact a particular medical negligence case.
Injured or sick patients may be able to recover numerous economic and non-economic damages stemming from a physician’s negligence. Recoverable damages may vary depending on the nature of the healthcare provider’s misconduct. For example, a doctor who fails to diagnose a serious illness could be held liable for additional medical expenses and physical pain the plaintiff experiences as a result. Alternatively, a surgeon who operates on the wrong body part could be liable for damages related to the plaintiff’s permanent disability or disfigurement.
It is important to note that you can still have your recoverable damages reduced if the court finds that you are partially responsible for causing or exacerbating your losses. An attorney could refute any allegations of contributory fault and hold the defendants in your case both jointly and separately liable. This means you could pursue compensation for 100 percent of your damages from a single defendant even if two defendants split the blame 50-50.
Medical malpractice often yields particularly complex civil cases. Fortunately, if you want to take legal action against a healthcare provider who negligently harmed you, you do not have to do so alone.
Representation from a seasoned Kitsap medical malpractice lawyer could make all the difference in the outcome of your civil claim. To find out how a qualified attorney could help you, call our firm today.
Jeniece LaCross, Attorney At Law