What is a Professional Malpractice Claim

Malpractice claims arise when a health care professional, such as a doctor or dentist, breaches the professional’s standard of care. The standard of care the health care provider owes to a patient depends on the area of the professional’s specialty.

Recovering on a Professional Malpractice Claim

A Washington statute, RCW 7.72.040, sets out the elements of proof on a claim that a health care provider was negligent.  Generally, to successfully recover on a medical malpractice or dental malpractice claim a patient must show what that standard of care was, that the professional acted or failed to act in some way that deviated from that standard of care, and that the professional’s deviation from the standard of care caused injury to the patient. This almost always requires the opinion of an expert in the health care provider’s field.