stethoscope and gavel

What is Medical Malpractice

Washington State recognizes three types of medical malpractice:

(1) Where the injury was caused by the health care provider’s failure to follow the accepted standard of care;

(2) Where the health care provider promised the patient the injury would not occur; or

(3) Where the patient did not consent to the health care that caused the injury.

RCW 7.70.030.

Types of Malpractice

The vast majority of doctors and other health care providers are very skilled at what they do. Unfortunately, there are times when doctors, like anyone else, do make mistakes.  They may dismiss their patient’s symptoms or attribute them to the wrong condition. They may not order important tests, or misread or ignore the results of those tests. They may delay necessary treatment. They may make surgical errors or operate on the wrong part of the body.

A bad outcome doesn’t necessarily mean malpractice. To successfully recover on a malpractice claim, a patient must show what that standard of care was, that the doctor acted or failed to act in some way that deviated from that standard of care, and that the doctor’s deviation from the standard of care caused injury to the patient. This almost always requires the opinion of an expert.

Compensation for Malpractice

As a result of medical malpractice, you may no longer be able to work to support yourself and your family, to pay for your mounting medical bills, or afford the extra costs of hiring help to do what you can no longer do around the house. You deserve to be compensated for any disability, loss of income, unusual pain, suffering and hardship, or significant past and future medical bills caused by a doctor’s malpractice.