When you go to see a doctor or other healthcare provider, you expect to be treated in accord with accepted medical practices. A doctor's careless error can result in serious harm. However, not every mistake counts as malpractice. It's important to consult an experienced Seattle medical malpractice lawyer if you've been harmed by a healthcare provider. Blair and Kim may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries.Medical Malpractice
Healthcare providers owe a professional duty of care to their patients. They must diagnose and treat a patient in accord with the accepted medical practices of reasonably competent healthcare professionals in their specialty when faced with the same or similar circumstances. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider departs from the accepted medical practices of his or her specialty, and this departure causes injuries to the patient. You must be able to establish your damages. You will not be able to recover any compensation if your healthcare provider departed from the professional standard of care, but you were not harmed or did not sustain any damages as a result.
Medical malpractice may involve failure to diagnose, failure to treat, misdiagnosis, misinterpretation of lab results or imaging, surgical errors, chemotherapy errors, or improper treatment. Consult with a medical malpractice lawyer in Seattle to discuss whether the error made by your physician constitutes medical malpractice. For example, you may be able to sue your dermatologist for medical malpractice if he dismissed your concerns about a suspicious-looking change in a mole during an office visit and the mole later turned out to be cancerous and was more painful and difficult to treat due to the delayed diagnosis. For another example, if a surgeon nicked a nearby organ while performing heart surgery without repairing it, but a reasonably competent surgeon would have noticed the damage and repaired it, you may have a claim for the pain and additional surgery required to stop the internal bleeding.Expert Witnesses
To show that a healthcare provider committed medical malpractice, you may need to retain an expert to testify about the proper professional standard of care under the circumstances. The expert will likely need to show that the defendant in your case departed from the professional standard of care. A Seattle medical malpractice attorney can evaluate your case and determine which expert witnesses may be retained to consult on your case. In some situations, an expert may not be necessary. For instance, a medical expert may not be required on the issue of professional negligence if a surgeon left a sponge inside the body during surgery.Mandatory Mediation
Washington law requires you and the defendant healthcare provider to mediate your claim. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. Generally, in a mediation, the parties are represented by attorneys and what's said is kept confidential. A mediator, or neutral third-party, presides over the proceedings. In some cases, a settlement may be negotiated. However, if you don't reach a mutually acceptable settlement, you may need to proceed to trial. You may not have to go through mediation if you and your healthcare provider have an agreement to submit malpractice lawsuits to mandatory arbitration. You also may not have to go through mediation if the judge decides mediation would not be a good step in your case.Damages
If you can establish that your doctor or other healthcare provider is liable for medical malpractice, you may be able to recover compensatory damages, which may include both economic and noneconomic losses such as further medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, loss of enjoyment, and pain-and-suffering. Your damages may be reduced if the healthcare provider can show you were comparatively negligent.Consult a Seasoned Medical Malpractice Attorney in Seattle
It’s not easy to figure out on your own whether you’ve been harmed by medical malpractice in Seattle. You should talk to experienced lawyers right away if you suspect a health care provider’s professional negligence caused you harm. At Blair & Kim, we may be able to fight for you to get the compensation to which you’re entitled. Call us at (206) 622-6562 or contact us through our online form.