Medical Malpractice and Negligence
in Washington State
When we see a doctor, we trust they will take good care of us. Yet it may not always go as we’d hope. Maybe you were misdiagnosed, or given the wrong medicine, or had treatment delayed. Maybe you really needed help and weren’t treated at all. The results can be devastating. A Johns Hopkins University study suggests that over 250,000 deaths per year may be due to medical error. So how do you know if you should consider a malpractice or negligence claim?
Between 2014 and 2018, $41.1 million was paid out for verdicts or judgements in Washington malpractice cases, yet winning a malpractice claim can be difficult. Pursuing a medical malpractice case without the aid of an attorney is shown to decrease your likelihood of success. It is your Bellevue Injury Lawyer’s job to help you decide if this effort is in your best interest.
Medical malpractice or negligence means a provider has not met the “degree of care, skill, and learning expected of a reasonably prudent health care provider” in the same field, in the same set of circumstances. Malpractice can also arise from a lack of informed consent. This means that had the provider given you all the relevant facts and risks, you might have made a different choice. In addition, it must also be proven that this mistake was the legal cause of your injuries.
One key step your Bellevue Injury Lawyer often takes on your behalf is finding expert witnesses. Simply put, an expert witness is a neutral health care provider with proven knowledge and experience in the appropriate field. They review records of your care to determine if your treatment was substandard. While not required in Washington, expert testimony often makes or breaks a case.
Since on average only 7% of medical negligence cases go to trial, it’s far more likely that your suit would be settled out of court. This might happen through mediation, where a third-party aids negotiation, or through arbitration with a formal and binding judgement. Your Bellevue Injury Lawyer manages this, from meeting deadlines, to arranging depositions, to filing all paperwork with the courts.
If your case is one of the 7% that go to trial, you will need a good trial lawyer to represent you in court. Your Bellevue Injury Lawyer at trial calls your experts and introduces your medical records. They also present records of conversations you had with healthcare professionals. They will rely on personal witnesses (including family and friends) who describe how your injuries have impacted your life.
If the decision is in your favor, there is no formal legal limit on the amount you can receive in Washington. However, the impact of your injuries on your income and lifestyle will be considered. As a Bellevue Injury Lawyer, we know the award or payout depends on a well-made case.
Whether your complaint goes to mediation, arbitration, trial, or settles for a reasonable amount, R Martin Law Group has years of experience with medical malpractice and negligence cases. We work closely with our clients throughout their treatment, and with multiple experts as the settlement or legal process proceeds. We also keep in close contact with the witnesses who can tell your story in a compelling way.
A medical malpractice case will likely take longer than you hope and cost more than we’d prefer. No attorney can or should guarantee what the outcome will be. Even so, we at R Martin Law Group understand medical malpractice and negligence and know the life-changing effects it can have. We can help you decide if this is the next step to take to restore your future.