Seattle Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Behind heart disease and cancer, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in America. The Journal of Patient Safety estimates between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die every year from preventable hospital errors.
The grim reality of medical malpractice in the United States and the state of Washington is that these incidents call for experienced attorneys who are willing and able to take on your case. Our attorneys have dealt with a large number of complex cases, securing over a billion dollars in compensation for our clients. Let the Seattle medical malpractice attorneys of Elk & Elk assess your situation and get you the best results.
Why Hire a Seattle Medical Malpractice Attorney?
There are a number of benefits that having a Seattle medical malpractice attorney offers. A lawyer’s purpose is to fight for you and what you have lost following a medical mistake. Our legal team at Elk & Elk is here to find you the justice you deserve following an injury from medical malpractice.
- Your lawyer will sift through medical records that concern your treatment in a care center (hospital, doctor’s office, rehab clinic, etc.). By doing this, they will be able to definitively uncover exactly what went wrong.
- They will thoroughly investigate your case, establishing liability and determining the next steps that the legal team should take.
- Using an extensive network of medical professionals, a medical malpractice lawyer will know exactly what kind of damages you will be entitled to as a result of your circumstances.
- The attorney will also negotiate with insurance companies and other parties to seek a settlement. If they are unwilling to pay a fair amount of money, your Elk & Elk attorney will fight for your rights in a trial.
- Your medical malpractice lawyer will collect and file all of the necessary documents that are required in Washington state for a medical malpractice claim.
The Current State of Medical Malpractice in Washington
By evaluating the current state of medical professional liability in the state of Washington, we may get a better understanding of how your case stacks up. There are trends that exist across the state, as indicated by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC).
- Between 2015 and 2019, there were 4,238 claims submitted by both insurers and self-insurers.
- They paid a total of $759 million on 1,873 of those claims over the same period – an average of $405,025 per claim.
- Additionally, 70.5% of claims were settled by negotiation, while 21.1% of the claims were settled by alternative dispute resolutions such as arbitration, mediation, or a private trial.
Medical malpractice is a serious problem in Washington state. When people put their trust in doctors and surgeons, the medical professionals’ mistakes can lead to serious consequences. This could lead to mandated compensation payments to the victims.
- King County had more claims than any other Washington state county, closing 1,298 across the five-year period.
- The most common allegation was vicarious liability, where care centers are held liable for the actions of their employees. These types of claims averaged $597,325 in indemnity payments.
- The second most common allegation was improper performance, with 714 claims statewide.
There are many financial benefits to having an experienced medical malpractice attorney by your side as well. Some of these are spelled out through statistics, shown by data provided by the Washington State OIC.
- In the state of Washington between the years of 2015 and 2019, attorneys reported a combined total compensation of $210.8 million on 153 separate claims.
- The per-claim average for individuals with a medical malpractice lawyer came out to $1.4 million per settlement.
- The largest number of suits involving attorneys was filed in King County, with 44.2% of all medical malpractice lawsuits. The average paid indemnity for the Seattle-dominated county was $1.6 million.
Why Hire Our Top-Rated Medical Malpractice Lawyers?
The answer to this question is simple: We have the experience, resources and results to help you after you were injured, became ill or lost a loved one because of the medical negligence and mistakes of a physician, nurse, surgeon or other health care professional.
- Experience: With over 50 years of experience helping injured clients, we know what we’re doing. Our principal medical malpractice attorney teaches seminars about avoiding medical malpractice lawsuits to doctors and hospital staff. This is invaluable experience, giving him and our clients a distinct edge.
- Resources: Our firm has a national network of experts and specialists in almost any medical field you can think of. We also have in-house nurses and consultants in many related fields, such as pharmacology and psychology, to help us determine exactly how the practitioner deviated from the approved standard of care.
- Results: Our record of verdicts and settlements in medical malpractice cases is significant, and we have won some of the highest awards in our home state of Ohio. We believe that when you place your health and future in the hands of medical professionals, they must provide treatment at the level that you expect and deserve. When they don’t and an injury, illness or death occurs, it is important to seek the maximum remedy possible.
Different Types of Medical Malpractice in Seattle
There are a number of different types of medical malpractice that can affect patients. The different circumstances may vary greatly in severity or longevity, but may entitle you to compensation nonetheless.
- Failure to diagnose cancers
- Cases of misdiagnoses
- Delayed diagnosis
- Surgery room mistakes
- Hospital errors
- Accidental operation or amputation of the wrong limb or appendage
- Operation or treatment of an individual without informed consent
- The utilization of a defective medical product
- Failure to properly administer anesthesia or other drugs
- Injuries relating to births, to either mother or child
- Nursing home neglect or abuse
These types of mistakes and oversights can lead to long-lasting problems for people. Seeking compensation to correct these mistakes with follow-up medical care is crucial to improving quality of life.
Damages From Medical Malpractice Claims in WA
Now that you are aware of some of the most common ways that injuries occur in health care centers, it is important to note the specific damages that you may be entitled to following a case of medical malpractice. Current and future medical bills, including prolonged treatment such as physical therapy or handicap home modifications Disfigurement Mental anguish, including psychological or emotional damage Loss of wages and income Loss of future earning capacity Disability Physical impairment Consortium loss Loss of enjoyment of life Compensation for wrongful death.
Some firms overlook many of these damages as they want to settle a suit as quickly as possible. By leaving out some damages that you may be entitled to, they will be filling their pockets faster so they can move on to the next case. At Elk & Elk, our Seattle medical malpractice lawyers are committed to ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive everything you are entitled to.
Parties That Could Be Held Accountable
Numerous different actors may be responsible for your injuries, depending on the situation. It is important to note that even though some of these caregivers may have committed acts of medical negligence, the hospital or place of care may still be responsible through vicarious liability, as previously explained.
- Nursing homes or facilities 24/7
- Urgent care centers
- Health clinics such as blood drawing facilities
- Specialized medical facilities
- Doctors and physicians
- Physician Assistants
- Surgeon Assistants
- Specialists such as orthopedists, gynecologists, etc.
- EMTs and Paramedics
- Physical Therapists
- Residential caregivers
What’s the Difference Between Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury?
Personal injury is defined by the American Bar Association as when a victim or their property is injured or harmed due to someone else’s actions or lack of actions. Therefore, medical malpractice is a form of personal injury. The main difference between the two types of claims is who caused the injury. Personal injury lawsuits are for injuries caused by a civilian out in the world, such as a car accident or slip and fall. Medical malpractice suits are reserved for injuries caused by medical professionals while the victim was under medical care and receiving treatment. Your medical malpractice lawyer will need to prove that the medical professional treating you did not meet the expected standard of care. These cases can be more complex than personal injury cases due to all of the nuanced intricacies of medical negligence.
The Statute of Limitations in Washington State
A statute of limitations is a binding clause, mandating how much time someone has before they can file a claim in a particular state. In addition to the variance between states, the type of injury can also change the period of time in which someone can make a legal push for compensation surrounding their injuries.
The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Title 4, Chapter 16, Section 350 says that “action for injuries resulting from health care or related services – physicians, dentists, nurses, etc. – hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, etc.” has a period of time of three years in which someone can take legal action against.
Although many people believe that three years is a long time, there is plenty of work and investigation that goes into a medical malpractice case that must be taken into account. Reach out to the Seattle medical malpractice lawyers at Elk & Elk as soon as you can to ensure that your party has the best possible chance to secure maximum compensation.
Our Cost-Free Guarantee to You
For many people, the price of legal representation is understandably concerning. With our free consultations, you can be certain that the legal advice you are getting will not only be incredibly useful but come at absolutely no charge. Additionally, our firm works on a contingency fee basis. You will not have to pay any fees to Elk & Elk until we secure compensation and put it in your pocket. Using one of our lawyers could never be an easier decision as you do not have to worry about money until you win.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Becoming the victim of medical malpractice can be excruciating. You or a loved one may be dealing with some of the most life-changing alterations to your health that you have ever had to face. This process can be lonely, confusing, and financially straining. Trying to go about life after such an occurrence can take a serious toll on someone’s well-being.
Elk & Elk is here to make sure that you will not have to maneuver the legal process alone any longer. By reaching out to a Seattle medical malpractice attorney, you will be ensuring that you have a future to look forward to. Obtaining financial compensation for your damages is important for your future wellbeing. If you suffered injury or a loved one has died as the result of medical malpractice, learn about your options. Call our law firm for a free consultation at 1-844-ELK-WEST (1-844-355-9378) or click here to be redirected to our online contact form.