If you or a family member suffered injuries or worsening illness because of medical negligence, a Tacoma medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help. An experienced personal injury attorney at our firm could manage the claims process and ensure that you meet all necessary evidentiary requirements to hold the doctor or hospital legally responsible.
When you work with the skilled team at Ritchie Reiersen Injury Attorneys, you can leave all legal matters to our professionals and focus on healing. You do not have to try to manage a complex medical malpractice case on your own. Our well-practiced lawyers know how Washington medical malpractice laws work and can successfully navigate the process on your behalf.
Understanding How and When Medical Malpractice Occurs
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or another trained medical professional acts negligently. Mistakes can happen, but when a doctor fails to provide the expected standard of care—the care that another doctor with the same training and experience would provide under the circumstances—it may be medical malpractice.
Hospitals, clinics, and other health care organizations can also commit medical malpractice. This occurs when the culture or systems within the organization fail to provide a proper standard of care.
Examples of Medical Malpractice in Tacoma
Medical malpractice can occur in several ways. The best way to determine if you are a victim of medical malpractice is to discuss the circumstances of your injury with a knowledgeable Tacoma attorney. Some of the most common examples of medical negligence include:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Failure to treat an injury or illness
- Surgical errors
- Birth injuries
- Medical product liability
When a doctor or another medical professional fails to provide the expected standard of care, patients often suffer injuries, worsening illness, side effects from unnecessary medications, and other negative health outcomes. Lasting impairment and even death may occur. A determined Tacoma medical malpractice attorney could help an injured person and their family hold a negligent medical practitioner or facility accountable for their poor conduct.
Recovering Damages Based on Tacoma Medical Malpractice
Filing and recovering damages in a medical malpractice case requires strong evidence that illustrates the doctor’s negligence and how the patient’s life and health were affected. Navigating the legal process and proving cases like these is not easy on your own, especially if you still face treatment, therapy, and recovery.
Under Washington medical malpractice laws, plaintiffs (the victims who file lawsuits against negligent doctors) must file a certificate of merit when they begin their lawsuit. This certificate must show that there is reason to believe the doctor or medical professional in question violated the acceptable standard of care.
Proving this often requires working with a medical expert who is willing to testify about the accepted standard of care and how the doctor or medical professional in question deviated from it. The medical malpractice attorneys at Ritchie Reiersen Injury Attorneys have solid connections to medical experts like these in Tacoma.
Types of Compensation That Might Be Available
A negotiated settlement or jury-awarded payout in a Tacoma medical malpractice case can help cover the various expenses and losses a victim incurred, such as:
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost income
- Reduced capacity to earn in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Punitive damages (in some circumstances)
Families whose loved ones died because of medical negligence can also seek wrongful death compensation based on their related damages.
The Deadline to File a Washington Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Many medical malpractice cases result in a settlement without ever going to trial. However, a proactive Tacoma medical injury lawyer may need to sue the doctor and/or hospital as a part of this process.
Under RCW 4.16.350, you typically only have one to three years to file your lawsuit, depending on the circumstances of your case. You have one year to file after discovery of your malpractice-related injuries or three years after the malpractice incident, whichever comes first. This statute also outlines that your malpractice case must go to court no later than eight years after the incident.
Missing this deadline could cause you to permanently lose the right to sue for financial recovery in your case.
Call a Tacoma Medical Malpractice Attorney to Discuss Your Case
You can speak with an attorney about your possible medical malpractice claim for free today. Our firm happily provides complimentary consultations. Your consultation will include a case assessment and a detailed explanation of your legal options based on the facts of your case.
You could hold those who caused your pain and suffering legally responsible. Reach out now to discuss how a Tacoma medical malpractice lawyer could help you get the justice you deserve.