Tacoma, Washington, in Pierce County, is home to numerous top-rated medical institutions such as the St. Joseph Medical Center, the MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, the Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and many others. Nevertheless, doctors are human, too, and the unfortunate reality is that medical malpractice can occur anywhere, even though it is far more likely to occur at some institutions than others.
Exactly What Is Medical Malpractice, Anyway?
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider’s treatment falls below a specific professional standard of care. Although a professional standard of care is much more exacting than the standard of care that, for example, would be expected of a witness to an accident who renders emergency first aid, it is not always intuitively obvious what this standard should be in any given situation. The standard of care is usually determined by expert medical testimony.
To win your claim, you must prove that:
- A doctor-patient relationship had been formed;
- A certain professional standard of care was required of your healthcare provider;
- Your health care provider failed to meet that standard; and
- You suffered harm as a result of your health care provider’s failure to meet the applicable standard of care. Causation might be lacking if, for example, your doctor failed to diagnose a condition that was untreatable anyway.
You must prove all of the compensation you are claiming using admissible evidence.
What Our Clients Say
“Best attorneys around. Extremely personable and knowledgeable especially in complicated cases! They work hard for you and keep you informed on what’s happening! I would refer people here in a heartbeat!” — Tara Pavone
In addition to medical malpractice claims, we also handle the following types of claims:
- Wrongful Death
- Truck Accidents
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Auto Accidents
- Sexual Abuse
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Products Liability
- Defective Drugs
- DUI Accidents
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the deadline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit?
The normal deadline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is three years after the incident occurred. A minor, however, has until his 19th birthday to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Before that, the minor’s parents can file a lawsuit on the minor’s behalf. Certain other exceptions sometimes apply. Under almost no circumstances, however, can a medical malpractice lawsuit be filed more than eight years after the malpractice occurred.
What is mandatory mediation?
In order to prevent frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits from interfering with the provision of medical services, Washington requires you to mediate a medical malpractice claim before filing a lawsuit. You are likely to need concrete evidence, however, even to reach a mediated settlement of your claim.
If the consent form I signed before surgery is held valid, can I still recover medical malpractice damages?
Yes, it is still possible. It is unlikely that you consented to allow your doctor to commit medical malpractice. In any case, such a consent form would be held invalid as a matter of public policy. You might also have a battery claim if the surgery performed on you went beyond the scope of the consent form that you signed.
Who can be held liable for medical malpractice?
Everyone knows that doctors can be held liable for medical malpractice. In addition to doctors, however, the following health care providers can also be sued under the right circumstances:
- Hospital staff (orderlies, etc.
Medical equipment manufacturers can also be sued under a products liability theory.
Can I settle out of court with the defendant?
Yes, you can settle out of court with the defendant (or more likely, his malpractice insurance company); in fact, this is how most claims are resolved. To win a settlement, though, you are going to have to gather enough evidence to present a credible threat of winning in court should the opposing party refuse to settle.
You Can Afford Us No Matter What Your Finances
How can you possibly afford to retain a top-tier personal injury law firm to handle your claim? Well, it’s easier than you think. We charge nothing unless we win your case and the money has already arrived. Our legal fees are calculated as a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.
You’re Going to Need Someone in Your Corner
Medical malpractice claims tend to be scientifically complex, and many health care providers will fight to the bitter end against a medical malpractice claim. That’s OK, because we have seen it all before and we know exactly what to do. Contact Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner immediately or fill out our online contact form so that we can schedule you a free, confidential, no-obligation case consultation.