Issaquah Medical Malpractice Attorney
Health care practitioners in the medical community are human. And humans make mistakes. There are a great many risks associated with having any medical procedure done, and one of those risks is the possibility, remote to be sure since most practitioners do everything they can to avoid making errors, that the health care practitioner will commit medical malpractice. As a patient, you accept many of the risks associated with your care and treatment, but negligence is not a risk you should assume or accept.
Doctors and other healthcare professionals are expected to practice with the same level of skill and care as other members of the profession in similar medical fields in the community. No doctor can guarantee a positive outcome from surgery or other courses of treatment, but when physicians perform below the expected level of medical care, they have committed medical malpractice, and they can and should be held liable for any injuries that resulted from their mistakes. Only in this way can injury victims be compensated for the needless and preventable harm done to them and the practice of medicine be made safer for everyone in the community.
Whether it be a failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, prescription error, surgical mishap, negligent treatment or lack of informed consent, the Washington medical malpractice attorneys at Injury Law Group NW know this tricky area of law that governs holding health care practitioners liable when they do more harm than good. If you’ve been injured in a doctor’s office or hospital in Seattle or King County, or if you lost a loved one following a surgery or other procedure where you think something may have gone wrong, bring your concerns to the Issaquah medical malpractice attorneys at Injury Law Group NW in Washington. We’ll take the time to learn about what happened and let you know if we think we can help.
Types of Medical Malpractice in Seattle Hospitals and Doctor’s Offices
There are many different ways doctors and nurses can fail in their duties to provide the appropriate level of care in a hospital, surgery center, outpatient clinic or doctor’s office. Below are some of the most common kinds of medical mistakes that lead to claims of malpractice.
A doctor misses a diagnosis of a serious disease or misdiagnoses a form of cancer as something more benign. Doctors commit malpractice when they fail to order tests that other doctors would have ordered or fail to perform a differential diagnosis when symptoms could be evidence of more than one condition. Radiologists and pathologists could also conduct their tests negligently, or doctors could misread or misinterpret the results. Diagnosis errors are especially insidious when serious conditions that could have been treated and cured if caught early instead are allowed to progress to a point where they become incurable or terminal.
Medication errors can and do occur in a myriad of ways in hospital pharmacies and on the ward. Doctors can prescribe the wrong medicine or wrong dosage, or pharmacists might fill the prescription with the wrong medicine or wrong dosage. Nurses might administer the wrong medicine or the wrong dose, or deliver it incorrectly. Prescription errors also occur when medicine is prescribed that conflicts with other medications the patient is taking, or no one checks for patient allergies. When prescription errors are made, the patient’s condition goes untreated, and they can be additionally injured by being given the wrong medicine.
Surgeons are typically the smartest, most skilled and most highly trained of physicians, but they also can work punishing hours and be forced to perform when they are not at their peak. Pre-op nurses can also make mistakes up to and including mixing up patient charts. Errors by anesthesiologists and others in the operating room can also cause harmful or fatal injuries. Surgery errors in Seattle hospitals can include making an incorrect incision, negligently nicking an organ or cutting an important blood vessel, performing the wrong surgery on the wrong patient or on the wrong side of the body, or leaving surgical instruments behind that get sewn up inside the patient’s body. After a surgical error is discovered, the patient might need further surgery to correct the mistake, which makes a risky procedure even riskier.
Negligent Treatment & Lack of Informed Consent
Providing proper medical treatment requires a doctor to perform a continuum of care, beginning with taking a complete patient history, performing all necessary exams and tests, and making a correct diagnosis. Next comes developing a safe and effective treatment plan and obtaining the patient’s informed consent, which includes explaining the risks and benefits of the proposed treatment and alternatives. Follow-up care is also a necessary part of treatment, particularly after a surgery or other invasive procedure where there is a risk of infection or other complications.
Mistakes during pregnancy, labor or delivery can alter the life of the mother or newborn, or even cause the death of either or both. Both maternal and fetal health should be monitored throughout pregnancy, and doctors and nurses need to be on the alert for signs of a complicated birth. Birth complications should be expected and prepared for so they don’t result in hypoxic brain injury, cerebral palsy, clavicle fractures, shoulder dystocia, lacerations, facial paralysis, and the numerous other injuries that can come about when the proper level of obstetric care is not provided.
ILG Can Help With a Medical Malpractice Claim in King County
Medical malpractice cases are complex. They require the assistance of medical experts who can render an opinion that the appropriate standard of care was not met and this failure caused the resulting injury. Just as important is having an attorney who understands the medical evidence, knows how to apply it to the legal issues in the case, and can make sure relevant facts are communicated to the jury in a compelling and understandable way.
At ILG, our Washington medical malpractice attorneys have experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in medical error cases. We know how to get the information necessary to hold doctors and hospitals accountable for their mistakes and make sure injury victims get the proper level of medical care and compensation they need for their injuries. If you believe that you or a loved one has been harmed by a medical error in a Seattle or King County hospital or doctor’s office, call Injury Law Group NW for a no-cost, confidential consultation.