Medical Malpractice in Spokane, Washington

One focus of our practice is health-care related personal injury, oftentimes referred to as medical malpractice. Medical malpractice cases are among the most challenging and financially intensive of personal injury claims. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider negligently harms or injures a patient. The injury may be the result of a specific act, for example, leaving a surgical instrument in a patient, or the result of a failure to act, such as not diagnosing a condition in time for a patient to receive the necessary treatment. Under Washington law, a healthcare provider is any person licensed by the state to provide health care or related services, including but not limited to physicians, nurses, optometrists, dentists, psychologists, physicians assistants, and midwives.¹ When a patient in Washington is injured as the result of medical malpractice he or she has a limited amount of time in which to act, and should consult with an experienced Washington medical malpractice attorney immediately to ensure that his or her legal rights are preserved.

Prevailing on a Medical Malpractice Claim in Spokane

In order to prevail in a medical malpractice claim in the state of Washington, a Plaintiff must prove, that (a) the injury is a result of the health care provider’s failure to follow the accepted standard of care, (b) the provider promised the patient or his or her representative that the injury suffered would not occur, or (c) the injury resulted from health care, to which the patient or his or her representative did not consent.² Failure to follow the accepted standard of care is defined as to a failure to exercise “that degree of care, skill, and learning expected of a reasonably prudent health care provider at that time in the profession or class to which he or she belongs, in the state of Washington, acting in the same or similar circumstances”.³ The testimony of experts in the same profession or class as the alleged negligent healthcare provider is generally required in order to establish the standard of care expected, and that a breach of that standard occurred. When a claim for medical malpractice is based on a failure to obtain consent, the Plaintiff must prove that (a) that the health care provider failed to inform the patient of a material fact or facts relating to the treatment; (b) the patient consented to the treatment without being aware of or fully informed of such material fact or facts; (c) a reasonably prudent patient under similar circumstances would not have consented to the treatment if informed of such material fact or facts; and (d) the treatment in question proximately caused injury to the patient. A fact is considered ‘material’ under Washington law “if a reasonably prudent person in the position of the patient or his or her representative would attach significance to it deciding whether or not to submit to the proposed treatment.” 4

If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice in Washington State, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. Stephen Haskell has the experience you need to help navigate the complicated judicial system and get the compensation you deserve.

¹RCW 7.70.020.
²RCW 7.70.030.
³RCW 7.70.040.
4RCW 7.70.050.

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