Doctors make mistakes all the time.  But that does not always mean you have a medical malpractice claim.  The reason is medical malpractice claims are hard to win.   A Massachusetts General Hospital study found that 79.6% of jury verdicts favor the physician.  Equally important is the cost of bringing a medical malpractice claim.  The costs vary greatly but range from $5,000.00 to $50,000.00, and that does not include the cost for attorneys fees.  

The law found in RCW 7.70.040 (https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=7.70.040) states in relevant part that in order to have a claim you must prove:

“The health care provider failed 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;”

And

“Such failure was a proximate cause of the injury complained of.”

In addition, there are some new rules to the statute in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

medical malpractice court hearing document

Therefore, in order for you to be successful on a medical malpractice claim, you must be able to show that there was a medical mistake, and prove that the medical mistake is what caused your damages.  People often get confused and think that if there was an unintended result or poor result that there must have been a mistake.  However, this is untrue.  You must be able to point out and explain how the doctor made the mistake, whether through the medical records or some other evidence.  Oftentimes the only way you can do this is by hiring a medical expert in the same field, have him review the medical records, then give an opinion as to whether or not there was a mistake.  This initial review can be costly, anywhere from $1,000.00 to $5,000.00 or more.

If you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to go over your options, call Park Chenaur at 253-839-9440 for a free consultation.