Personal Injury Lawyer Spokane: Medical Malpractice
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Do you know somebody who has been the victim of professional negligence either intentionally or unintentionally by their healthcare provider? If you do, you should seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer Spokane as this type of injury is covered under personal injury lawsuits. If the treatment that you or someone you know has received, falls short of acceptable and below average medical standards, has caused injury or death to the patient you may be able to receive compensation for your pain and suffering. Most of these cases involve accidental medical error. The standards of Medical Care and treatment vary in different countries and different jurisdictions within those countries. Most doctors carry professional liability insurance to offset any risk for cost that they may receive through a lawsuit of medical malpractice. Even though the doctor didn’t mean to intentionally harm the patient and the entire situation may have been one big mistake or accident it does not make that doctor any less liable or responsible for the injury he inflicted upon his patient. Statistics put the numbers of people killed by medical error within the United States of America at 195,000 people and a year.
What are the real numbers?
In comparison to the population this number may not seem too large but even one malpractice death or serious injury is too many. No matter who was at fault this kind of situation can be devastating to either the patient or their surviving family if the injury causes death. The fact that it was not intentional or that it was an accident does not bring comfort to the family nor does it bring back the family member that they lost. This kind of error can cause dramatic effects on people’s lives for as long as they live. Some of the statistics that revolve around medical malpractice are that 1.14 million patient/safety instances occurred within the 37,000,000 hospitalizations of the Medicare population between the years of 2000 -2002. After all was said and done, personal injury lawyer Spokane were able to file claims successfully at an estimated $324,000,000 in October of 2008 alone. These numbers are staggering in both the amount of people affected as well as the monetary amounts that doctors and medical establishment’s ended up losing to medical malpractice lawsuits. It is estimated that between 15,000 and 19,000 medical malpractice lawsuits are filed against medical doctors every year.
What are the steps?
Once a personal injury lawyer Spokane has been hired here she will begin an investigation and the process of collecting evidence to move forward with and file a case in a court of law. In a malpractice lawsuit the plaintiff is or was the patient who was injured or whose injuries caused death. If the person is deceased the plaintiff with been become a designated party who acts on behalf of the deceased or possibly the executor of the deceased patients estates. Family members and loved ones can file lawsuits for medical malpractice if they feel that of wrongful death suit is warranted. As long as they can provide evidence to back up these claims and prove that to some degree there was neglectful behavior on behalf of the medical staff who treated the patient they can proceed with a lawsuit against them. But the defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit is the healthcare provider or doctor who’s mistake caused the injury or death of the patient. Although this term “healthcare provider” would usually be in reference to a physician in a case such as this it can also refer to a nurse, a therapist, a dentist or any other type of medical care provider. If these providers who are not physicians, simply state that they were “following the orders” of the doctor in charge, this may not protect them from being held liable for committing and a negligent act. That being said these claims can also come down on the hospital, clinics, and managed care organizations or medical corporations for any mistakes that their employees make or any negligent acts on the part of those employees.
If your personal injury lawyer Spokane can establish four elements of negligence you a successful case and medical malpractice claim.
- A duty was owed: if a hospital or healthcare provider undertakes the task of treating a patient or caring for that patient there are legal duties that exist that they must fulfill.
- A duty was breached: relevant standard care was not given or conformed to by the provider.
- The breach caused an injury: this breach of duty was a proximate cause of the injury
- Damage: without damage or loss is the day emotional or physical the patient or the surviving relatives do not have a basis for a claim, even if the provider was negligent. Likewise, damage can occur without negligence e.g. A patient dies from a fatal disease.
At this point in the proceedings your lawyer will file a lawsuit within the court system. Between the time the lawsuit is filed in the trial both parties must share all information through a process called discovery. Included in this information are interrogatories, requested documents and depositions. It at this point both parties agree they can come up with a settlement pretrial and negotiate terms of that settlement so they can handle this without going to court. More often than not the parties do not agree and the case will go to trial that.