Ward Smith PLLC Articles Medical Malpractice Laws in Washington State

Medical Malpractice Laws in Washington State

By Ward Smith, PLLC  Jul. 3, 2013 3:57p

Medical malpractice refers to claims and lawsuits against medical practitioners who violate accepted standards of care when it comes to treating a patient. When a medical error or negligence occurs resulting in an injury or death, those victimized by the event may pursue a claim for damages through the courts. Such cases can stem from wrongly diagnosed medical conditions, surgical errors, nursing or pharmacy errors, birth injuries, and similar preventable events. Medical malpractice claims can be brought against any licensed health care professional, including doctors, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, dentists, psychologists, and psychiatrists.

A statute of limitations applies to cases involving Washington state medical malpractice. This means that the legal action must be filed within three years of the date when the injury occurred or within one year after an injury has been discovered, whichever is later. No legal action may be filed, however, after eight years have passed after the date when the injury occurred. In the case of a minor, Washington law requires that the statute of limitations shall begin running on the minor's 18th birthday. A statutory cap on non-economic damages which was established in an earlier court case in the state was ruled to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1989. In cases where future economic damages exceed $100,000 or more, the damages may be disbursed in periodic payments if requested by either party. A mandatory mediation system for health care claims was established in the state in 1993 although mediation does not eliminate anyone's right to a trial by jury.

Personal Injury Attorney in Seattle, Washington

Medical malpractice claims are just one type of claim that may follow a negligence-based injury. Other claims may stem from negligence in auto accidents, boating accidents, dog attacks, defective products, unsafe premises, and other scenarios. Anyone who is injured or who loses a loved one in a wrongful death under such circumstances has the right to pursue a claim for damages. Because medical malpractice cases are highly technical, it is important to seek the services of a law firm that has the skills and experience to properly represent them.

Ward Smith, PLLC is a personal injury and wrongful death law firm located in the Seattle area with dozens of years of experience and an inclusion in Washington State's list of Super Lawyers. The legal team is comprised of proven attorneys who provide unique resolutions and unrelenting support for clients facing the negative consequences of negligence-based accidents and incidents. The firm works on a contingency fee basis which means you pay nothing upfront. Work with a firm that has nearly 50 years of combined experience. Contact one of the legal team to schedule a free case consultation to get started.

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