If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic injury as the result of medical negligence, you may have a legal right to compensation for your injury or loss. In the State of Washington, the laws relating to medical negligence are complicated, so it is imperative that you consult an experienced personal injury attorney as early in the process as possible.
The frequency of medical errors across the country is truly shocking. According to a study by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, one in 10 patients who did not survive the first 90 days after surgery died as a result of a preventable medical error. Additionally, about one in 25 hospital patients are injured as a result of preventable medical errors. Institute of Medicine statistics estimate that close to 100,000 people die each year as a result of medical errors.
Unfortunately, traumatic injuries, such as paralysis, quadriplegia, brain injury and spinal injury are frequently the result of medical errors. These injuries have serious, life-altering consequences for both the victim and the victim’s family. The financial cost of a traumatic injury can easily run over $100,000 a year.
If you believe that your traumatic injury resulted from someone’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation; however, you must act within the time frame specified by Washington State law. As a general rule, you must bring a medical malpractice action within three years of the act or omission that caused the injury. If the negligent party is not a healthcare professional, then you will likely need to bring a lawsuit within two years of the act or omission under the rules pertaining to personal injury lawsuits.
If your lawsuit is successful, you may be entitled to compensation for your past, present and future medical treatment related to your traumatic injury. In addition, you may be entitled to compensation for the emotional toll that the injury has taken on you. If you are the surviving family member of someone whose traumatic injury resulted in death then you may also be entitled to compensation for the loss of your loved one.