Medical Malpractice and Negligence
Have you been injured due to medical malpractice or medical negligence? Have you suffered unexpected complications from a surgical or medical procedure where the risks were not properly explained to you?
Were you misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late to treat your illness or injury? Or have you lost a loved one to any of these circumstances? If so, Rob Kornfeld can help you.
Rob has been a medical malpractice attorney for more than 30 years and understands what you’re going through. Medical errors can be devastating and the toll they can take on your life can be irreversible. If you’ve got medical bills piling up for the procedures that caused you the injury – from the doctor or hospital that provided you poor quality care – that can add insult to injury. Let us help.
Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical malpractice and negligence comes in many different forms but all are serious, can leave you with permanent medical problems, injuries or even take the life of a loved one. Here are some of the types of medical malpractice cases that Rob has handled successfully:
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to diagnose in a timely manner
- Stroke or aneurysm not timely diagnosed and treated
- HMO negligence
- Hospital negligence
- Nursing home negligence
- Surgical errors
- Child birthing injuries
- Failure to provide reasonable care
- Failure to obtain informed consent
- Wrongful death
- Any other case where you suspect you or your loved one received substandard care
What are the warning signs of medical malpractice?
If any of the following conditions arise after you received medical care, you may have been the victim of medical malpractice or negligence:
- If you or a loved one were sicker after a treatment or procedure
- If doctors, nurses or other health care providers refuse to answer questions about your treatment or side effects
- If your health care provider refused you a diagnostic test or treatment that is standard for your condition
- If your loved one perished after a treatment, surgery or hospital stay when their prognosis was otherwise positive
If you or a family member are a victim of medical malpractice, contact Rob today and get a free private consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice
Q. What exactly is medical malpractice?
A. Medical malpractice and medical negligence
mean essentially the same thing and occur when a health professional fails to follow established procedures resulting in an injury or death to the patient.
Q. Who can commit medical malpractice or negligence?
A. Any health care provider that offers or fails to offer treatment that results in care below the reasonable standards may have committed malpractice. This includes doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, surgeons, radiologists, etc.
Q. What does reasonable standard of care mean?
A. Reasonable standard of care is what you should reasonably expect from a competent provider following standard diagnostic and treatment protocols. To pursue a claim for medical malpractice, there must have been a failure to provide a reasonable standard of care.
Q. Who determines the standard of care?
A. The medical community provides the measuring stick as to what is the standard of care. This takes into account many variables but the ultimate goal is to determine whether a physician or other health care professional acted in a manner consistent with or below the usual practices of other similar health professionals. This why the testimony of expert witnesses who have experience in the same practice area are essential for winning a medical malpractice suit.
Q. Where can medical malpractice occur?
A. Anywhere that medical care is administered can be the location for malpractice. This includes nursing homes, radiology facilities, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, hospitals, health clinics, dental offices, surgical suites and even your home if you receive healthcare where you live.
Q. How common is medical malpractice?
A. Research shows 15 million people are harmed each year by improper medical treatment. 200,000 of these suffer severe injures and 100,000 die from medical errors. It’s the sixth biggest killer in the US.
If you’re hospitalized, you run a nearly 20% risk of injury from medical care and, each week, at least 40 surgeries are performed on the wrong area or side of the patient’s body or the wrong patient entirely!
Q. Can I file a malpractice suit against someone who isn't a doctor?
A. Yes. Anyone who provides health care can be guilty of not following the standard procedures in their area of medical expertise, including nurses, technicians, physical therapists, and others.
Q. How can I tell if my case involves medical malpractice or not?
A. Experiencing a poor medical outcome does not automatically equal medical malpractice. In order to prove that you are the victim of medical malpractice, you have to show you did not receive reasonable care. Where your injury occurred and the level of skills available in the location are also evaluated.
Q. What do I need to prove to establish a successful medical malpractice case?
A. To win a medical malpractice case, three things must be proven:
(1) The care provider failed to act according to established medical practice standards
(2) This failure resulted in your injury or suffering
(3) You were damaged
Q. How do I know what details are important enough to tell my attorney?
A. Assume that no detail is too minor to bring up. A medical malpractice attorney has far more experience than you at evaluating which details are significant. One of your “minor” details could be the smoking gun that proves negligence.
Q. If I suspect that I've been the victim of medical negligence, how can I avoid tipping off the caregiver that I am considering a lawsuit?
A. First, if your doctor is the target, get a new physician. If you must give a reason for changing doctors, give a reasonable response such as “I would like a second opinion.” Having your new doctor request your medical records is routine, so it shouldn’t raise any concerns. You also have the legal right to request your medical records. Just make sure you don’t let on that you have been unhappy with your care or are talking to an attorney. If a lawsuit is suspected, information can disappear.
Q. My doctor released my medical records to my employer. Can I sue?
A. It depends. Most medical records are confidential under HIPPA. Consulting a medical malpractice attorney can help you determine whether you have to disclose your records and whether or not you have a case.
Q. I was misdiagnosed. Do I have a malpractice case?
A. If your doctor exercised his judgment but their actions did not fall below the standard of care, you may not have a case. The law does not require doctors to be perfect, only to follow standard procedures in seeking to diagnose and treat illness or injuries.
Q. Can I lose my right to pursue a malpractice claim because I didn't follow a doctor’s instructions?
A. Yes, you can. If you fail to exercise what is known as due care and do not mitigate your damages, you can be found comparatively at fault, which will minimize your recovery of damages. Make sure your follow your doctor’s or your health care provider’s instructions.
Q. How likely is it that my case will go to trial?
A. Medical malpractice claims are far more likely to proceed to trial than other claims. Part of this has to do with the complexity of the cases. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff to prove that negligence occurred. Because of this, insurance companies are more likely to take the risk of a trial. Physicians who settle, even for a modest amount, may be reported to the national data bank. This record follows a physician for the rest of their career, so most will prefer to take their chances in court.
Q. What expenses can I expect to recover as part of my malpractice settlement?
A. You can usually pursue the following compensation:
(1) Money to cover past, present and future medical expenses related to your medical malpractice injury
(2) Money to cover other financial and economic damages, such as loss of income earning ability, etc.
(3) Money to cover pain and suffering and disability or disfigurement.
Q. Is there a typical settlement amount for medical malpractice cases?
A. No, because every case is unique. A medical malpractice attorney can give you a better idea of what type of settlement you might receive after reviewing your case. Factors that contribute to the final settlement include:
(1) Changes in earning capacity
(2) Impact on life functions
(3) Jury perception of the injured party
(4) General feelings about medical malpractice in the region.
Q. Can I sue a doctor for what might have happened?
A. No. Just because a doctor might have chosen a better option, as long as no negligence was involved, it will be very difficult to pursue a case and win. Exercise of judgment or a bad outcome do not equate medical negligence. Health care providers don’t typically guarantee results.
Q. Can a case be reopened once it has been settled?
A. Most settlements require you to sign a release that prevents you from pursuing any additional claims in the future. Generally, once a case is settled, that’s it. This is why hiring a medical malpractice attorney is so important. You don’t want to sign your rights away.
Q. How soon must I file a medical malpractice lawsuit before I lose the right to do so?
A. In Washington state, you usually have up to three years to file your claim. If a minor is involved, there may be an extension. Consult a lawyer to verify your rights and to determine precisely when the statute of limitations runs out on your case. The three year rule doesn’t apply to everyone.
Q. How much does it cost to speak with you about my situation?
A. We never charge for an initial consultation and review of the facts surrounding your case. Email Rob at email@example.com or call (800) 282-4878 to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation over the telephone, by e-mail or in person at a location convenient for you. This can either at our main office, a satellite meeting location, in your home or at the hospital.
Q. Do you ever turn down malpractice cases?
A. We will not take on a case we do not feel we have a reasonable chance of winning. Your injury needs to be severe enough to have long-term consequences. Also, if the cost of bringing the case to trial will exceed the settlement, there is no point in dragging you through all that emotional turmoil only to get nothing in return. We also consider the risk that your case will not prevail.
Contact Rob Today to Talk About Making a Medical Malpractice Claim
Rob is committed to helping people just like you who have been injured by medical malpractice or negligent care. He will aggressively pursue your claim to get you the best settlement possible and hold those who harmed you accountable for substandard treatment or mistakes made. Click here to review some of Rob’s recent significant settlements.
Medical practitioners are known for closing ranks and trying to deny – at all costs – when they make a medical error. Don’t be a victim a second time. Call Rob today at (425) 893-8989 for a free consultation and immediate answers about your medical malpractice claim.