Medical Miscommunication Injury Lawyers in Seattle
Our Attorneys Stand Beside Patients Injured by Healthcare Professionals
As patients, we place a great deal of blind faith in our doctors’ skills and knowledge. We expect everyone in the medical field to uphold high standards in everything, from hygiene to communication skills. But sadly, that is not always the case.
While some miscommunication in care may be relatively insignificant, other miscommunication can have a catastrophic impact on a patient.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a medical miscommunication, it is critical that you understand your rights and options. A free consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., can help you to begin the process of moving on with your life. Call toll-free (888) 228-3860 to schedule your free consultation.
A Common Mistake with Huge Impact on Patients
According to a famous Johns Hopkins study, at least 250,000 patients die each year in the United States due to preventable medical errors. The Joint Commission estimates that 80% of all serious medical errors stem from miscommunication. In many cases, incidents such as surgical instruments being left inside the body, wrong-site surgery, wrong medication prescribed, wrong dosage prescribed, and infections as a result of contaminated instruments can all be traced back to something as simple as miscommunication of the medical staff.
Understanding the legal responsibilities of medical professionals and your legal rights as a patient can be difficult. But the Seattle medical malpractice attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., can explain these complex situations and help you determine if you have the right to pursue compensation.
Examples of Medical Miscommunication
- Failing to provide critical information to doctors. Many medical professionals interact with a single patient and gather information. When this information is not communicated to the patient’s doctor, errors can occur. This may be information about previous medical conditions, current medications in use, or observations about the patient’s condition. All of this information can have an impact on the doctor’s chosen care and treatment.
- Improperly completing medical records. Patients complete some of their own medical records, such as their medical history and current medications. But in some cases, a medical staff member assists with this process. Incorrectly completing these forms or omitting information can have a large impact on treatment and diagnosis of many conditions.
- Mislabeling medical samples or medication. This can result in improper test results and cause the doctor to provide a wrong diagnosis or no diagnosis at all. Mislabeling medication can result in additional complications due to the wrong medication being administered as well as lack of treatment for the current condition.
- Failure to notify the doctor of test results. In many cases, test results are required before a doctor can begin a plan of treatment. When the doctor does not receive the test results, he or she does not begin a treatment plan. This can lead to serious health risks for patients whose illness is time-sensitive, such as a tumor or a severe infection. Delaying treatment can result in loss of life.
- Failure to consult with appropriate specialist. There are many medical specialties, and no single doctor can be expected to be an expert in all areas. Doctors frequently consult with a specialist to verify a diagnosis, or for a second opinion on a patient’s condition. If a doctor does not consult with a specialist, the result can be a misdiagnosis, which can lead to medical complications or even loss of life.
- Improper discharge information. When a patient is discharged from the hospital or care facility, there is often a great deal of information that the patient and caregivers should know. This information includes instructions for administering medication, a diet, limits on activity, and any other follow-up care that is required. When this information is not provided, there can be devastating results.
Compensation for Medical Miscommunication Injuries
Each patient’s situation will vary based on the extent and severity of his or her injuries as a result of medical miscommunication, but you may be entitled to any of the following types of compensation:
- Current and future medical bills related to the injury
- Disability as a result of the injury
- Pain and suffering from the injury
- Emotional trauma as a result of the injury
- Modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate the injury
- Cost of in-home care needed as a result of the injury
- Lost wages as a result of the injury
- Loss of earning potential as a result of the injury
- Wrongful death as a result of the injury
Medical malpractice cases are complex by nature. Contact the legal professionals at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., to learn about your rights and any compensation that might be owed to you for your injuries. Call our Seattle medical malpractice lawyers at toll-free (888) 228-3860 to begin the process of putting this traumatic experience behind you.
- Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare Releases Targeted Solutions Tool for Hand-Off Communications
- Miscommunication Between Patients and General Practitioners: Implications for Clinical Practice