Vancouver Medical Malpractice Lawyers
We place a lot of trust in doctors and other health care professionals – we do not have their knowledge and skill so trusting them is essential. However, sometimes our trust is misplaced because doctors are reckless, or they fail to take the appropriate steps to deal with our medical issues. When this happens, injuries can get worse, medical conditions can go undiagnosed, and patients can be at risk for more medical problems that could have been avoided. Victims of medical negligence often turn to experienced legal counsel to attempt to hold the negligent medical professional accountable and recover compensation for medical expenses. The Vancouver medical malpractice lawyers at Rizk Law understand what victims of medical malpractice experience. We are committed to thoroughly investigating your claim, building a detailed case and working to hold the at-fault parties liable. We are also committed to evaluating your damages, determining the compensation you deserve, and taking all necessary steps to pursue compensation. We take cases involving many different injuries caused by OB-GYN malpractice.
There is no charge for working with our attorneys unless you receive compensation at the end of the legal process. Your consultation with our lawyers is also free – the consultation is a chance to determine if you have a case and learn more about the benefits of working with our medical malpractice attorneys. We are well-versed in Washington’s laws on medical malpractice, including the deadline for filing a claim.
We take cases from all over Vancouver and the surrounding areas, involving medical malpractice at many different medical facilities and hospitals, including Peacehealth Southwest Medical Center and Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center.
What is OB-GYN Malpractice?
An OB-GYN is an obstetrician-gynecologist who focuses his or her practice on the female reproductive system, pregnancy and childbirth. They are involved in providing medical care during labor, pregnancy and the period immediately after childbirth. They have office visits with patients, do surgeries and monitor and take action during the labor and delivery process.
These medical professionals have a huge responsibility – one mistake or oversight can result in serious or fatal injury to the mother or her baby. One of the main reasons patients need OB-GYNs is to deal with complications that arise during pregnancy. Taking swift, appropriate action can alleviate problems and possibly prevent serious or permanent injury to the baby.
Unfortunately, doctors do not always take appropriate steps. Sometimes they fail to act in a timely fashion or do not anticipate problems and prepare a strategy for when problems arise. Doctors can cause injury by taking the wrong action, failing to take action, or being careless when they are taking the appropriate steps.
Common examples of malpractice that may lead to birth injuries include:
- Failing to perform a cesarean section
- Failing to notice complications with the umbilical cord, such as being wrapped around the baby's neck and restricting the supply of oxygen
- Negligent use of forceps to aid in the delivery of the baby
- Failing to prepare for a difficult delivery, such as when the mother or baby are overweight or the baby is positioned feet first
- Not taking steps to try to reposition the fetus for an easier delivery
- Using too much force when pulling the baby out of the birth canal, particularly using too much force on the shoulder, neck or head
- Failing to appropriately monitor the fetus for signs of problems, such as a lack of oxygen
The actions taken by these doctors are so important because waiting too long or making one mistake can result in serious injury, such as:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Infections in the mother, such as Group B streptococcal infection
Doctors can also be held liable for failing to diagnose a condition, even if they did not cause it through their actions. For example, doctors could be held liable for failing to diagnose a permanent disability before the baby was born, when they should have been able to detect it.
If you have reason to believe the doctor did not take appropriate steps to prevent harm to your baby, you should consider reviewing the situation with a Vancouver medical malpractice lawyer. The attorneys at Rizk Law have detailed knowledge of the labor and delivery process and the things that can go wrong. We know how to review your situation to determine if malpractice may have occurred.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form today to discuss your legal options.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Washington
You have a limited amount of time to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Washington. The state sets a statute of limitations of three years of the alleged malpractice or one years from the time the patient or his or her representative reasonably should have found out the injury was caused by malpractice, whichever one comes later.
There is also a deadline of eight years from the act of malpractice – in no case can claims be filed more than eight years from the date of malpractice, no matter when it was discovered.
If you miss any of these deadlines, you will lose the right to file a lawsuit over your baby's birth injury caused by OB-GYN negligence.
Contacting our Vancouver medical malpractice lawyers right away not only gives us more time to meet the deadline, it gives us the time we need to thoroughly investigate and determine if the factors involved in malpractice were present in your child's injury.
To prove malpractice occurred, we must establish four elements:
- Doctor-patient relationship – If you or your child received treatment, a doctor-patient relationship was established. Once this occurs, the doctor has a duty of care to abide by accepted medical standards for the situation. This means he or she must take the same kinds of actions that a similarly-trained medical professional would take in a similar situation. In other words, he must perform within accepted medical standards in the medical community.
- Breach of duty of care – This means the doctor did not perform up to accepted medical standards. Sometimes this is because the doctor did the wrong thing, other times it is because the doctor failed to act.
- Link between your injuries and the breach of duty of care – There must be a causal connection between the doctor's actions and your child suffering an injury. Unless there is a causal connection, there is no basis for a claim.
- Existence of damages – The injury must have resulted in damages for the baby, such as additional medical expenses for treatment of the injury.
Our Vancouver medical malpractice attorneys can consult medical experts to help determine the standard of care for your situation and how the doctor deviated from it. We will also analyze medical records for the day the injury occurred to determine the steps doctors took and did not take and how the injury occurred.
We know how devastating birth injuries can be, so we want you to be focused on caring for your child while we handle the legal process. This could include negotiating compensation if the other side reaches out with an offer. We will explain any offers we receive and tell you if we think they are fair.
This includes offers we may receive from mediation. Under state law, before any superior court trial involving allegations of medical malpractice, both sides must go through mediation.
Your best interests are our number one priority at Rizk Law. We know you need compensation to help deal with the damages caused by your child's preventable injury.
Call our firm today for your free legal consultation. 503.245.5677.
Meet with a Vancouver Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
Birth injuries can be life-changing, resulting in permanent medical problems that could drastically change the outlook for your child's life. When an injury is due to OB-GYN malpractice, you could be entitled to compensation for the damages caused by the injury. This could include compensation for all current and future medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.
Pursuing compensation is very difficult, complex and takes a lot of time. Our Vancouver medical malpractice attorneys are prepared to give your case the personal attention and aggressive representation it deserves. We can handle all of the legal process on your behalf. Your consultation is entirely free and there will be no obligation to pursue a case. We do not bill for our services unless you are compensated.
Contact Rizk Law today to set up your free legal consultation.