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Smith McBroom - Seattle Wrongful Death Attorneys

Seattle Hospital Negligence Lawyers

Holding Washington hospitals liable for medical malpractice

When you check into the University of Washington Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, or any Seattle hospital, you have the right to competent medical care. If you suffer an injury because of incompetent or negligent care, we can help. At Smith McBroom, our Seattle hospital malpractice lawyers hold administrators, healthcare providers, and third-party actors accountable when they cause harm. Contact us today to learn more.

Free Case Evaluation

Call 206-677-5941 now or fill out the form above to receive a free, confidential consultation.

Who may be liable for hospital malpractice in Seattle?

The following people may all be liable:

  • Hospital administrators. When bad policies or directives cause harm, the administrators may be liable.
  • Attending physicians. These doctors are responsible for all decisions that affect patients, including their diagnosis and treatment. They’re also responsible for supervising the other healthcare providers on their team. The hospital doctor who cares for a patient may be an ER doctor, a surgeon, an internist, or another type of specialist. Some family doctors may also have the authority to treat patients in a hospital.
  • The hospital staff. These healthcare providers include residents, interns, and medical students.
  • Specialists. Hospitals employ many different specialists, such as surgeons, neurologists, cardiologists, orthopedists, oncologists, and other health professionals who are trained to help patients with specific injuries and diseases.
  • Registered nurses (RNs). Most patients have more contact with RNs than any other hospital worker. RNs give patients their medications and tend to their daily needs. They also help the attending physician in many ways.
  • Licensed practical nurses (LPNs). RNs supervise LPNs. LPNs help patients by monitoring a patient’s blood pressure, dressing and bathing patients, and inserting catheters into patients.
  • Nurse practitioners and physician assistants. These hospital workers help with physical examinations, ordering medications, and help with common medical or surgical problems.

Other hospital workers include patient advocates, patient care technicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, hospital pharmacies, rapid response teams, social workers, nutritionists, and interpreters.

What are the different types of hospital negligence?

Hospitals are directly responsible for the conduct of the employees (based on the principle of respondeat superior). This means that when an attending physician employee or any other hospital employee commits medical malpractice, the hospital is liable for that medical malpractice. Hospitals may also be liable for their own malpractice.

Employee negligence

Hospital liability for medical malpractice of healthcare employees includes:

  • The failure to accurately diagnose a medical condition. Physicians should conduct the correct examinations, order the correct diagnostic tests, and interpret the test results correctly – according to acceptable medical standards. The failure to make a correct diagnosis includes:
    • Failing to make a timely diagnosis. For example, waiting too long to determine that a patient is having a heart attack may be fatal or may cause irreparable harm to the patient. Failing to treat hospital infections in a timely manner may cause sepsis.
    • Making an incorrect diagnosis. For example, a hospital may be liable if a physician diagnoses a heart condition as indigestion or a panic attack.
  • Surgical errors. Seattle hospitals may be liable if a patient is harmed during surgery. Surgical medical malpractice includes operating on the wrong body part, leaving objects inside the patient, damaging healthy organs or tissue, anesthesia errors, failure to monitor a patient during surgery, negligent postoperative care, and other surgical mistakes.
  • Medication errors. Hospitals may be liable if their employees fail to prescribe the correct medications, fail to order and give patients the correct dosages, fail to check for dangerous drug interactions, and fail to fill the prescriptions correctly.

Our Seattle hospital negligence lawyers are also skilled at showing that hospitals are liable when their employees fail to monitor their patients at all times, fail to follow the accepted protocols for their specialty, fail to obtain an informed consent for medical treatment, and many other failures.

Hospital negligence

At Smith McBroom, in addition to showing hospital employees committed negligence, we work to show hospitals are liable for negligence for:

  • Mistakes that non-employee health care providers commit. Hospitals often give non-employee health professionals permission to use the hospital facilities. Hospitals may be liable if they fail to conduct background checks on the medical qualifications of these contractors, fail to monitor these contractors, fail to implement policies and procedures to protect patients while non-employee healthcare providers treat patients, and for other reasons.
  • Failing to provide safe and sanitary facilities. Every room of the facility, including patient rooms, ICUs, and surgical operating rooms, should be cleaned and inspected to reduce the risk of infections and to protect everyone in the hospital.
  • Failing to use the proper equipment. The hospital should provide the correct tools and equipment for each type of medical procedure and ensure those items are sanitary and in good working order.
  • Negligent hiring. Hospitals should conduct background checks on every employee and every hospital worker to ensure that health professional has the proper credentials and isn’t a risk to any patient.

Hospitals may be liable for medical malpractice for other reasons such as:

  • Failing to obtain written informed consent
  • Allowing floors to become slippery or to have wires or objects that can cause falls
  • Not having railings for patients to hold onto
  • Discriminating against any patient due to their race, national origin, or sexual orientation
  • Many other reasons

How do your Seattle hospital malpractice lawyers fight for me?

At Smith McBroom, we work with our network of doctors and hospital administrators to show that:

  • The hospital owed you or your loved one a duty to provide competent medical care
  • The hospital or a hospital employee breached that duty of care
  • That you or your loved one suffered harm because of the breach of the duty of care

We may also file medical malpractice claims against individual healthcare providers.

Our Seattle hospital negligence lawyers work to show whether a healthcare provider committed medical malpractice, and if that provider was an employee or a contractor. We also work to show the hospitals were directly negligent.

Hospitals and healthcare providers are less likely to settle their claims than defendants in other personal injury cases because their reputations are on the line. Our Seattle medical negligence lawyers are ready for this challenge. We prepare each part of your case for trial. We recommend settlements only when they are in your best interest. We argue many cases before juries.

We demand compensation for all your injuries including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering (physical and emotional)
  • Income loss
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Loss of bodily function
  • The inability to enjoy life’s pleasures
  • Loss of consortium

If your mother, father, spouse, or child died due to hospital negligence in Seattle, we file a wrongful death action on behalf of the family members.

How are Seattle hospitals rated for safety?

The Leapfrog Group – a patient advocacy group which publishes data on hospital safety and quality – reports high grades for most Seattle hospitals. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot suffer harm in a highly ranked facility, or that an “A” hospital doesn’t have serious issues that need to be addressed. We hope you will check each individual hospital’s score before choosing a facility that’s right for you.

Hospital Name Grade
  • Evergreen Health
  • Multicare Covington Medical Center
  • St. Anthony Hospital
  • St. Francis Hospital
  • St. Joseph Medical Center of Tacoma
  • St. Michael Medical Center
  • Virginia Mason Medical Center

  • Overlake Hospital Medical Center
  • Multicare Auburn Medical Center
  • Multicare Good Samaritan Hospital
  • St. Anne Hospital
  • St. Clare Hospital
  • Swedish Medical Center Ballard
  • Swedish Medical Center First Hill
  • Tacoma General Hospital

  • Harborview Medical Center
  • Madigan Army Medical Center
  • MultiCare Allenmore Hospital
  • Swedish Edmonds Hospital
  • Swedish Health Services Issaquah
  • Swedish Medical Center Cherry Hill
  • University of Washington Medical Center - Montlake Campus
  • University of Washington Medical Center - Northwest Campus
  • Valley Medical Center

  • Providence Regional Medical Center Everett

Do you have a Seattle hospital negligence lawyer near me?

Smith McBroom meets clients at 16400 Southcenter Parkway Suite 210. We do meet injured and ill hospital patients at their homes or at a healthcare facility when necessary. Our attorneys also speak with clients by phone through online conferences. We’ll answer all your questions, explain your rights, and work to obtain the strongest financial recovery possible.

Speak with our Seattle hospital negligence lawyers about your case

Hospitals understand their reputation is on the line when patients file medical malpractice claims against them. They’ll fight to preserve their reputation and their finances. That’s why you need the Seattle hospital negligence lawyers at Smith McBroom. We’re skilled at showing your injuries and your failure to get healthier are due to the hospital’s negligence. Call us or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. Our team is ready to help you today.