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Attorney Jared Pursley
Carlsbad Personal Injury LawyerBlogMedical MalpracticeState Cracks Down on Negligent Doctors

State Cracks Down on Negligent Doctors


Doctors who cannot practice in another jurisdiction, have revoked or suspended state licenses, fail to meet professional standards, or cannot practice medicine in other jurisdictions cannot practice in Washington State, according to a statement from the Washington State Department of Health.

As a result of this crackdown, the agency has revoked or suspended licenses, certifications, or registrations of several practitioners who have failed to meet the professional standards or those prohibited from practice in other jurisdictions.

The Health Systems Quality Assurance Division, a sector within the Department of Health, is in charge of overseeing the licensing standards for more than 80 health-related professions which includes dentists, nurses, and counselors.

Kinds of Medical Malpractice

Unlicensed doctors are generally incompetent as a matter of law. Furthermore, unlicensed doctors usually cannot delegate their patients to other doctors.

If an incompetent doctor causes injury, a Carlsbad medical malpractice lawyer can obtain compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages are usually available as well.

Negligent doctors are much more common than incompetent doctors. A Carlsbad personal injury lawyer can obtain compensation in these matters as well. The process is simply more complex.

Negligence, or a lack of care, starts with the duty of care. Doctors, lawyers, and other professionals usually have a fiduciary duty of care. They must always do what’s best for their patients, regardless of difficulty, cost, or anything else.

Since this standard of care is so high, almost any medical mistake constitutes negligence. Doctors usually have absolute power when it comes to healthcare decisions, and with great power comes great responsibility. Some examples include:

  • Misdiagnosis: The medical misdiagnosis rate in Washington State is about 20 percent. In high school, an 80 is a passing grade. But in the medical malpractice context, given the aforementioned duty of care, it’s a failing grade.
  • Surgical Errors: These errors often involve surgical instruments. The medical team super-heats these instruments to sterilize them. Too hot and they cause burns. Not hot enough and they cause infections. Retained surgical instruments (leaving a tool inside a patient’s body) could cause serious injury as well.
  • Admission/Discharge Errors: Doctors sometimes allow time or emotions to cloud their admission and discharge orders. Some injuries, like head injuries, are difficult to diagnose. A quick examination isn’t good enough. When it comes to discharge, some doctors give into a patient’s intense desire to go home.

As is usually the case in negligence matters, be they a negligent doctor or a negligent driver, selfishness is the common denominator, at least in most cases.

Who is Responsible for Damages?

In criminal court, doctors often try to avoid responsibility by throwing other professionals, such as nurses or patient care technicians, under the bus. This approach might help them avoid criminal liability. But civil liability is different.

Doctors, as team leaders, are responsible for the conduct, or misconduct, of their teams. When things go well, doctors get the credit. Likewise, when things go badly, doctors bear the responsibility. In this instance, responsibility includes compensating injured victims, as outlined above.

This responsibility is at the core of a negligence case. Primarily, Carlsbad personal injury lawyers do what they do to hold negligent parties responsible for the injuries they cause. In a perfect world, victims wouldn’t need lawyers, because doctors would voluntarily step up and face the music. But as we all know, we don’t live in a perfect world.

Connect With a Hard-Working San Diego County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Carlsbad, contact the Pursley Law Firm. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.



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