Spring Brings Warm Weather and an Increased Drowning Risk

As the weather gets warmer, people are heading out to the shores of Washington to enjoy a day on the water. A warm spring day, however, does not always mean that conditions are safe. Already this year, there have been several scary incidents in Washington. Three near-drownings occurred on Sat., May 11 — one each in Lake Washington, Green River and Panther Lake. The Washington State Department of Health, in a news release, warned residents that late-spring conditions increase the risk of drowning. Continue reading

Misdiagnosis: Most Common, Most Deadly Type of Malpractice

Surgical mistakes, “never events” and emergency room errors may seem to be the worst offenders in the medical malpractice category, but a new study suggests otherwise. Published online in BMJ Quality and Safety, the study reveals that, over the last 25 years, misdiagnosis was the most common and costly medical malpractice claim.

There are 3 types of misdiagnosis: missed diagnosis, wrong diagnosis and delayed diagnosis. The result is inevitably incorrect treatment. This can be particularly damaging in the cases of cancer, heart disease and stroke. It can lead to the progression of the actual illness, resulting in permanent injury or even death. That misdiagnosis is so common is alarming for anyone who puts their faith in the hands of medical professionals.

Protect Yourself

doctorNo one ever signs up to be a victim of misdiagnosis. You can help protect yourself from these all-too-common mistakes by being your own advocate.

  • Provide honest information. When your doctor asks you a question, answer it in full with complete honesty, even if it is embarrassing.
  • Ask questions. If you are not comfortable with a diagnosis — and even if you are — ask your doctor if there are any other possible diagnoses. Do not end the conversation until you know why you were diagnosed with one condition and not another.
  • Volunteer relevant information. Diagnosis is as much an art as it is science, and it depends on doctors looking in the right places for the right clues. If something is bothering you, but the doctor does not ask about it, tell them anyway.
  • Get a second opinion. If you are still uncomfortable with the level of care you receive from one doctor, go to another. A new perspective could identify a piece of the puzzle that leads to the correct outcome, the right diagnosis.

Misdiagnosis and Malpractice

Clearly there is a rampant problem within the medical field: over the last 25 years, 350,000 victims have received malpractice settlements because of injury due to misdiagnosis. The frightening truth is that this only represents a portion of the number of people injured by misdiagnosis. The rest either remain silent or fail to obtain compensation in court.

While misdiagnosis is not necessarily malpractice, Washington law protects the patient in cases in which injury is occurred due to a breach in the standard of care.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one was injured, or if you have lost a loved one, due to a misdiagnosis, please contact us immediately for a free consultation. Perey Law Group is dedicated to seeking justice and experienced in getting compensation for those injured by medical malpractice.

Is Your Workplace Safe from Explosions?

The explosion in West, Texas came in the middle of a week of tragedy. On the evening of April 17, a fire at a fertilizer plant caused a massive explosion. The blast killed 14 people, injured hundreds of others, destroyed or damaged dozens of buildings and wounded the heart of the small town of 2,700 people. No foul play is suspected, making the explosion most likely a horrific accident.

The tragedy has caused Washington residents and officials to take a close look at potentially hazardous sites within the state. Continue reading

Spokane Woman Gets Second Chance, Finally Gets Compensated

The doctor said “terminal cancer” when, in reality, Spokane resident Darlene Turner had pneumonia. The pneumonia later caused her to fall into a coma, and she had to have her foot amputated. This may seem like a cut-and-dry case of medical malpractice, but the first time it went to trial, the jury decided in favor of the physician, The Spokesman-Review reported last week.

How could that happen? Continue reading

Who is Responsible for a Robot?

Robots are regularly performing surgical procedures on patients in hospitals across America, and the doctors in control them are not properly trained in how they work.

That frightening premise is what the family of a man who died after an operation is claiming in a lawsuit headed to trail in less than 2 weeks. The lawsuit is one of several in recent years filed against Intuitive Surgical Inc., which manufactures surgical robots used in 1,371 U.S. hospitals, Bloomberg reported.

This case illustrates the quickly changing state of modern medicine. But it also rests upon long-established principles of law that remain relevant – even if lines are increasingly becoming blurred. Continue reading

Deadly Birth Defect on the Rise in Yakima County

Last month, Washington state officials reported they were shocked to find that the fatal birth defect anencephaly was occurring more often than it should in Yakima County—8 times more often, in fact.

The Department of Health reviewed 2012 figures, expecting to find a single case of anencephaly among the county’s roughly 4,000 live births, based on the national average. Instead, they found 8 cases.

Investigators are now trying to figure out why. Continue reading

Five Things You Should Know About Washington’s New Marijuana Law

Following the approval of Initiative 502 at the polls last year, it became legal on Dec. 6, 2012 for a person to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use in the state of Washington. While this makes Washington (along with Colorado, where a similar measure also passed) very progressive in terms of marijuana laws, it doesn’t allow a free-for-all. As Colorado’s governor expressed it after the vote: “Don’t break out the Cheetos or the Goldfish too quickly.”

As Washington’s law is slowly rolled out in 2013, the Perey Law Group brings you five important things you should know about it: Continue reading

Surgical Errors Called “Never Events” Happen Daily

A review of national medical malpractice claims by John Hopkins patient safety researchers has revealed some stunning information. Researchers estimate that 80,000 surgical errors called “never events” occurred in the United States between 1990 and 2010. That means that some 4,000 “never events” occur every year. If that’s the case, why do surgeons call them “never events?” They earn the name because they should never happen — not because they never do happen. Continue reading

What I Have Learned So Far…

January is a time to think about the future and make new resolutions. Once again, one of our lawyers resolves to be a better dad, husband, and lawyer – in that order. Reflecting on his past to improve his future, here are a few things he has learned so far:

Medical negligence cases are hard. Doctor and nurse friends should know that medical malpractice lawyers actually help improve their professions because of heightened focus on patient safety and that only a very small percentage of potential cases that are reviewed will end up as a lawsuit. To succeed, medical cases demand careful screening, large investments of time and expense, and incredible preparation. Only significant medical mistakes with clear damages will result in a positive outcome from litigation. Continue reading

Was the Oregon Bus Crash Preventable?

Failing to learn from past experience: was the Korean tour company’s Oregon bus crash preventable?

Oregon bus crash

Photo by Randy L. Rasmussen, The Oregonian

With a heavy heart, I read about Sunday’s tragic bus crash on Interstate 84 near Pendleton, Oregon, which killed nine people and injured many more, all apparently tourists on a bus tour conducted by a Korean travel company (the Mi Joo Tour and Travel Company).  With relatives in the Pendleton, Oregon area, and having litigated bus roll-over cases as a personal injury attorney, I have traveled this section of road many, many times, during both winter and summer.  In the summer, under even the best of conditions, the westbound section of Interstate 84, with its treacherous downhill grade and convex curves, is concerning and requires great caution.  In the wintertime, it demands ultimate respect, with safe driving often requiring chains and speeds as low as ten (10) or fifteen (15) miles per hour.  One will often see professional drivers literally creeping at walking speeds as they drive westbound down I-84’s Deadman’s Pass in the far right-hand lane (the lane farthest from the steep ravines), with hazard lights flashing.

The saddest part of this bus crash, is the knowledge that it was most likely preventable.  Continue reading