Is Failure to Treat or Diagnose COVID-19 Medical Malpractice?

As of August 2021, there were more than 200 million total recorded cases of COVID-19 around the world. Many of these cases were handled by a medical system that was stressed by the pandemic. Mistakes were made, and in some cases, those mistakes came at great cost to patients.

Patients who experience losses due to poor or incomplete care may be eligible for compensation. Below, we’ll look at the rights of COVID patients, the standards of liability, and whether Washington has special immunity laws.

What legal rights do COVID patients have to proper care?

COVID patients have a right to a professional standard of care when they see a doctor. Doctors who fail to meet that standard may be held responsible for harm caused by their negligence.

To prove that your claims are valid, you need to meet standards for evidence. You’ll need to show that the defendant had a duty to provide care, that they deviated from the proper standard of care, and that those deviations caused you harm.

If you received improper care, you should speak to a lawyer to learn more about how your charges can be proven. A lawyer will be able to tell you more about what evidence applies and how it can be used in your specific case.

What is considered negligent in COVID care cases?

Any type of harm that results from the improper procedure may be considered negligence. Here are some examples of how negligence can lead to harm:

  • Your doctor misreads a test and does not diagnose you with COVID
  • Your doctor treats you for a different condition that results in further injury
  • Your doctor fails to order tests that would demonstrate the severity of your symptoms
  • You are improperly discharged due to a misunderstanding of the severity of your symptoms
  • Your doctor does not ask you for or consider your medical history before prescribing you medications that cause harm

This is not a complete list of acts that may be considered negligence. The failures that lead to your injury could easily be a result of policy or administrative dysfunction rather than a doctor’s personal actions. You should consult a lawyer before you decide that your case isn’t viable.

Is there a time limit to filing COVID claims?

Yes, there is a three-year time limit to file most medical malpractice claims in Washington.

There are some exceptions to the rules. For example, the time limit doesn’t start for minors until they reach their 18th birthday.

This is not the strictest time limit in the US, but it can still pass quickly when you’re recovering from an injury. Make sure you schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer soon after your injury.