Posts by spencerparr

Correcting Your Medical Records in Washington State - Washington Law Center

How To Correct Your Medical Records in Washington

March 5th, 2020 Posted by Labor & Industries, Personal Injury 0 comments on “How To Correct Your Medical Records in Washington”

Doctors Make Mistakes with Medical Records

To err is human … sometimes patients can make mistakes while in pain or when seeking urgent medical treatment. The same is true for medical professionals who work in high stress conditions attempting to treat a suffering patient. These mistakes can happen before, during or even after care is provided by way of noting errors in a patient’s medical records.  Busy intake nurses may notate an incorrect accident date or omit ancillary injuries to the purpose of treatment Scribes may record inaccurate information given to them by the treating provider. Translators can easily provide the wrong information since many words and concepts can be problematic for the healthcare worker.

Even when they might translate well, there can be vast differences in the abilities of the available translators. For example, how many ways can a person describe a painful sensation in English: visceral, stabbing, stinging, burning, splitting, crushing, gnawing, pulsing, nagging, gripping, deep, scalding, shooting, throbbing, sharp, dull, radiating, recurring, intermittent, chronic, acute and so on?  A translator may end up describing that something simply “doesn’t feel right.”     

Unfortunately, this leads to numerous incidents of a person’s medical records containing inaccuracies. Doctors are well aware of this problem. There have even been cases where a surgeon operates on the wrong body part due to mistaken medical notations. If a person has hundreds of pages of medical records, there will undoubtedly be various typos, misstatements and other inaccuracies that are just part of what’s expected.

What Are Your Options For Correcting Your Medical Records?

Errors in medical records are a well-known and ubiquitous phenomenon. The Washington State Legislature has acted to provide a little-known mechanism by which patients may request corrections or amendments. Pursuant to RCW 70.02.100, a patient may request correction or amendment of a medical record “for purposes of accuracy or completeness.” The patient should write to the medical provider and identify the error in the record while also asking for a change or amendment. The medical provider then has ten (10) days to inform the patient that they have changed the record, or that they have decided not to change the record for whatever reason they have. Nevertheless, the request for change, correction or addendum also becomes part of the medical record so that there remains proof that the patient disagrees with what has been stated.

Most people don’t realize that their medical records may contain errors that ultimately result in problems for the patient. Defense attorneys search medical records for the errors and omissions because they are expected to exist there. They will then attempt to paint the patient as an inaccurate historian, non-credible claimant or plaintiff, or worse. Defense medical examiners, often called Independent Medical Examiners, testify that all they can go on is the information that was recorded in the file. The unfortunate result can be a misrepresentation of the patient’s injuries or the patient’s need for the particular medical treatment being sought out under the claim or suit.

Some damage is already done once an error is made but if a patient acts to review (although most don’t) and asks for corrections or addendums to their medical records in a timely fashion, the damage can be minimized. For this reason, if you have a personal injury, workers’ compensation or another type of suit or claim that depends on what is recorded in your medical records, it’s best to regularly ask your doctors for a copy of those records so you can review them before too much time has passed.

Legal Assistance Reviewing and Correcting Your Medical Records

If you have questions during this time or need help reviewing your records from the standpoint of the law, contact the experienced trial attorneys at Washington Law Center today.

 

Dental Implants on Washington Labor and Industries L&I

Are Washington’s Injured Workers Entitled to Dental Implants?

March 4th, 2020 Posted by Labor & Industries 0 comments on “Are Washington’s Injured Workers Entitled to Dental Implants?”

Attorneys Spencer D. Parr and Aaron VanderPol of Washington Law Center recently co-litigated and won an important victory on behalf of all Washington’s injured workers.  The case of Robert B. Jones emphatically now answers the question of whether dental implants may be authorized as proper and necessary medical care under Washington’s Industrial Insurance Act.  The answer to that question is clearly “yes,” as long as the dental implants are the appropriate standard of care for the individual whose case is under consideration. You may read the resulting, unanimous, Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals decision here, in context with the following analysis:

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Claiming Coronavirus (COVID-19) as an Occupational Disease in Washington Labor and Industries

Coronavirus Infection COVID-19 – Can it be Claimed as an Occupational Disease?

March 2nd, 2020 Posted by Labor & Industries 0 comments on “Coronavirus Infection COVID-19 – Can it be Claimed as an Occupational Disease?”

Yes, coronavirus (COVID-19) is an infectious disease with the highest potential transmission rate among healthcare workers, first responders, school teachers, and others whose work brings them into contact with large numbers of sick individuals. Any worker may claim coronavirus as an occupational disease pursuant to RCW 51.08.140. It’s worth noting that firefighters, in particular, have a presumption of occupational disease pursuant to RCW 51.32.185.

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How Does Washington State Define Sexual Misconduct with a Minor?

Sexual Misconduct with a Minor – How It Is Defined In Washington State

January 27th, 2020 Posted by Abuse, Personal Injury, Sexual Abuse 0 comments on “Sexual Misconduct with a Minor – How It Is Defined In Washington State”

How Does Washington State Define Sexual Misconduct with a Minor?

Pursuant to Chapter 9A.44 RCW, Sexual Misconduct with a Minor in the First Degree involves any form of sexual intercourse (penetration), and in the Second Degree involves any form of sexual contact with an individual older than 16, but less than 18, unless the intercourse or contact is committed upon a person less than 21 by a person who holds a supervisory position over the victim, including by a teacher, foster parent, etc.

What is the Sentencing Range in Washington State for Commission of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor?

Washington’s penal code punishes Sexual Misconduct with a Minor in the First Degree as a Class C Felony and in the Second Degree as a Gross Misdemeanor. Pursuant to RCW 9A.20.021, a Class C Felony is punishable by up to life in prison, a fine of up to $50,000, or both, while a Gross Misdemeanor is punishable by up to 364 days in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. Sex offender registration is also required for committing either crime.

May the Victim Sue the Offender for Commission of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor?

Yes, victims of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor in WashingtonState have a civil cause of action against their perpetrator, as well as against anyone who negligently facilitated the commission of that crime, including state social services agencies (such as with foster child placement), religious institutions, schools, youth groups and social organization and activities providers (such as a “scouts” or “explorers” group).

 

 

What is the Civil Statute of Limitations that Applies to Sexual Misconduct with a Minor?

Pursuant to RCW 4.16.340, children and adults may sue their perpetrators for any form of child sexual abuse in Washington State until the later of three years after the act; three years after discovering that an injury (including a mental health condition) was caused by the act; or three years of discovering the act for which a claim of injury/distress is asserted. In practice, very few sexual abuse cases are subject to defeat based on a statute of limitations defense.

Is it Considered Sexual Misconduct with a Minor in Washington State if the Victim is Under 16?

No, Chapter 9A.44 RCW defines various other forms of sexual abuse of minors, including child molestation in three degrees; rape of a child in three degrees; and taking indecent liberties with a child. Any of these child sexual abuse offenses may be prosecuted both under criminal codes and civil statutes in Washington State.

What Should I do If I AM or WAS the Victim of Child Sexual Abuse?

You should immediately report any form of child sexual abuse. You can report this to the police; to a teacher; to a doctor or other healthcare provider such as a Physician’s Assistant, Advanced Registered Nurse Provider, other nurses or mental health counselor; or to a lawyer familiar with these types of circumstances. All of these individuals are trained and responsible to assist victims of child sexual abuse, who never need to suffer in silence.

Can Washington Law Center Help Me if I AM or WAS a Child Sex Abuse Victim?

Yes. At Washington Law Center, our sensitive and compassionate attorneys have assisted numerous child sex abuse victims to recover million dollar + recoveries for their damages. It is never the child’s fault. A child cannot give consent to improper contact or intercourse. Every child that has been or is the victim of child sex abuse in Washington should consult with our attorneys as soon as they can, including because it is always safest and easiest for our attorneys to navigate statute of limitations defenses the earlier we learn the facts of your case. You are not alone.

The Content Provided Herein is the Consensus View of Experienced Sex Abuse Attorneys in Washington State.

Deferred Recoupment Agreement - Washington Department of Labor and Industries - Washington Law Center

What is a Deferred Recoupment Agreement in Washington L&I?

January 2nd, 2020 Posted by Labor & Industries 0 comments on “What is a Deferred Recoupment Agreement in Washington L&I?”

What is a Deferred Recoupment Agreement?

A Deferred Recoupment Agreement is a contract between the Washington Department of Labor and Industries and an injured worker agreeing that the injured worker does not need to repay an overpayment of L&I benefits unless or until the injured worker seeks new monetary benefits in either their current or a future workers’ compensation claim.  

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