A Trusted Medical Malpractice Law Group
Every year people all over the California are victims of medical malpractice. This malpractice can come in many forms. It can be a generally poor approach to medical care which leads to worsening symptoms, illness, injury, or death. It can be in the form of a botched surgery or misadministration of drugs. If you are considering taking legal action against a medical professional who has caused you harm, we will evaluate the circumstances and facts of your potential case. Under California law, statutes of limitations limit the amount of time under which an injured patient may pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit against a negligent party. Failure to file a claim within this window could prevent the right to recover compensation. If you believe you have a medical malpractice case, you should call our firm as soon as possible.
In order to prove medical malpractice, you must be able to prove that the professional committed a negligent act and the act was the direct cause of the injury that resulted in compensable damages. A negligent act is a breach of the medical professional’s duty. Examples include, but are not limited to, delays in diagnosis causing permanent harm, misdiagnoses causing harm, premature discharge from a medical institution, surgical misadventure, misreading of diagnostic studies, mismanagement of medications, failure to use proper medical equipment, falls caused by negligent acts, improper post-operative care, and lack of informed consent. When you contact our firm, our attorneys will evaluate your case and the alleged negligent acts.
Types of Damage Suffered
The injury caused by the healthcare provider’s negligence must have caused either economic or non-economic damages. This means that medical professionals cannot be held liable unless the injured patient incurred additional medical bills, lost wages or damage to their future earning capacity, or pain and suffering. It is important to bear in mind that this damage can come in many forms, and it is not always something that is immediately visible just by looking at a person. You might have suffered unnecessary stress as a result of poor care or an incorrect diagnosis. If you are wondering whether you have suffered damages or not, you should always speak to us first so we can help.
Limits on Recovery
California law (MICRA) places limits on a party’s maximum recovery in cases arising from medical malpractice. Where the negligent act or omission by a health care provider in rendering of professional services causes an injury within the scope of services the provider is licensed, that provider may be entitled to a limitation, or cap, on the recovery of non-economic damages (which includes damages for physical pain and mental suffering) in the amount of $250,000.00. Economic damages are a separate category of damages, which include past and future medical expenses and past or future loss of earnings or profits, which are not subject to a specific limit or “cap” but are dependent upon proof of those losses.
Burden of Proof
In order to prevail on a medical malpractice case, the injured party must present evidence that a health care provider engaged in an act or omission which was below the standard of care which resulted in the harm or injury. The injured party does not have to prove that the act or omission is the only cause of the injury, but must be able to prove that the act or omission was more than a remote or trivial factor that a reasonable person would consider to have contributed to the injury. This typically requires a medical expert, in most instances a similarly-situated doctor of the same specialty as the health care provider who allegedly caused the harm. The medical expert must be able to provide an opinion that the health care provider engaged in an act or omission which fell below the standard of care that a reasonable health care practitioner under the same set of circumstances would have done. Often, the health care provider will assert defenses to claims of medical malpractice. For instance, a health care provider may assert a defense that success is not required and that they are not negligent even if they were unsuccessful or made an error that was reasonable under the circumstances. A health care provider may assert a defense that the harm was caused by the patient’s failure to provide for his or her own well-being by failing to seek medical assistance when a reasonable person in the same situation would have done so.
In some circumstances, medical malpractice can result in harm not only to the patient, but to the family members or other persons close to the victim. An injured patient may be left unable to work or provide household services they could provide before the injury. An injured patient may be left unable to provide their spouse with the same love, comfort, society, solace, protection, affection, guidance, training, or support that they did prior to their injury. In some circumstances, your family members may have been witness to the incident which resulted in injuries, and depending on the nature of those circumstances, to the extent they suffered emotional trauma damages may be recoverable for them as well. We can review your potential case to determine if persons other than the injured party have potential claims for loss of consortium or other similar claims.
If you think you might have a case for medical malpractice, then do not hesitate to contact Valentine Law Group as soon as possible.