A Quick Guide to Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in California
Medical malpractice occurs when a patient suffers injuries because of a healthcare professional’s negligence or omission. If you have been injured by a healthcare professional, the State of California allows you to pursue for damages made by medical malpractice.
As part of personal injury law, medical malpractice can also involve negotiating for a monetary settlement or taking the matter to court. Regardless, building a strong case is critical when seeking a fair compensation.
Necessary Elements in a Strong Medical Malpractice Case
Medical malpractice must meet the three following elements to be successful:
- Negligence violated the standard of care – All medical professionals have certain standards that are not only recognized by their respective peers, but are also accepted as being reasonable. Physicians and other medical care providers must adhere to these standards, as they are deemed reasonable in accordance to their training, area of expertise, and community.
- The medical professional’s negligence led to the patient’s injury – A violation of the standard of care is not sufficient to prove medical malpractice. In all personal injury claims, bodily injury must be present, which must be shown to be caused by the professional’s negligence. It is necessary to prove that the professional’s careless actions led to the injury or aggravated condition. Ultimately, a claim will be invalid if there is an injury but there is no evidence of negligence, or negligence was committed but no injury occurred. Both conditions must be present and established.
- Significant damages were caused from the injury – It is necessary to demonstrate that there were damages caused by the negligence, such as disability, loss of income, financial hardship, pain and suffering, and expenses related to further medical treatment.
Qualifying Factors of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can involve treatment, but it can also involve a diagnosis of the ailment. The following is a short list of reasons why a medical malpractice claim could be pursued: A misdiagnosis, The failure to diagnose, The failure to order the correct testing, The failure to recognize certain symptoms, Ignoring test results, Misreading test results, Surgical error, Unnecessary surgery, Unnecessarily invasive surgical procedure, Premature discharge, Administration of incorrect medication or incorrect dosage of the medication, and/or a poor follow-up after the procedure.
California’s Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims
When seeking to pursue damages for medical malpractice, it is important to consider the state’s statute of limitations on filing a claim. A statute of limitations is the amount of time a person has to file a civil claim, where not adhering to the statute of limitations can result in an invalidated claim.
As a claimant, you will only have the following amount of time to bring a case forward: Three (3) years from the time of the incident; or one (1) year from the date of the injury’s discovery.
A Skilled Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help Defend Your Case
If you have been injured or your ailment has worsened as a result of medical negligence, you will need to file a medical malpractice case to seek compensation. Establishing negligence in the medical field is a particularly challenging task, and you will need to understand what laws can work against your case. Furthermore, a careful investigation and collection of important evidence will be necessary. Obtain the legal support of an experienced attorney who can advocate on your behalf.
The attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLC have many years of experience handling complex medical malpractice cases. The firm understands the difficult implications a medical error can have in a person’s life. As a result, the firm is aggressive in helping injured patients obtain the maximum amount of compensation available. Consider contacting the support of the attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLC today.
Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.