People trust their doctors and other health care professionals to provide them sound care. Unfortunately, poor medical care sometimes results in painful injuries, which could be life-altering or even life-threatening. Whether the bad outcome was the result of incompetence or just a mistake, people who have suffered losses because of medical malpractice could be entitled to compensation.
If you have sustained injuries or other losses because of substandard healthcare treatment, contact an Anaheim medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you discover the injury. These cases can be complicated but with the guidance of a seasoned professional, you could recover damages to compensate for your losses.
Medical malpractice can arise in almost any interaction between a patient and a health care provider. A successful medical malpractice case hinges on whether the injured person can prove that the medical provider did not meet the appropriate standard of care.
The standard of care is the kind of care that a similarly credentialed professional with a reasonable level of competence and skill would have rendered under the same or similar circumstances. Failure to meet that standard constitutes professional negligence, which triggers liability for damages.
To meet the standard of care a medical professional need not have provided flawless treatment, but only a quality of care that a reasonably competent and skilled colleague might have provided. An experienced attorney could gather opinions from medical experts to establish that the standard of care was not met in a particular case.
Statutes of limitation are laws that define a timeframe for parties to bring a lawsuit. For medical malpractice claims, California Code of Civil Procedure §340.5 sets the statute of limitations at three years from the date of the injury, or one year from the date the injury was discovered or should have been discovered, whichever comes first. If an injury is not discovered until more than three years have passed, the injured person loses their right to sue.
The law permits an extension of the time in certain instances. Some events toll the statute of limitations, which means they stop the clock. A plaintiff might be able to bring a malpractice suit if they could prove that the health care provider committed fraud or intentionally concealed the plaintiff’s injury. When a foreign object with no therapeutic purpose is left in the patient’s body, the patient may sue for malpractice within one year of discovering the object’s presence.
A plaintiff’s attorney in a medical malpractice case must notify the health care provider of their intention to sue at least 90 days before filing the lawsuit. If the notice is made within 90 days of the expiration of the statute of limitations the time to file the lawsuit is extended for 90 days.
If a patient’s attorney successfully establishes that their provider failed to meet the standard of care, the patient is entitled to damages. Economic damages are verifiable or fixed costs that the patient incurred because of the health care provider’s negligence. These could include, among other documentable expenses:
Non-economic damages compensate for the suffering and changes in lifestyle the patient had to endure because of the medical malpractice. A patient could receive non-economic damages to compensate for their pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, loss of consortium, and loss of quality of life.
California does not cap the amount of economic damages a plaintiff could receive. However, it does limit non-economic damages to $250,000.
A successful claim alleging a medical provider did not meet the standard of care requires the assistance of a seasoned legal professional. It is not a claim an injured person should attempt to pursue alone.
An Anaheim medical malpractice lawyer has the skills to prepare a successful medical negligence action and the resolve to see it through until you get the compensation they deserve. Contact the office today to schedule a case review.
Benji Personal Injury – Accident Attorneys, A.P.C.