We trust that our doctors will always provide us with the best medical care in all situations. Unfortunately, doctors can and do make mistakes, and when this happens, the consequences are often devastating. Medical negligence, or "malpractice" as it is often called, can result in death or catastrophic injury, resulting in enormous pain and medical bills. The consequences of medical malpractice can be completely devastating financially. If you believe that you have suffered medical negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the medical providers who hurt you.
What Exactly is Medical Malpractice?
At its core, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist, breaches the standard of care, resulting in injury or harm to a patient. This standard, broadly speaking, is the generally accepted procedures and practices that reasonably prudent healthcare providers in a similar field would use when treating a patient under similar circumstances.
In California, medical malpractice can involve a range of situations, including:
Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
Surgical or anesthesia errors
Medication or prescription errors
Failure to treat or inappropriate treatment
Inadequate patient supervision
Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim
In California, to win a medical malpractice lawsuit, a plaintiff must typically establish four elements:
Duty of Care: The healthcare provider had a professional duty to the patient.
Breach of Duty: The provider failed to meet the standard of care.
Causation: This failure directly caused the patient’s injury.
Damages: The patient suffered harm or injury (physical, emotional, financial, etc.) as a result.
Time is of the Essence
The California statute of limitations generally requires that medical malpractice lawsuits be filed within one year from the date the plaintiff first discovers the injury, or within three years of the date of the injury, whichever occurs first. This makes prompt legal action vital if you suspect you've been a victim of medical negligence.
Non-Economic Damage Cap
It’s also essential to note that California law places a $350,000 cap (previously $250,000, but increased under the recently-passed AB 35) on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. These damages refer to subjective, non-monetary losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Why You Need a California Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice cases can be incredibly complex, involving medical knowledge, legal nuances, and the skills to negotiate or litigate effectively. Partnering with an experienced California medical malpractice attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you can secure the compensation you deserve.
We're Here to Help
If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, don't hesitate to reach out. Our dedicated team at Phillips & Associates is ready to guide you through the intricacies of California's medical malpractice law, providing support every step of the way. Remember, justice is not only about obtaining compensation for your suffering; it's also about holding medical professionals accountable for their actions and ensuring a safer healthcare environment for everyone.
Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation. We’re here to listen, offer advice, and, if necessary, advocate fiercely on your behalf. Time is critical in these cases, so don't delay. Let's work together to uphold your rights and secure the justice you deserve.