If you or a loved one needs the help of medical malpractice attorneys in Los Angeles or the rest of California, don’t hesitate to contact us. Lluis Law personal injury attorneys are specialists in these types of cases. With over 40 years of experience and millions of dollars recovered we are one of the most qualified law firms.
Medical negligence is established by action or omission when a medical professional fails to meet the standard of care. It is a dangerous road aside from the accepted best care practices. Taking as a reference what another qualified professional from the same medical practice area would have done and in similar circumstances.
When a person is injured or dies as a result of medical malpractice, they have the right to be compensated. We are experienced medical malpractice attorneys in Los Angeles, ready to assist victims in the claim or lawsuit process.
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Doctors are not infallible nor can they guarantee that they will always be able to save a patient’s life or fully cure him. However, they are expected to use their special knowledge and skills in the most appropriate and sensible way.
Health professionals must always bear in mind the patient’s interest and correspond to the trust placed in them. Consequently, the doctor is expected to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend the best treatment to cure the patient.
When a patient goes to the doctor for any type of accident and work injury, he entrusts his health and life. In return, he only asks that the doctor fulfill his duty to care for and protect him, in no way harm him.
If the doctor or the hospital violates this duty of care, it commits an illegal and condemnable act. Mainly because it causes a grievance that has legal consequences of a civil or criminal nature, as the case may be.
The patient has the civil right to receive medical attention from hospitals and trained doctors. This is patented from the moment it is received and the payment of fees and other costs is agreed.
Duties of the doctor towards the patient
The jurisprudence in this sense indicates that the doctor has certain inviolable obligations to the patient. These are:
- Duty of care when deciding whether or not to carry out the medical procedure.
- Duty of care in deciding which treatment to provide.
- Duty of care when administering such treatment.
If the physician breaches any of these duties, he may be subject to negligence. This would result in the patient demanding recovery of damages from the doctor or hospital.
The damages are the payments that the patient claims and the amount will depend on the nature of the injuries caused. So if you feel you have a case, our Los Angeles medical malpractice attorneys can act.
When does medical malpractice not lead to a claim?
Not all medical malpractice cases are subject to recovery claims. If malpractice did not cause injury to the patient, compensation cannot be claimed. For medical malpractice damages to materialize, it is necessary to demonstrate that the physician’s conduct caused injury / death.
Otherwise, if the patient’s health is not affected, then there is no legal base for the claim. Regardless of whether the medical professional has engaged in a reprehensible type of negligent conduct.
In short, for a medical malpractice case to prosper, it must meet certain legal guidelines. Here are some of them:
- Cause injury to the patient; or
- Worsen the patient’s condition; or
- Cause undue and unexpected complications; or
- Need additional medical treatment.
To prove medical negligence and pursue damages, it is not enough to establish a violation of the standard of care. It is also necessary to prove that by not following the standard of care, the doctor directly caused an injury to the patient.
The standard of care refers to what another professional would commonly do to treat a patient. Although, said standard of care for a specific injury or disease is not the same for all cases.
There are a series of factors that intervene in its variation, such as the patient’s health and age. Therefore, testing medical error can be a very difficult process. The lawyer should require the assistance of other expert doctors and witnesses.
In any case, the proper advice of a Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyer is essential.
Why are medical malpractice cases so complicated?
Wrongful death cases due to medical negligence are among the most difficult to fight. It is not easy to confront hospitals or insurance companies seeking compensation. These are companies that take care of their prestige and their money, therefore, they do not usually surrender or admit their fault.
A doctor wants to take care of his reputation because his work depends on that to a great extent. Furthermore, no one wants to be treated, much less operated by someone with several deaths on their professional record. On the other hand, any medical-patient agreement for amounts greater than $ 25,000 must be reported to the Medical Board.
The doctor runs the risk of losing his license due to medical malpractice. While the institution (hospital or clinic) can be sanctioned and its reputation will be tarnished if it incurs in illegal acts.
Both will fight to protect each other and to avoid a sanction from the American Medical Association (AMA).
What is considered medical malpractice in California?
Medical malpractice causes hundreds of unfair deaths every year in the United States. In fact, it is the third leading cause of death in the country, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Surpassed only by heart conditions and cancer, medical errors are responsible for some 250,000 deaths annually. This represents about 10% of all deaths that occur in the country each year. So unacceptable cases of medical malpractice are more common than we think.
California is one of the four states with the highest number of claims for medical malpractice cases in the United States. The other states are Florida, Texas and New York, according to statistics from the National Data Bank for Practitioners .
In 2013, Forbes reported that more than $ 3 billion was spent on medical malpractice payments in 2012. The report further estimated that a medical malpractice payment was made every 43 minutes.
The concept of negligence starts from the responsibility that the doctor has with his patients. His inexcusable duty, at all times, is to care for patients and provide them with adequate and quality treatment.
When a doctor violates this principle and causes injury to the patient, the person may face a medical malpractice case. If you decide to entrust us with your case, we will put at your disposal all our experience as expert Los Angeles injury lawyers in the area.
Types of medical malpractice claims
Medical malpractice claims can be diverse. Some of the most frequent cases of claims are for:
Diagnostic error / late diagnosis
To make a claim under this category of failure, the doctor’s inability to accurately diagnose a disease, injury, or medical condition must be proven. However, there may be someone else besides the doctor, for example, a specialist or a medical provider.
A poorly prepared exam or an incorrect reading can lead to a wrong diagnosis. Failure to perform preoperative tests to detect an unsafe condition early could also be dangerous.
During surgery, too, many undesirable situations can occur. For example, leaving part of the medical instruments (tweezers, gauze and more) forgotten in the patient’s body. Even giving the patient an overdose of careless anesthesia.
Lack of warning
Both general practitioners and specialists take the Hippocratic oath. In other words, they are obliged to warn patients about the risks associated with the treatment they follow. Likewise, warn them about the proper way to carry out the treatment or procedure.
In this way, the patient decides if they want to undergo treatments and procedures that can be dangerous. The patient must have the power to know the risks that they run when consuming a medicine or undergoing surgery.
Failure to do so, the doctor is exposed to civil lawsuits for medical negligence. For this reason, patients must sign forms in hospitals when undergoing dangerous medical procedures.
Incorrect surgeries are performed based on erroneous diagnoses in hospitals and clinics. Sometimes unscrupulous doctors out of greed recommend that their patients undergo surgeries that they don’t need. They do this only by charging medical fees.
These cases can be brought to criminal justice because it is an illegal and deliberate act. The health or life of the patient can be seriously at risk when he undergoes unnecessary surgery.
The cases of incorrect treatments involve the prescription of medicines against terminal illnesses such as cancer, HIV AIDS, etc. Providing patients with delicate medications for diseases they do not have can trigger an adverse reaction.
When incorrect treatment is administered to a patient, the physician may be liable and sued for medical negligence.
Prenatal births and injuries
Some doctors make mistakes during prenatal care or birth. Such mistakes put the life of the baby and the mother at risk. To the point that sometimes one of the two suffers irreversible injuries or dies.
The National Healthcare Quality Report estimates that in the US for every 1,000 births, 6-8 birth injuries occur. In California, when the negligent conduct of a medical provider is suspected, claims for prenatal injuries can be filed.
If your child was injured during childbirth, Lluis Law’s medical malpractice lawyers are at your disposal. We can help you file a lawsuit against the responsible doctor and demand compensation for the damage caused.
When a hospital / clinic makes a mistake and causes serious injury or death to the patient, it is considered hospital negligence. In that case, the victim or his family can claim compensation for damages, through a claim or lawsuit.
Some of the common mistakes that hospitals make and constitute negligence include:
- Failure to properly monitor patients.
- Failure to properly disinfect operating rooms, emergency rooms, or medical instruments.
- Lack of personal hygiene.
- Administering incorrect doses of medications.
- Patient abuse by hospital employees.
- Inaccurate records leading to errors in patient treatment.
Wrongful death due to medical malpractice
A wrongful death due to medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider is negligent and the patient dies. Neglect is related to carelessness, inattention, inaction or the commission of an unlawful act.
Although not all wrongful death cases are caused by medical negligence. Those responsible for the damage may be: doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists or any other hospital personnel.
Compensation in medical malpractice cases in California
An important fact related to medical malpractice in the United States is the associated costs it generates. In 2013, Forbes magazine published that medical malpractice compensation payments in 2012 exceeded $ 3 billion.
Perhaps because of this and the pressure exerted by doctors, hospitals and insurance companies, a compensation cap was established. Although it may seem strange or unfair, California imposes limits on damages for medical negligence.
Claims in medical malpractice cases are limited by the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). The California Civil Code states that “In no action shall the amount of damages for non-economic losses exceed two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($ 250,000).”
In medical malpractice cases, non-financial damages or general damages can be prosecuted. Such damages include:
- Compensation for pain and suffering.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Emotional damage.
Non-economic damages are usually the most frequently pursued in medical malpractice cases, because they have no limit. While economic damages or special damages, involve specific monetary losses.
Among the economic damages we find:
- Medical bills.
- Lost wages.
- Decreased future earning capacity.
The benefits of hiring Los Angeles medical malpractice attorneys are more than obvious. Fighting powerful hospitals and medical professionals requires skill, experience, and strength. Contact us and we will surely offer you a solution and an honest promise of fair compensation.