Has Medical Negligence Harm You or a Loved One?
Los Angeles Medical Malpractice Attorneys Explain Medical Injury Claims
During a medical procedure, you have the right to trust that your medical care provider will do whatever it takes to keep you safe. Medical professionals should follow all industry regulations and act according to the highest standard of care. When they do not adhere to the standard of care, they may have committed medical malpractice. Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare provider does not follow the rules and regulations causing a patient great harm or even death. If you have been injured because of a doctor or hospital’s negligence, then you may be entitled to recover damages for your harm. These cases are always complex and require an attorney with experience investigating and litigating medical injury claims.
If you believe that you or a loved one are a victim of medical negligence, also commonly referred to as “medical malpractice”, then contact the Los Angeles medical malpractice attorneys at Ramey Law P.C. We can provide effective representation of your claim against the healthcare provider that caused injuries to you or your loved one. Our attorneys have years of experience with injury claims against doctors and hospitals; we can put that experience to work for you. However, every case is different, so contact us for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for California Medical Malpractice Claims?
After an accident, you may only have a certain amount of time in which to file a claim against the liable party. This time limit depends on your state’s statute of limitations. If you are in a car accident or sustain a slip and fall injury in California, then you generally have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. However, in California, a medical malpractice victim’s rights are different.
After a medical injury, you must file a lawsuit within one year from the date you discovered the negligent act of the healthcare provider, but no more than three years from the date of injury. This can place serious limitations on your ability to file a medical malpractice claim. However, for cases where the healthcare provider leaves a foreign object inside the human body after surgery, the statute is tolled until the victim discovers or should have discovered the injury.
If an ordinary personal injury case involves a minor, the minor usually has two years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit. However, the law is more restrictive when a healthcare provider causes the injuries and the parents or guardians of the minor must move much more quickly. In medical malpractice cases involving a minor, you must file the lawsuit within three years from the date of the negligent act, unless the child is under the age of six. In this case, the action must be commenced within three years or prior to the child’s eighth birthday, whichever provides the longer time period.
Is a Hospital Liable for Medical Malpractice?
California law allows a victim of medical malpractice to hold a hospital liable for the acts of a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider if they are an agent or employee of the hospital. When a hospital presents a physician as an employee, then a patient may reasonably assume that the physician is an employee of the hospital without making an inquiry on the subject. It is the job of the hospital’s management and board to ensure that they are providing the best standard of care. If the level of care you or a loved one receives does not meet industry standards for proper care, then the hospital may be responsible.
However, many physicians and medical specialists who work at hospitals may be independent contractors. In some cases, this may allow a hospital to deny liability for your medical injury. Instead, the individual healthcare provider may be responsible for compensating you for your losses.
To establish a claim for medical malpractice, a medical expert usually must provide expert testimony to demonstrate the negligence of that healthcare provider. While it is not required to have an expert review a case prior to filing a lawsuit, we believe it is good practice. Therefore, we always work with medical experts to determine the validity of a claim prior to filing a lawsuit
What Are Damage Caps and Statutory Caps in Medical Malpractice Claims?
Unfortunately, regardless of the severity of the injury, California places a monetary cap on non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases. This means that there is a limit to the amount of compensation you can receive for a medical injury. Non-economic damages, such as compensation for pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and other non-pecuniary injury, may not exceed $250,000 per claim. The cap applies whether the case is for injury or even wrongful death.
However, while there are damages caps on the non-economic injuries you have suffered, there are no caps in California for your economic losses. An injury due to medical negligence often comes with a lifetime of required medical care and treatment. It may also mean that you or your injured loved one can no longer work and support your family. In California, you are entitled to receive complete compensation for all your economic losses. Therefore, it is imperative you contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney to help you leverage your claim.
The Los Angeles medical malpractice attorneys at Ramey Law P.C. handle these cases despite these limitations. We want to make sure you get the compensation you deserve for the harm caused by a healthcare provider’s negligence.
Questions? Call Our Los Angeles Medical Malpractice Attorneys Now
In California, because of the complexity of the law, it is imperative to hire an attorney with experience to help you and your family after an injury or death caused by medical malpractice. Due to the strict timelines for filing a lawsuit, it is also highly important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Swift action helps ensure that your claim is timely. Contact us today to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.