Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice: Defined

Medical malpractice is when a doctor or other medical or health care professional, through omission or a negligent act, causes substantial injury to a patient. Negligence, in this case, means deviation from norms and standards of practice of their profession, leading to misdiagnosis or substandard treatment and health management.

Patients who suffer injury due to medical negligence in California should know how to handle seeking justice and, more importantly, compensation. When medical malpractice occurs, victims in San Diego have a right to file a lawsuit to seek compensation. Under California law, a successful lawsuit requires adequate proof of the following:

  • Negligence occurred due to deviation from norms and standards of care
  • A professional relationship existed between the doctor and the patient
  • The health care services offered were under the expected standard that other care providers would provide under similar circumstances.

Due to the complexity of these cases, it is best to seek the help of an experienced San Diego medical malpractice attorney like Elliott Kanter, who understands medical malpractice laws in California.

Time Limits

California has a statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice lawsuits. Victims of medical negligence must file a lawsuit within one year after discovering the injury or within three years from the date the injury occurred. This simply means that a person who does not discover their injury within the first three years of the malpractice may not be able to file a medical malpractice claim.

In addition, California laws demand that the plaintiff gives the potential defendant a 90 days notice before launching a claim. However, this exception does not apply when the case concerns young children. If the patient is six years or younger, the medical malpractice claim must be launched within three years or before the victim turns eight years.

Damages Available

Rectifying medical negligence damages can include compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and reduced quality of life. Someone injured by medical malpractice can recover compensation for various damages, including the cost of medication, time lost from work, emotional loss, loss of future earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. They can also recover punitive damages, often meant to punish the party that acted negligently.

The Elements to Build a Successful Medical Malpractice Claim

For patients to build a successful medical malpractice claim, they must provide substantial evidence that their practitioner was negligent. Failure to deliver appropriate health care is the foundation of all valid cases in California. Additionally, certain elements must exist to prove medical negligence, including duty or breach of duty, causation, and damage.

Medical malpractice lawsuits are essential for ensuring patients can recover and resume their “normal” lives. If you believe you or a loved one were victims of medical negligence but are unsure how to prove these elements, contact the Law Office of Elliott Kanter for help. You can also give us a call at (619) 231-1883 to speak to our lead San Diego medical malpractice attorney, Elliott Kanter.

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