Kaiser Permanente does great things—it provides affordable healthcare to millions of people in California. In fact, it is the largest health maintenance organization (HMO) in California, providing coverage to approximately one out every four California residents. Chances are, you might be one of those people who trust Kaiser with their health. But sometimes, Kaiser makes decisions based on financial concerns rather than a concern for your health. This sometimes results in errors with dangerous or even lethal consequences. You need a lawyer who can stand up for your rights and who is experienced in dealing with the Kaiser Permanente mediation process.
Get experience on your side. Call the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
WITH KAISER, YOUR ONLY OPTION IS ARBITRATION WITH AN ATTORNEY BY YOUR SIDE
If something does go wrong in your medical care at Kaiser, and you feel it was caused by negligent behavior, you don’t have the option to file a lawsuit. Your only course of action to receive a settlement is to resort to the Kaiser medical malpractice arbitration system. When you joined Kaiser, you were required to effectively give up your right to file medical malpractice against any Kaiser doctor, hospital, medical facility, or staff. (Yes, this is located in the thick newcomer’s book you received when you joined. You read it, right?) However, you probably only became aware of this when you considered filing a medical malpractice claim. This decision, made in the case of Madden v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals 17 Cal. 3d 699. was upheld in the Supreme Court of California on August 10, 1975.
Defining Medical Malpractice
Major medical mistakes are not uncommon. When these mistakes occur, the results can be devastating. You could suffer from birth or brain injuries, or remain unaware of a serious health condition such as cancer. If you have been harmed by a medical professional, you have the right to be compensated for your injury. In California, any medical professional – doctors, dentists, nurses, technicians – can be liable for the damage and injuries caused by medical malpractice.
Being unhappy with the care you received is not enough to sue for medical malpractice. Sometimes even when you receive poor treatment from a medical professional, it might not be medical malpractice. In order to sue for medical malpractice in California, the medical professional must have deviated from an acceptable standard of care and as a result, the patient was injured. In other words, there are certain rules for how patients are supposed to be treated by their doctors and other medical professionals. Medical malpractice occurs when someone breaks those rules.
Common types of medical malpractice claims include:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Surgical error
- Medication or prescription error
- Anesthesia miscalculations
- Lack of informed consent
How Do Kaiser Cases Differ From Other Medical Malpractice Claims?
If you or a member of your family has been injured at Kaiser, speak with a lawyer right away. Although you would normally be permitted to file a lawsuit against the medical professionals who acted negligently, if you are dealing with Kaiser, you will only be able to go through arbitration.
Your case will involve analysis of medical records, hospital reports, and the opinions of medical experts. Your lawyer needs to know about medicine, the standard procedures for medical professionals, and the ins and outs of medical malpractice laws. But when you are dealing with Kaiser, it is incredibly important you hire an attorney who has experience with this specific kind of case. A medical malpractice case against Kaiser is very different from all other medical malpractice cases in California, so speak to a medical malpractice attorney who a track record of success in this niche field.
How The Kaiser Medical Malpractice Arbitration System Works
Did you know that Kaiser members are prohibited from filing a lawsuit in civil court?
Instead of going to court, Kaiser utilizes an arbitration system. First of all, the attorney for Kaiser and the attorney for the plaintiff are given a list of arbitrators to choose from. They are supposed to be impartial, although you do have to consider that the arbitrators are approved by the Kaiser Family Foundation, so whether they are truly impartial is questionable. The arbitrators are usually retired judges and lawyers who decide the case based upon their interpretation of the law with the evidence presented by both parties. The decisions of the neutral arbitrator are final, legally binding, and enforceable in court. The decisions, with rare exceptions, cannot be challenged or changed. If you do not like the decision that was issued, there is no right of appeal in a Kaiser arbitration. Why does this system exist? Kaiser likes this system because traditionally, arbitrators award smaller settlements than what would have been awarded by a trial jury. But most importantly, once a verdict is made, there are no appeals.
Because of the limited amount of time to file (statute of limitations) in California, it is essential to contact expert legal counsel when you have experienced any medical negligence. The arbitration system at Kaiser can be rigorous and harsh. In order to prove and show that Kaiser was guilty of negligence, you will need the best medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your case and determine the best strategy to move forward. Mr. Elliott N. Kanter has 30+ years of experience as an attorney. Please fill out the confidential form or call our office today at 619-304-3424 for a free consultation.
Seek Representation From An Attorney With Experience Dealing With Kaiser
The team at the Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter have had numerous successes in representing clients in arbitration against Kaiser. You want a lawyer who has experience navigating this administrative process with its own unique rules and regulations. By all means, please don’t trust an inexperienced lawyer with your case. They might not know the ins and outs of dealing with Kaiser the way we do. Remember, you only have one chance to get this right. Kaiser has already done you harm. Make sure you get the compensation that you deserve.
Contact Us Today For A Free Consultation
Our attorneys have experience in a number of practice areas, including wrongful death, medical malpractice, elder abuse, and defective consumer products. Please call the Offices of Elliott N. Kanter in southern California at 619-304-3424 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Tell our San Diego County attorneys your story, give us the details, and we’ll provide you with legal advice and let you know how we can help you. The sooner you call or email our law firm, the more effective our case will be.