What is Medical Malpractice?
We entrust our lives and our well-being to healthcare professionals. Indeed, we entrust doctors and physicians with the care of our loved ones, too. We do this because we know they must uphold a certain standard of care. First, do no harm. If that duty of care is ever breached, there would be harsh consequences for their patients.
In cases where doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals did not meet the standards of care and this resulted in you or a loved one being harmed, you may have the makings of a successful medical malpractice lawsuit.
To make a strong case, you must first establish a few key facts. Was there a doctor/patient relationship? If so, then a medical professional owes you a duty of care. Can you prove that the medical professional was negligent or reckless while performing their duty of care? Did this negligence directly result in an injury, illness, or wrongful death? If you can answer in the affirmative, you can seek compensation with the help of a personal injury lawyer.
What Are Common Examples of Medical Malpractice Cases?
If a medical caregiver fails to provide safe health care as a result of personal negligence or recklessness, this is likely a case of medical malpractice. That said, here are a number of specific examples of medical malpractice cases to help elaborate upon the concept:
- Administering the incorrect dosage of medication.
- Anesthesia errors.
- Discharging patients prematurely.
- Disregarding patient history, including ignoring patient allergies.
- Failure to order proper laboratory tests and x-rays.
- Ignoring lab results and blood tests.
- Improperly setting a fracture.
- Inattentive follow-up care.
- Injuries to the child or its mother caused during the delivery of the baby.
- Knowingly using defective medical equipment during surgery.
- Misdiagnosis of an ailment or the failure to diagnose.
- Misreading an X-ray image.
- Performing medically unnecessary surgeries.
- Prescribing the wrong (and potentially dangerous) medications.
- Surgical errors, including performing surgical procedures on the wrong body parts.
These errors in medical care can result in catastrophic injury, illness, or even wrongful death. If you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, you must speak with a lawyer quickly. If you delay, you may lose your chance to file a claim because of California’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in California?
The statute of limitations is the period in which a plaintiff may bring a case against the accused, seeking damages for past wrongdoings. Every state has slightly different rules regarding the statute of limitations for personal injury cases. And medical malpractice cases are often held to different standards than other cases involving injury, illness, or wrongful death.
California’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is complicated. It could be three years or it could be one.
If you discover that a medical professional’s negligence has harmed you, the clock begins ticking once you discover the harm caused. After discovering the damage done, you have a one-year window to file a medical malpractice claim. However, suppose doctors and defense lawyers argue that the patient should have discovered the injury earlier. In that case, the clock may begin when the victim should have detected the injury.
Or, you may file a claim if you discover harm caused by negligence within three years of the medical treatment. But once the harm is discovered, you have one year. You may not have a case if no harm is found within three years, except in rare circumstances.
Compensation could come in the form of economic and non-economic damages like medical bills, lost wages, lost future income, pain and suffering, lost quality of life, and mental anguish.
Victims who fail to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations has expired will most likely miss their chance to recover compensation, so don’t delay. If you have any questions, please contact a lawyer.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
There are exceptions to the rule, however.
You may be awarded additional time to file a claim if you can prove any of the following:
- Fraud. If a medical provider attempts to cover up their mistakes, this could be an example of fraud. Proof of fraud could extend the statute of limitations to allow a victim the chance to file a claim.
- Intentional concealment of negligence. If a medical provider knowingly and purposely misled a patient, they could be held accountable financially. Should this deliberate concealment be discovered later, the victim may be granted additional time to file a claim.
- Presence of a foreign object. Mistakes happen in surgery. But if something was accidentally left behind inside the human body, then that’s an unforgivable error. If foreign objects like needles or gauze are discovered, the victim will have extra time to file a claim.
Different rules also apply to minors. To learn more, please contact our law firm to discuss your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation with The Paris Firm Today!
If you’ve been harmed by the negligent actions of a medical care provider, you deserve the chance to make things right by filing a lawsuit. However, you only have a limited time to file your claim, so don’t delay. For assistance building your case and filing a lawsuit, please contact The Paris Firm in Chino Hills, California. Our experienced legal team would be proud to serve you in pursuit of financial compensation.
Please contact our law firm at 909-325-6185 to schedule a free case evaluation.