Medical Malpractice: Should I Sue My Doctor in California?
When a person goes to a doctor or physician for medical treatment, they expect to receive top-quality care. Unfortunately, not all healthcare professionals live up to that standard, and if a patient is injured by their doctor or physician, they may have a claim for medical malpractice in California. With that said, you may ask yourself: Should I sue my doctor in California? Understanding medical malpractice in California will give you insight into that answer. But also will speaking with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
If you or a loved one has been hurt by a doctor or physician in the Pasadena area, the experienced lawyers at the Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case.
What is Medical Malpractice in California?
Also known as professional negligence, medical malpractice is defined in California as a negligent act or omission by a healthcare provider in the rendering of their professional services, which causes personal injury or wrongful death. A medical professional can be held liable for malpractice if they fail to meet the standard of care expected for patients, which can also be described as the skill, knowledge, and care that a practitioner in the same situation would normally use. Many types of medical professionals can be held accountable with a medical malpractice claim, including doctors, physicians, chiropractors, nurses, anesthesiologists, psychologists, physical therapists, pharmacists, hospitals, clinics, and laboratories.
When Can I File a Case?
California has strict limits on when a case can be filed against a healthcare professional for medical malpractice. If the injury is inflicted on an adult, they have three years from the date of the injury to file a claim, or one year from the date the injury is discovered or should have been discovered. A common example of this is when a surgeon leaves an instrument inside the body that is not discovered for a number of years. If the injury is inflicted on a minor, the window to file a case is the later of three years from the date of the injury or the child’s 8th birthday if they were hurt before their 6th birthday. Known as the statute of limitations, if a case is not filed in this window, the court has the right to throw it out and bar an injured victim from recovery.
Compensation for Medical Malpractice Claims
Victims injured in a medical malpractice case are entitled to economic and noneconomic damages under California law. Economic damages are uncapped and include all additional medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of future income and benefits. Noneconomic damages are capped under state law at $250,000 and includes compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering, inconvenience, scarring, disfigurement, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life. To learn more about what your case might be worth, get in touch with our office today.
An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in California Can Help
If you or a loved one has been hurt by a doctor, physician, or other healthcare professional you are not alone. Call the office or contact us today in Pasadena at the Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz to schedule a consultation of your case.