Experiencing a medical error can be a haunting experience, since we typically trust medical professionals to take care of us. While health care providers are just people who make mistakes like everyone else, their mistakes are often much more costly. If you suffered an injury or if your loved one died because of improper medical care in San Diego, California, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your suffering.
A San Diego medical malpractice lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, may be able to help you with your case. Call our team at (800) 641-8998 for a free consultation. We will listen to your concerns and advise you of your legal options, and if you choose to continue your medical malpractice case with us, we will never charge you anything unless we can obtain a financial settlement for you.
Bringing a Lawsuit for Medical Malpractice in San Diego
If a health care provider injures you or causes the death of your loved one, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for your suffering through a civil lawsuit. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient suffers an injury because of a health care provider’s professional negligence, which is also called medical negligence.
California laws define professional negligence in the circumstances of medical malpractice to be a “negligent act or omission to act by a health care provider in the rendering of professional services, which act or omission is the proximate cause of a personal injury or wrongful death.” The definition goes on to stipulate that the services must be ones that the health care provider is licensed for and are not restricted by the hospital or another licensing agency.
Although medical malpractice may make you think of a traditional doctor or a surgeon, you can sue any type of health care provider who injured you for medical malpractice. Besides doctors, other health care providers who may be responsible or share responsibility for your injury include nurses, anesthesiologists, pharmacists, chiropractors, podiatrists, physical therapists, psychologists, and the clinic, hospital, or laboratory.
The Requirement of Written Notice
A California statute, Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) § 364, requires that you give the defendant written notice of your intent to pursue legal action for medical malpractice at least 90 days before you do so. This written notice does not have to be in a particular format, but it must include three things:
- The legal basis of the claim
- The type of loss sustained
- The specific nature of the injuries suffered
After providing this written notice, you and your lawyer are free to go ahead and pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Required Steps to Prove Medical Malpractice
A successful medical malpractice lawsuit typically has three main steps:
- Show that the plaintiff was under the care of the defendant. The foundation of a medical malpractice case is that the defendant health care provider owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. Establishing that a doctor-patient relationship existed is typically the easiest part of a case, however.
- Show that the defendant failed to provide the standard of care. In order to show that professional negligence occurred, you need to prove that the health care provider in question failed to act reasonably or failed to act in the same manner that other health care professionals of a similar specialty in a similar situation would have. This typically requires the testimony of expert medical witnesses.
- Show that you suffered an injury as a result. Finally, in order to prove medical malpractice, you must have evidence that you suffered because of the defendant health care provider’s negligent actions. This injury must be directly related to their lack of care and not just a natural result of your underlying medical condition.
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, a San Diego medical malpractice lawyer and the rest of our legal team can help you fill all of California’s requirements to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit and seek the compensation you may be owed for your suffering.
For a free legal consultation with a lawyer serving San Diego, call (800) 641-8998
Recoverable Damages for Medical Malpractice in San Diego
When someone injures you through their lack of care, you deserve compensation, and you have the legal right to seek it. Economic damages you can seek refer to your direct expenses, such as:
- Medical expenses, including hospital stays, doctor’s visits, prescription costs, therapy costs, etc.
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- The cost of hiring household help or home nursing care
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
You can also pursue compensation for your non-economic damages, although California Civil Code (CIV) § 3333.2 places a $250,000 limit on what you can recover. The types of noneconomic damages this statute lists as recoverable are:
- Physical impairment
- Other non-pecuniary damage (this could include emotional distress, the loss of enjoyment of life, or the loss of consortium)
Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me (800) 641-8998
The Statute of Limitations Can Affect Your Malpractice Case
A statute of limitations is a law that gives a deadline for when you can pursue legal action after an offense. According to CCP § 340.5, the California statute of limitations for a medical malpractice case is three years after the date of the injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers (or should have discovered) the injury, whichever comes first.
In most cases, you will lose your legal right to pursue compensation if you miss this deadline set out by the statute of limitations. The time limit can vary a bit for minors, however, and there can be rare exceptions to the rule, so you should consult a San Diego medical malpractice lawyer to be sure you know your legal options and get started on your case right away.
The Team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, Is Here to Help You
Medical malpractice cases can be challenging, but the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, does not shy away from tough cases. You should not have to suffer further after an injury from its financial burden, and we are here to help you.
A San Diego medical malpractice lawyer and the rest of our team can help you by collecting evidence, reviewing your medical records, obtaining expert testimony, managing all the required paperwork and communication, and fiercely negotiating for you to receive a fair settlement. Contact us for a free consultation by calling (800) 641-8998 at any time.