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Medical Malpractice FAQs

1. What exactly constitutes a medical negligence claim or a medical malpractice case in the state of California?

In order for you to prevail in a California medical malpractice lawsuit in the state of California, you must prove that the medical injury you suffered was as the result of the negligence of some doctor, hospital, or other medical care provider. You must also prove that such medical or health care provider owed you a duty of care and that they breached their duty to you, thereby causing you harm. It must be proven that their level of care to you fell below the acceptable standard of care in the medical community, and that you suffered damage as a result.

2. Can I only sue my doctor for my injuries caused by medical negligence?

No. California medical malpractice claims may be made against any medical provider including, but not limited to, physicians, surgeons, nurses, hospitals, chiropractors, pharmacists, pharmacies, physical therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, pathologists, lab technicians, and laboratories, dentists, and dental assistants, among many others. In short, any health care provider or health care facility may be a defendant in a medical malpractice law suit.

3. In a California medical negligence case, what damages can I recover in my medical malpractice lawsuit?

In terms of monetary recovery, a California medical malpractice case is like any other California personal injury case, in that the Plaintiff may recover “special” damages and “general” damages. Special damages refer to all out of pocket expenses incurred (or to be incurred) as a result of the medical negligence. Such special damages include, but are not limited to medical treatment costs, surgery, therapy, prescriptions, etc, as well as lost wages and loss of future earnings. General damages refer to non-economic damages for such things as pain and suffering, depression, loss of normal activities, lifestyle changes, scarring and disfigurement, embarrassment, etc.

4. How do I prove that I have been injured through medical negligence?

Your attorney must show through evidence that your medical care provider(s) injured you by treatment of you which fell below the acceptable level of standard of care. Medical expert witnesses must be hired to testify on the issues of standard of care and the defendant medical care provider’s breach thereof. Your economic and non-economic damages must also be proven. The cost of litigation and expert witnesses may be very high. If we believe you have a very strong case, and that your damages are significant, we may bear the cost of those expenses until such time as your case is resolved.

5. How much money will I receive if I win my medical malpractice case?

Now, there’s a tough question. Every single case is different. The combinations of injuries and economic loss are innumerable. However, one thing is for certain. The California legislature has limited a plaintiff’s non-economic damage recovery to only $250,000.00. That is to say, that is the maximum obtainable for the pain and suffering element of a California medical malpractice claim. On the other hand, there is no statutory limit to the economic damages that you may recover through your medical negligence lawsuit.

6. What if the medical malpractice results in the death of someone?

A dependent, such as the wife or child of the deceased, may be entitled to the loss of wages and loss of support previously provided by the deceased . The family is also entitled to recover funeral expenses and medical expenses that occurred. It may not be economically feasible for a non-dependent relative to pursue a medical malpractice claim.

7. I’m not sure if I have a medical negligence case or not. What should I do?

Don’t wonder. Ask us! That is what we are here for. We will listen to all of your circumstances and help you to analyze your situation. We don’t expect you to be the expert. Our attorneys and staff members are very courteous and understanding. We will help you make important decisions. Remember, your initial consultation is absolutely free, and you are under no obligation to hire us. We look forward to speaking with you!