Los Angeles Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Medical malpractice is an extremely serious matter in California. Sadly, it happens more often than most people know. Throughout the United States, around 250,000 people die each year because of medical mistakes. This is the third leading cause of death, topped only by heart disease and cancer. If you have questions or think you may have a potential claim, call The Lombardo Law Firm now to talk with a plaintiff medical malpractice attorney: (909) 482-0384. We’re available to help 24 hours a day.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is a broad term. Essentially, it means that a medical professional was involved in professional misconduct. This isn’t limited to just doctors or nurses. Nursing aides, surgical techs, pharmacists, medicine aides, anesthesiologists, and others who work in the field who are tasked in some way with seeing to the well-being of patients. Entire hospitals, medical clinics, and medical offices may also be found guilty as a whole. It’s important for you to have that information as you learn about the most common types of medical malpractice that take place:
- Misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis is malpractice if it prevents the patient from receiving the right treatment. However, it is important to know that one of the factors considered is whether the medical professional in question followed the current best practices in their field. Generally, this is something that qualified expert witnesses must be called in to review and possibly testify about if a case goes to trial.
- Delayed diagnosis. This is similar to misdiagnosis because while one or more initial findings are wrong, eventually the medical professional makes the correct diagnosis. Yet, the delay can cause the patient’s issue to get worse because the patient isn’t able to receive proper care during that time.
- Failure to provide proper medical treatment to the patient. This is another claim where current best practices in the medical industry will be reviewed. When this happens, the patient is given the proper diagnosis, but the medical professional fails to provide the right treatment. This often happens because the medical professional or facility is more concerned about their profits than they are the well-being of the patient. Examples of this include releasing the patient before they should, not providing follow-up care, and not providing a proper referral to the patient.
- Surgical errors. This is a broad category of medical malpractice. It could be an incorrect procedure, an unnecessary procedure, damaging organs or nerves during a procedure, giving the wrong type or amount of anesthesia, the use of surgical instruments that weren’t properly sterilized, surgical instruments or medical equipment (like sponges) left inside of the body, and not providing adequate post-procedure care. Even if you’re asked to sign an acknowledgement that procedures are risky and that you may have complications, you may still have the right to sue.
- Birth injuries. Birth injuries may occur to the mother or the baby before or during labor. These injuries can cause a lifetime of permanent problems of even death. The most common types of birth injury includes failure to perform an emergency c-section, hypoxia to the baby, improper care of a mother with preeclampsia, cerebral palsy, and forceps or vacuum injuries.
- Medical products liability. How many commercials have you watched that informed you that patients have been hurt by certain medications or medical devices? Professional devices and pharmaceutical medications are not always safe. This is a form of medical malpractice.
What Is the Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations?
In California, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is within one year of the date the plaintiff discovers, through the use of reasonable diligence, discovers their injury or within three years of the date of the injury, whichever comes first. Essentially, once you discover that you’ve been hurt because of a medical professional, you have one year to file your claim. If you don’t learn this until after three years, you do not have the right to file a claim unless you meet the exception of the problem being a foreign object was left inside of your body. To learn more, call The Lombardo Law Firm at (909) 482-0384. We provide free case reviews to individuals who believe that they may have a medical malpractice claim.
How Is Fault Determined in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?
A medical malpractice lawyer can help you determine if you have a claim. If you do, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Because medical negligence must involve fault, these cases can be complex. Your legal team must be able to show that:
- The medical provider owed a duty to you. This is generally the easiest thing to prove because of the relationship you had as a patient with the medical provider. Remember, this doesn’t have to be a doctor. It is someone in the medical profession who was tasked with caring for you in some way.
- The medical provider did not adhere to the standard level of care. Generally, proving this involves bringing in expert witnesses who understand and can testify to what the standard level of care is in that specific specialty. For example, if you’re saying that a birth injury occurred, the standard level of care would be discussed by an expert in obstetrics. If you’re saying that a misdiagnosis occurred, you may need an expert in the initial specialty and the specialty area that houses your correct diagnosis.
- That the breach of duty owed to you was breached and failure to adhere to the standard level of care caused you to be injured. You must be able to prove that you have a direct injury from what happened.
Why It Is Important to Choose an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer
As you’ve learned, these sorts of claims are both extremely serious and complicated. It’s important to choose an experienced medical malpractice lawyer so that you have the best possible chance at receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries. To learn more about medical malpractice, call The Lombardo Law Firm now to schedule your free consultation: (909) 482-0384.