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California Medical Malpractice
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By Heidi Turner
California medical malpractice claims are made against doctors or other healthcare professionals or organizations whose standard of care fails to meet an acceptable level. When the standard of care falls and a patient suffers harm as a result, a California medical malpractice lawsuit may be filed against the doctor, health care provider, or institution, whose actions caused the harm. Included in medical malpractice claims are claims of medical negligence.
Medical negligence involves any situation where a healthcare professional conducts his or her job duties in a way that fails to meet an accepted medical standard of care. It is not enough that the healthcare professional makes a simple error or that the patient is unhappy with the treatment provided. To be medical malpractice, the healthcare provider must have acted in a way that a reasonable, competent professional would not have acted.
California Medical Malpractice Claims
Patients who wish to make a medical malpractice claim must show:
Patients will likely be required to provide medical reports and diagnoses, testimony from experts, medical files and other related documents, and physical evidence to support their medical malpractice claims.
California has important laws that govern medical malpractice claims:
California Medical Malpractice Laws
Under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) California has as $250,000 cap on non-economic damages, including pain, suffering, and physical impairment. There is no limit to economic damages, including medical costs and lost wages. There is also no limit for punitive damages.
California also follows pure comparative negligence rules, meaning if the patient is found to be partially responsible for the injury or medical condition, the amount awarded will be adjusted. For example, on an award of $100,000, if the patient is found 50 percent responsible for the injury, the damages are reduced to $50,000.
In California medical malpractice, the statute of limitations—the time limit on when a lawsuit must be filed—is combined into one deadline. That deadline means that medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed no more than three years after the date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers or should have reasonably discovered, the injury.
MICRA sections 364-365, state plaintiffs must inform defendants about their intention to file a medical malpractice lawsuit at least 90 days prior to filing the lawsuit.
California Medical Malpractice Legal HelpIf you or a loved one has suffered similar damages or injuries, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
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