The term “standard of care” is a crucial one in every medical malpractice claim. This term applies to the standard level of treatment that a patient must receive for their diagnosis. The medical community uses the latest clinical research and scientific findings to determine the appropriate standard of care for each known injury or illness. When a patient presents with certain symptoms and a diagnosis has been declared, their attending medical team must adhere to the applicable standard of care for the entire course of treatment.
Medical malpractice occurs whenever any medical professional’s negligence or misconduct prevents their patient from receiving the appropriate standard of care for their situation. A few of the most commonly cited types of medical malpractice include:
- Any doctor diagnosing a patient must follow appropriate procedures to deliver a timely and correct diagnosis. Failing to diagnose a patient, providing an incorrect diagnosis, or failing to diagnose a patient in a timely manner are all potential grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
- Medication errors. Doctors who prescribe medications must ensure correct medications and dosages, and they must also account for their patients’ known drug allergies and other current medications to prevent dangerous interactions. It’s possible for a prescribing doctor and/or pharmacist to face liability for an injury caused by an incorrect prescription or incorrectly filled prescription.
- Surgical errors. Any surgical procedure will involve some degree of risk, but when a surgeon is negligent and harms their patient, performs the wrong procedure on a patient, leaves surgical tools inside of a patient’s body, or otherwise fails to meet the standard of care for the operation, the victim can file a claim for medical malpractice.
- Informed consent violations. One of the most important aspects of modern medical care in the United States is informed consent, meaning a patient must be fully advised of all potential risks and benefits of a suggested course of treatment. If a medical professional proceeds with any treatment without ensuring fully informed consent from the patient and harm results, this is malpractice, and they face liability for all resulting damages.
- Birth injuries. It’s possible for an injury to occur during childbirth that causes severe lifetime complications for a newborn. A birth injury case could also pertain to injuries to the mother or both.
These are a few examples of medical malpractice cases filed in the San Bernardino area each year. If you believe you or a family member has been harmed by any type of medical malpractice, you need to find an attorney that you trust with your case as soon as possible. They will assist you in gathering the evidence needed to prove fault for your damages and help you secure compensation for those damages.
Before you can proceed with filing your medical malpractice suit, there are a few procedural steps you must complete. An experienced San Bernardino medical malpractice attorney can be an invaluable asset for this and streamline your path to recovering from your injury. First, you will need to find a medical professional who has the same board certifications as the defendant in your claim. For example, if you are filing a civil suit for medical malpractice against an orthopedic surgeon, you will need to find a similarly experienced orthopedic surgeon to act as your expert witness.
This medical professional will provide an affidavit explaining how the defendant in your case breached the standard of care that applied to your diagnosis. They will explain what they did wrong and what another medical professional would have likely done differently in the same situation. They may also explain what type of corrective treatment you will require for the harm done to you and the scope of long-term effects the incident may have.
Once you have this expert witness testimony, you must send it to the defendant along with your Notice of Intent to File Suit at least 90 days prior to the actual filing of your claim. Once the defendant receives this notice and the affidavit, they have the opportunity to respond, and at this point, your case can go one of two possible ways. Either the defendant acknowledges their liability and seeks to settle the claim, or they will deny liability, and a trial will ensue.
The main goal of your medical malpractice claim in San Bernardino is to prove that the defendant failed to meet your standard of care and caused your claimed damages. Like most other personal injury claims, a medical malpractice suit enables you to seek compensation for the economic losses you suffered from the attack. These economic damages are likely to include:
- Medical treatment costs. The defendant who injured you is liable for the cost of any corrective medical care you need after the injury. This includes both immediate and ongoing care if they inflicted a severe injury that will require future rehabilitative care.
- Lost income. If you are unable to work due to your injury, the defendant who caused the injury is responsible for the money you are unable to earn during your recovery period.
- Lost earning potential. Unfortunately, medical malpractice sometimes results in permanent disabilities that may negatively impact a victim’s ability to work and earn income. If you have been permanently disabled from the medical malpractice you experienced, a seasoned attorney can help you recover compensation for the future income you are no longer able to earn.
Once you have the right attorney to handle your case, you can explore the full scope of all the economic damages you can seek from the defendant who injured you. Additionally, you have the right to seek compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced due to the malpractice. Unfortunately, state law limits this aspect of your recovery, even if you suffered permanent harm.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton have the professional experience and resources needed to help you maximize your recovery from medical malpractice. Throughout the years of our firm’s operation, we have successfully assisted many clients in winning their medical malpractice cases. In every case we accept, we seek maximum compensation for our client in the most expedient manner possible, and we are fully prepared to address any unique complexities that your case may present.
The defendant who inflicted harm upon you through medical malpractice will not only face liability for your damages, but they may also face professional consequences. Depending on the scope and severity of their actions, a defendant could potentially lose their license to practice medicine or even face criminal charges. Every medical malpractice claim is unique, and every victim will face different challenges as they seek compensation for the harm they’ve suffered. When you choose Easton & Easton to represent your case, you will have a dedicated legal advocate readily available to help with every stage of your claim until you recover as fully as the law allows.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Suit?
A: If you plan to pursue a medical malpractice claim in California, you must meet the statute of limitations. This is a time limit for your case, and it begins on the date your injury occurred and extends for two years. However, some issues may toll or delay the start of the statute of limitations. If your injury was not immediately noticeable or if the defendant took steps to conceal their malpractice, the statute of limitations would begin the day you discovered the harm done to you.
Q: How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice in San Bernardino?
A: Success with any medical malpractice suit generally requires expert witness testimony from a medical professional who has the same or greater medical board certifications as the defendant. This individual must explain how the defendant breached the standard of care for your situation and what another reasonable and competent medical professional likely would have done in the same situation.
Q: How Much Is My Medical Malpractice Claim Worth?
A: While a medical malpractice case is technically a type of personal injury claim, state law limits some aspects of plaintiff recovery in medical malpractice. You will be able to recover full compensation for any economic losses you suffered, but your pain and suffering recompense is limited. A newly passed law has increased the cap on pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cases, and this cap will increase each year. Your San Bernardino medical malpractice attorney can help maximize the pain and suffering recompense you win from the defendant as much as state law allows.
Q: What Happens if Medical Malpractice Causes a Fatal Injury?
A: Unfortunately, medical errors are a top-reported cause of accidental deaths throughout the country each year. When a patient dies due to medical negligence, their family can pursue a wrongful death suit under the state’s medical malpractice law. While similar to a personal injury claim, a medical malpractice case focuses on the damages suffered by the victim’s family, and there are special rules concerning who may file these claims and the damages available.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a San Bernardino Medical Malpractice Attorney?
A: It’s understandable to worry about the potential cost of legal counsel when you are already struggling with the financial impact of your injury. Easton & Easton can provide the representation you need without adding to your economic concerns, thanks to our contingency fee policy. We take a percentage of the total compensation secured for you as our fee, but only if and when we win your case. If we are unable to secure a case award for you, you pay no fee at all.
Ultimately, while a medical malpractice case is a type of personal injury case, there are several special rules you must understand for this sort of claim, and it is vital to acknowledge the fact that you have a much greater chance of success with an experienced San Bernardino medical malpractice attorney representing you. The team at Easton & Easton has years of professional experience helping our clients overcome all types of complex injuries, including those arising from medical malpractice of all kinds. If you believe you can file a claim for medical malpractice in San Bernardino, we can help. Contact Easton & Easton today to schedule your case evaluation with our team.