Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional or a doctor whose standards fall below the appropriate standard of care results in hurting a patient. Actions ranging from improper diagnosis of cancer to making improper incisions during surgery leading to unexpected permanent disability can result in a malpractice lawsuit.
These are a few common types of medical malpractice claims:
- Surgical errors
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
- Birth injury
- Pharmaceutical errors
Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding communities.
Establishing Liability in a Medical Malpractice Case
Plaintiffs suing for medical malpractice will need to prove the following:
- Existence of a doctor patient relationship
- Failure on part of the doctor to meet appropriate standard of care that similar professionals would have exercised in the causation, situation, and actual damages
Doctor’s specialty and the illness at issue will determine the precise standard of care that should have been followed by the doctor. Plaintiffs can find proving actual and proximate causation in medical malpractice lawsuits challenging since a patient would only visit the doctor when they are already injured or sick.
A patient would need to prove that there is a high degree of likelihood that the doctor’s failure to meet proper standards of care is what caused the harm.
Challenges Faced in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Doctor or plaintiff may present the findings of the panel to the court during the proceedings of a medical malpractice lawsuit. The court’s decision about permitting a medical malpractice to proceed can be affected by the findings of a pre-suit panel. This is possible even when the findings of the pre-suit panel are not a substitute for a lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations: The statute of limitations in some states can complicate matters. This is because the period can either start from the date the doctor begins acting negligently or when the patient should have reasonable discovered the injuries. In addition, patients are required to give the doctor due notice before filing the claim in certain states.
Expert Testimony: The outcome of majority of medical malpractice lawsuit hangs on expert testimony. Every state has different rules regarding the qualifications required for someone to be deemed an expert in the field in regards to medical malpractice. Generally, experts are people with considerable experience in the specialty field under discussion.
Caps on Damages: There can be state caps on the amount of medical malpractice damages that a plaintiff can demand even if they prove their case. Majority of states have enacted tort reform laws as a form of medical malpractice cap. This cap is usually for noneconomic damages rather than economic ones.
This means the plaintiff can recover their lost income and medical bills but cannot recover more than a certain amount in terms of loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment, or pain and suffering. However, there is an umbrella cap on some states in regards to overall medical malpractice damages.
Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.
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For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here.
SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells), CA; Indian Wells, CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; New Jersey, NJ; and New York, NY.
DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.