Under California law, a health care provider (doctor, nurse, chiropractor, etc.) is negligent if he/she fails to use the level of skill, knowledge, and care in the diagnosis and treatment of a patient that other reasonably careful medical professionals would use in the same or similar circumstances. This level of skill, knowledge, and care is sometimes referred to as ”the standard of care.” Quite often, the parties to a medical malpractice case will disagree as to what the standard of care required a Defendant provider to do in a particular setting. If such a malpractice suit goes to trial, the judge or jury must determine the level of skill, knowledge, and care that other reasonably careful health care professionals would use in the same or similar circumstances, based on the testimony of the competing expert witnesses. For this reason the outcome of a medical malpractice case is often difficult to predict, and it is very important to have an experienced attorney on your side.
EXAMPLES OF MEDICAL NEGLECT
- Botched surgery
- Failing to diagnose a serious medical condition
- Failing to appropriately treat a serious condition
- Neglecting to refer a patient to a specialist
It should be kept in mind that not every bad outcome is evidence of bad medicine. Sometimes the outcome of a particular medical treatment or surgery cannot be avoided even in the best of hands. What is important is whether the health care professional acted reasonably under the circumstances and whether, to a “reasonable medical probability”, the outcome would have been better had the provider complied with the standard of care.
WHEN YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAS BEEN INJURED BY MEDICAL NEGLECT
While this area of the law generally needs little explanation, the complications of any accident can be overwhelming for those without the necessary litigation and trial experience. Every person in Orange County, or anywhere else in California for that matter, who is behind the wheel must use reasonable care in operating their vehicle. Drivers must keep a lookout for pedestrians, bicycles, obstacles, and other vehicles in order to avoid accidents. They must also reasonably control the speed and movement of their cars, trucks, and motorcycles on the road. The failure to use reasonable care while operating a vehicle is negligence.
Once injured in a serious auto collision, it is likely that you are going to need a knowledgeable lawyer who can help you receive the maximum recovery, whether it is by way of settlement, arbitration or trial. You only get one chance to obtain justice for the injuries and damages you sustain so it is important to choose your attorney carefully. If you are in need of expert help with your case, please call us at 714-919-4415. Attorney Paul Ralph will personally meet with you, and your initial consultation is complimentary.
THE MEDICAL INJURY COMPENSATION REFORM ACT
Cases of medical neglect here in California are governed by the rules of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) which has been the law in this State for more than 35 years. In general, MICRA sets certain limitations on the nature and amount of damages that can be recovered from a health care provider. For example, general damages (those awarded for pain and suffering) are limited to $250,000.00. Under the MICRA legislation, the statute of limitations for bringing a medical malpractice case is greatly reduced when compared to other personal injury lawsuits.