Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury suit that involves a doctor or medical professional who negligently does something to cause an injury to their patient. It can happen frequently, and is a result of someone deviating from the standard care of treatment is; that deviation ends in the patient either being hurt – or in some instances, killed. A physician can be negligent by either doing something that causes harm to someone, or failing to do something that directly ends with someone being harmed.
When you are the victim of medical malpractice in Santa Ana, it is imperative that you hire an attorney who specializes in the complexity of proving your medical malpractice claim. There are things that will help to win or to lose your case, and only an experienced professional will know the difference and how to guide you to get the compensation you deserve.
Statute of limitations
In the state of California, there are time limits that you have to file for medical malpractice. If you don’t file within that timeframe, you might not have a case at all. The law stipulates that you have up to one year to file a malpractice suit. If there is a reason why you could not have known about your injuries – in other words, if there was a delayed discovery – then you might have up to three years from the date of the injury. But if you are a victim, it is important to file suit as soon as possible to ensure that you don’t miss the time limit you have.
Are there medical malpractice caps in California?
California does have a cap on how much someone is entitled to collect in a medical malpractice suit. The patient is allowed to sue for both economic and noneconomic damages related to the claim, but the total amount they can recover for noneconomic damages is capped at $250,000. Economic damages for malpractice are things like medical bills and lost wages, while noneconomic damages include factors like loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
For some, the hardships and harm of medical malpractice can far exceed the medical malpractice cap, which for some plaintiffs feels completely unfair. The cap was put into action due to the high jury amounts awarded in malpractice cases and how they were affecting the healthcare system and economy as a whole.
As the figures of awards continued to climb, so did the rates of malpractice insurance – and the amount that patients were paying for their medical insurance premiums. Although it seems unfair, the cap was put into place so that there wasn’t a crash of the medical system, where no one could afford to gain access or to administer healthcare.
What do you need to prove a medical malpractice suit?
If you want to prove your medical malpractice case in Santa Ana, you have to prove four components:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
- Proximate cause
First, you must prove that the physician had a relationship with you where they had an obligation of duty. If a relationship can be established, then you have to prove that the duty of care was breached. Breaching the standard of care can mean that the doctor either did something to cause your injury, or that their failure to administer care caused you to be injured.
If you can prove that the doctor did something wrong or didn’t take action when they should have, then you can prove breach of duty.
The third thing you must prove is that the breach of duty is directly related to you being injured. And finally, you must prove that the damages were realized and real.
If you are injured by a physician in the Santa Ana area, it is important that you file a claim immediately. The first step you should take is to hire a Santa Ana medical malpractice specialist who understands the specifics of a malpractice lawsuit. Since you have to know about issues like the four necessary elements of proof and the statutes of limitation, hiring a good medical malpractice lawyer might make the difference between getting compensated for your injuries or being out of luck.