Medical Mistakes And Your Rights As A Victim

When medical professionals make mistakes, innocent patients can suffer significant physical and financial harm. You should not have to suffer the aftermath of any type of medical malpractice alone; you can take steps to protect your rights and interests. At the Law Offices of Neil M. Howard, we offer California patients who suffered because of medical mistakes and negligence compassionate guidance and experienced legal representation.

Call our office in El Segundo at 424-259-4807 for a free legal consultation.

The Importance Of Taking Quick Action

There are statutory deadlines to file medical malpractice claims in California, commonly referred to as the statute of limitations. These deadlines are unique to medical malpractice claims. As an example, you may have two years to file a claim arising from an auto accident. Under current law, you may have only one year to file a claim for medical malpractice.

Moreover, this deadline is further limited if a government agency is responsible for such medical negligence. Examples of government agencies include county hospitals and clinics. Do not assume that the deadline will be extended due to physical or emotional difficulties caused by the malpractice. Therefore, it is critical that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

The Definition And Consequences Of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, surgeon or other licensed health care provider acts negligently, causing injury or death to a patient. In the context of a medical malpractice action, the term "acts negligently" means that the health care provider failed to do what other competent qualified providers would do under the same or similar circumstances. This requires expert testimony. Examples of providers include:

  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Physician assistants
  • Midwives

In addition to proving that the health care provider acted negligently, it must be proven that such negligence caused harm. Obviously, causation is clearer in some cases than in others. If a doctor negligently operates on the wrong leg or misreads an X-ray, causation may be quite simple. However, the vast majority of cases require an experienced medical malpractice attorney to relate the health care provider's negligence for actual harm to the patient. Only an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you evaluate whether you have a case and can then assist you in identifying the proper responsible parties. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury or death as a result of what you believe to be medical malpractice, contact a California medical malpractice attorney immediately.

California laws allow an injured patient or family to seek monetary damages caused as a direct result of such negligence. Only an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can represent you in determining what damages you are entitled to claim, who the appropriate claimants are and what proof would be required. The goal of the law is to place parties in the position they were prior to the negligence, including awarding monetary damages for economic and noneconomic losses. Examples of economic losses include past and future medical expenses (doctors, hospital, nursing, rehabilitation, therapy and medications) and past and future loss of income. Examples of noneconomic losses are pain, suffering, disfigurement, embarrassment and emotional distress.

Medical malpractice cases are one of the more expensive cases to prosecute given that expert testimony is required, and commonly from more than one expert. Therefore, only cases involving serious injury or death justify the efforts in pursuing such cases.

Types Of Cases We Handle

The following are types of medical malpractice cases handled by the Law Offices of Neil M. Howard:

  • ER errors
  • Medication errors
  • Failure to detect fetal abnormalities
  • Obstetrical malpractice
  • Failure to respond to abnormal fetal monitor strips
  • Failure to diagnose heart abnormality/heart attack
  • Surgical malpractice
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Foreign objects retained in the body
  • Birth injuries
  • Failure to recognize an arrest of labor
  • Brain injuries
  • Failure to timely diagnose and treat cancer
  • Complications from anesthesia
  • Intubation errors
  • Nursing errors in the dispensing of medications
  • Radiology errors in misreading X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds

Doctors can make mistakes, but often, medical practice is a result of treatment by providers who are not technically doctors. Physician assistants have limited experience and education, and you may be suffering because your provider was trying to save money at the expense of your well-being and you were seen by a physician assistant rather than the doctor.

Help With Your Medical Malpractice Claim

If you feel that you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice and that significant damages resulted from such negligence, call the Law Offices of Neil M. Howard today at 424-259-4807 or email for an appointment for a free legal consultation.