While the Southern California area is well-known for its world-class doctors, hospitals, and healthcare system, there are occasions when healthcare professionals make mistakes, and a patient can be left with severe or fatal complications. Medical malpractice refers to a provider of health care services who is negligent as a result of a professional act or omission and, as a result, causes personal injury to or the death of a patient. When you trust a medical professional who then causes severe injuries or a loved one’s death, you might be eligible to pursue compensation and justice. At Quirk Injury & Accident Attorneys, APC, our approach in medical malpractice cases builds enduring confidence in every case that we accept.
The Standard of Care
Medical malpractice is also known as medical negligence, and it can occur at any stage of care and treatment by doctors, hospitals, clinics, nurses or technicians. All of these professionals or institutions are held to a very high standard of care. A provider of medical services is must the same standard of care as a professional in the same field under the same or similar circumstances. A deviation from that standard of care that causes harm to a patient or his or her death might be medical malpractice.
Is Medical Malpractice Common?
Medical malpractice occurs throughout California on a daily basis. A study at Johns Hopkins Medicine recently came to a stunning finding. The study shows that 10% of all deaths in the United States are the result of preventable medical negligence. That makes medical malpractice the third leading cause of death in the nation behind heart disease and cancer. Of course, that statistic only includes reported cases. As medical malpractice isn’t a cause of death on billing forms and death certificates, it’s safe to say that the percentage is much higher. Of course, the 10% figure doesn’t even contemplate the medical errors that patients are currently living with.
What Needs to Be Proved to Hold a California Medical Provider Guilty of Malpractice?
In order for a patient or his or her family members to hold a medical provider guilty of malpractice, four legal elements must be proved. Those elements follow:
- Duty: It must be shown that the health care provider who is alleged to be negligent owed a duty of care to the claimant. A patient and provider relationship is generally sufficient.
- Breach of Duty: The health care provider failed to provide the appropriate care in treating the patient.
- Cause: The breach of duty caused injuries to the patient or his or her death.
- Damages: The failure of the health care provider to provide appropriate care and treatment caused the damages that compensation is being sought for.
Some Common Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
If you meet with us for an initial consultation, we’ll listen to you carefully, and you can tell us what happened to you or your loved one. We’ll review the facts of the case and how it might be best approached. Here are some common types of medical malpractice cases that we see in and around Thousand Oaks:
- Emergency room malpractice.
- Birth injuries.
- Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis.
- Medication errors.
How Might I Learn if Malpractice Occurred?
The only way that you might learn whether you were a victim of medical malpractice is to consult with a knowledgeable California medical malpractice injury lawyer here at Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC. If you suspect that a doctor, hospital or other health care provider deviated from the appropriate standard of care and caused serious injury to you or the death of your loved one, a top Thousand Oaks medical malpractice attorney from our law firm is available to consult with you.
The Statute of Limitations
Under section 340.5 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, the general rule is that a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within one year of the date that the patient knew or should have known of his or her injuries. Such a case must be filed within three years of the date of the alleged malpractice, notwithstanding when discovery occurred. There are very few exceptions to this law, so you’ll want to act quickly and responsibly.
At Quirk Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC, we help victims of medical malpractice in and around Thousand Oaks obtain the maximum compensation that they deserve. To learn whether you might be eligible to be compensated for medical malpractice, contact our offices to arrange for a free and confidential case consultation and evaluation.