Things You Should Know About Medical Malpractice in California

Author: Mesriani Law Group
Posted on: May 13, 2021

Malpractice occurs when a doctor, hospital, or other healthcare professional causes injury to a patient through negligence or omission. Negligence may be a result due to errors in diagnosis, treatment, or health management. Here are some important things you should know about malpractice claims in California:

Statute of Limitations

If you think you may have a malpractice claim, one of the most important things you should be aware of is the statute of limitations. In California, the statute of limitations to bring a malpractice claim for an adult is 3 years from the date of injury or 1 year after the patient discovered the injury. If the patient is under 18 years old, there are two deadlines:

  • If a child was under 6 years old at the time of the injury, the statute of limitations ends on their 8th birthday.
  • If a child was over 6 years old, the statute of limitations is 3 years from the date of the unlawful act.

Additionally, California law requires you to provide notice to the potential defendant at least 90 days before the lawsuit is filed.

Legal Elements of Malpractice

In California, the 4 required legal elements of a malpractice claim include:

  • The existence of a doctor-patient relationship
  • The violation of standard of care by a medical or healthcare professional
  • The violation of the standard of care resulted in injury or harm to the patient
  • The patient suffered actual, compensable damages

To clarify, a patient can’t seek to hold a medical provider legally responsible for malpractice simply because they had poor results from treatment. In a malpractice claim, the patient must prove that the doctor or medical healthcare provider offered treatment that was worse in quality compared to the care an ordinary doctor or provider would have offered under similar circumstances.

Common Examples of Malpractice

While malpractice claims can be challenging to win, patients who have suffered serious, permanent injuries are likely to be successful in a negligence claim. There are numerous types of malpractice claims but some of the most common examples include:

  • Surgical or procedural errors
  • Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis
  • Failure to treat
  • Prescription drug errors
  • Improper medication or dosage
  • Poor aftercare or follow-up
  • Not taking appropriate patient history
  • Birth injuries
  • Hospital-acquired infections

Modern medicine and medical treatment can be extremely complex. As a result, it can be difficult for injured patients to be sure if they’re actually victims of malpractice. Due to this, it’s important for patients who have experienced difficulties or complications after receiving medical treatment to consult with an experienced California malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. A malpractice attorney can help you understand if you have a claim and the compensation you could be entitled to.

Speak with a California Malpractice Attorney Today

At Mesriani Law Group, our attorneys are strong advocates for patients and victims of malpractice. With years of experience winning various types of malpractice claims, we’re confident that we can help you with your situation. We offer all clients a No Win No Fee policy – that means if we don’t win your claim, you don’t pay us anything. Contact our office today for your free legal consultation.