Doctors are people, too. They make mistakes. But the mistakes of physicians and hospitals carry huge consequences for whomever is the victim of their negligence. The law allows patients to sue their medical providers for professional negligence if the provider acts in a way that is below the standard of care. This is what is referred to as medical malpractice.
Medicine is not an exact science, and every bad outcome or adverse event is not a result of medical malpractice. Bad outcomes are not what people want or expect, but medical malpractice is a bad outcome that results from negligent care or treatment. Essentially, California law says that a medical practitioner is negligent if he or she fails to use the level of skill, knowledge and care in the diagnosis and treatment that other reasonably careful medical practitioners would use in the same or similar circumstances.
A nurse, for example, would have to act as another reasonably careful nurse would act in like circumstances in order to not be negligence. Medical malpractice cases are probably the most difficult and expensive than any other. There are many reasons for that, well beyond the scope of this brief introduction, but suffice it to say that in order to establish what is reasonable care and to prove that the medical providers fell below that standard in their treatment, one usually has to hire another of the same type of medical provider to offer an expert opinion on the issue.
Unbeknownst to most people, California also has caps on non-economic damages. These caps, falling under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (“MICRA”) enacted in 1975, limit items of damage such as pain and suffering to $250,000. This unfortunate law has remained unchanged since 1975. For these reasons, it is important to retain counsel with experience in fully evaluating and litigating medical malpractice matters. The costs and benefits need to be thoroughly assessed and explained, and adequate resources devoted to each case.
Attorney Donald A. Green has a passion for medical issues, including medical malpractice. He has a Masters degree in Health Services Administration from Cornell University and worked in health care management before and during law school. He and his staff have considerable experience representing clients harmed from the professional negligence of medical providers. If you or someone you love has been harmed from the negligence of a medical professional, Call Us Today!