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San Bernardino Medical Negligence and Malpractice

San Bernardino Medical Negligence and Malpractice

What Is Medical Negligence and Malpractice?

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured or die as a result of preventable medical errors. While no one is perfect and accidents to happen, in many cases these accidents are a direct result of the negligence of a medical professional. In these cases, the person at fault should be held responsible for their actions. No one should be afraid to seek medical care and those providing care should be held to a certain standard.

There are two distinct instances of medical professional not living up to a standard of care. Medical negligence occurs when harm is a result of carelessness, not intentional harm. This negligence is a failure to provide care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances. Malpractice is a type of negligence in which a licensed professional fails to provide services that live up to the standards set by the governing body of their profession.

Common Examples of Medical Malpractice

It is important to distinguish between mistakes and instances of malpractice. Just because a medical professional made a mistake or a patient is unhappy with the course of treatment or outcome, this does not mean the case is necessarily malpractice. Malpractice occurs when the medical provider has been negligent to the point that it breaches the duty of care that the medical professional owes to his or her patients.. This means the doctor was either not reasonably skilled or competent, and that incompetence directly caused harm to the patient. Medical malpractice can occur in a variety of ways, including:

  • Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
  • Failure to properly treat or unnecessary treatment
  • Emergency room negligence
  • Surgical error or unnecessary surgery
  • Medication error
  • Birth injury or infant/fetal death
  • Nursing home negligence
  • Anesthesia error
  • Radiation injury or excessive exposure
  • Failure to refer case to a specialist

Injuries of Malpractice

Injuries resulting from medical malpractice can vary greatly in both type and severity. Malpractice instances associated with birth injuries can lead to brain injuries, fractured bones, and Erb’s and Klumpke’s palsy; these injuries can lead to lifelong struggles and medical expenses. A medical professional’s negligence in these instances can include:

  • Injury to the mother due to negligent prenatal care such as failure to diagnose conditions like preeclampsia, hypoglycemia, or gestational diabetes.
  • Failure to diagnose birth defects or diseases that could be contagious to the fetus.
  • Failure to anticipate birth complications or to respond to signs of fetal distress.

In cases of medical malpractice that occur later in life, the injuries can have an effect on the livelihoods of those involved and can create a burden physically, emotionally, and financially. Cases of malpractice can include:

  • Operating on the wrong body part
  • Puncturing internal organs during surgery
  • Leaving surgical instruments in the body
  • Serious infections
  • Death

Compensation for Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice cases can lead to the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical expenses for both past and future needs, lost income or wages, the loss of future earning capacity and the cost of rehabilitation. These damages are quantifiable, however, this does not mean they are easy to calculate.

Economic damages often include the cost of replacement services, which are things the injured party would generally do themselves such as childcare and cleaning but are unable due to the injury. Calculating these services as well as potential future medical expenses and lost wages can be a tricky matter. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you determine the compensation you are owed.

Non-economic damages include less tangible types of fallout, such as pain and suffering. These types of damages are much more difficult to calculate than economic damages. As with economic damages, an experienced attorney can assist you in calculating any non-economic damages.

California Medical Negligence Liability and Fault

Like many states, California has a statute of limitations on filing personal injury cases, such as medical malpractice suits. You have three years from the date of the injury or one year after the date of discovery of the injury to go to court and file a lawsuit against those who could be responsible. While two years is the limit, this does not mean you should wait. The complexity of these cases means time is of the essence.

California also places a limit on non-economic damages that can be recovered in medical injury cases. The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) places a cap of $250,000. This cap does not, however, apply to economic damages that may be received.

Recovering Compensation From Insurance Companies

Insurance companies cover a variety of injury cases, including instances of medical malpractice. When an insurance company handles a claim files against its insured, they usually pay both legal fees and the cost of damages awarded. However, these companies usually only pay out to policy limits. What happens when the amount awarded is over this limit?

Injured parties can bring lawsuits against additional defendants, recover under an umbrella policy and try collecting from the defendant personally. These are all possible ways to collect damages in excess of insurance policy limits.

In the case of medical malpractice, there may be multiple defendants in play. It is possible that both the hospital and the doctor breached their professional duty of care and could therefore both be defendants. There are also instances of umbrella policies which are additional insurance policies that cover all of the other insurance they have. This means that although there is a single defendant, there may be multiple insurance companies. If there are no additional defendants or umbrella policy, damages awarded in excess of the insurance policy limits can be collected from the defendant personally.

Contact A Professional Southern California California Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical malpractice cases are best handled by an experienced professional. The knowledge and resources of an experienced medical malpractice attorney can give you and your family the compensation you deserve. At the Rodhe Law Office, APC, you will receive the care and attention necessary to maximize the potential of recovery. Our medical malpractice lawyers know how stressful the fallout of medical malpractice can be. Knowing that your case is in experienced hands can help. Contact our offices today for a free case evaluation.

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About the Author:

Rohde Law Office, APC

If you or a family member was injured in a car accident or through the negligence of a doctor or hospital, the consequences can be long term and debilitating. As a Southern California attorney, I’ve worked with numerous clients involving elder abuse, medical malpractice, personal injury and motor vehicle accidents. Having practiced on the insurance defense side for roughly 10 years, Rohde Law Office, APC has the experience to know what the defense is going to do before they do it, and I bring that with personalized experience to your case. Our medical malpractice & injury lawyers have served clients in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino and Riverside for over 15 years.Do not... View full business profile here: Rohde Law Office, APC

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