What Is Medical Negligence?
Negligence is a legal term that’s used in all types of personal injury cases, including medical malpractice lawsuits. In order to have grounds for a birth injury lawsuit in California, you must prove that a medical professional’s negligence directly caused your child’s injury. Medical negligence occurs any time a doctor, obstetrician, nurse, or other medical professional fails to follow the accepted best practices of their field. Essentially, if they fail to do their job in the way another professional in the same field would in the same situation, they could be considered negligent.
When negligence results in an injury, it becomes malpractice. Establishing negligence in a birth injury case usually involves assistance from medical experts as well as experienced medical malpractice lawyers. The testimony of a qualified medical professional can be extremely valuable for the plaintiff’s side in the courtroom.
Medical Malpractice Laws In California
Each state has their own medical malpractice laws in place. The rules regarding how much you can receive, what you need to prove negligence, and how long you have to file a claim vary widely between states. In birth injury cases, the rules are less cut-and-dried compared to other medical malpractice cases. Because the circumstances vary so much between individual cases and between states, it’s usually best to discuss your situation with an experienced California birth injury malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
Deadline For Filing A Claim
Every state has deadlines for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, but the beginning date of this deadline varies depending on the circumstances of injury. California’s statute of limitations is set at three years after the injury or the discovery of the injury, but cases involving birth injuries are much more complex. In any case, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer immediately after becoming aware of your child’s condition. Allowing too much time to pass could jeopardize your chances filing a lawsuit within the statute of limitations.
Notice To Healthcare Provider
California has a rule that requires you to notify your healthcare provider of your intention to sue, at least 90 days before the lawsuit is filed. It’s best to have your lawyer handle this, as you must provide a legal basis for the lawsuit, details on your financial losses, and information on the nature of your injuries. Providing this information on your own can be difficult, but a lawyer with experience in the field can make sure all details are accounted for.
Cap On Damages
California has a maximum cap on non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases, set at $250,000. This refers to damages such as pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and loss of consortium. There is no cap on economic losses, such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning potential, and other direct financial losses.
Limits On Lawyer Fees
California has a sliding scale which limits how much a medical malpractice lawyer can charge their clients. This scale is structured with the following maximums:
- 40% of the first $50,000
- 33% of the next $50,000 ($50,001-$100,000)
- 25% of the next $500,000 ($100,001-$600,000)
- 15% of any amount over $600,000
Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we help you secure financial compensation. We’ll only ask for payment as a percentage of your final payout after the case has been won.
Why You Need A Lawyer
Securing financial compensation for medical malpractice is more difficult than other personal injury cases. You must provide ample medical evidence which proves that your injury was directly caused by medical negligence. This usually involves the testimony of a qualified medical professional in the same field as the professional who allegedly caused your injury.
Additionally, hospitals, doctors, and healthcare providers are represented by powerful insurance companies who have teams of lawyers who specialize in winning these lawsuits. It only makes sense that you have your own experienced legal counsel who specializes in helping victims of malpractice recover the full financial compensation they need and deserve.
For families affected by birth injuries, these lawsuits are usually the only way to recover the compensation you need to provide a comfortable life for your child. Severe permanent conditions like cerebral palsy have lifetime costs that can exceed one million dollars.
If your family is in this situation, it’s best to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. At Birth Injury Advocate, we’ve helped families in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, and the rest of California recover fair compensation for birth injuries. To find out more about your rights and what to expect next, contact our California birth injury lawyers today for a free consultation.