What Is The Legal Definition Of Malpractice? How Can Malpractice Lead To Medical Malpractice Torts?
Medical Malpractice refers to medical care that does not meet the “Standard of Care” for medical doctors (or nurses, chiropractors, dentists, podiatrists etc…) and that results in an injury or death. “Standard of Care” means medical treatment that a reasonable, prudent medical provider in the same community should provide. Most cases involve a dispute over what the applicable standard of care is. The standard of care is usually determined by use of expert testimony from consulting doctors that practice or teach medicine in the same specialty as the defendant. Medical Malpractice Torts involve a process that begins with an injury and is followed by a process of discovery leading to a trial in which medical experts provide testimony either for or against the defense.
How Does The Statute Of Limitations Affect Malpractice Cases
In California the medical malpractice statute of limitations is 3 years from the date of the injury, or one year from the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered the injury, whichever occurs first. Some states have a two year statute of limitations or even 1 year. In California if the victim is a minor the statute of limitations will not even begin to start before the minor becomes 18. However, derivative claims for parents may run many years earlier. If you think you might have a case it is important to contact a malpractice attorney as soon as possible. No matter the statute of limitations, doctors can often relocate, witnesses may disappear and memories fade. The sooner that counsel is engaged the sooner important evidence can be preserved and the process of discovery can begin. A Los Angeles medical malpractice attorney knows when a case is present and that the time to file a case is right away.
What Will A Los Angeles Medical Malpractice Attorney Do?
Just because a patient does not have a successful result from a medical treatment does not in and of itself mean that the doctor made a mistake. Medical practice is by no means a guarantee of good health or a complete recovery. Most of the time when a patient experiences an unsuccessful result from medical treatment it is not because the medical provider made a mistake. Most of the time when there is a bad medical result it is despite good, quality medical care not because of sub-standard medical care.
When discussing a case with a client it is important that the client be able to say why they think there was medical negligence. As we all know people often die from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with good medical care. However, we intuitively know that people usually do not die from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair or “minor” surgeries. When something unexpected like that happens it is worth exploring whether there was a medical mistake that is worth filing a medical malpractice tort. When in doubt a Los Angeles medical malpractice attorney will discuss your case with you informally. Most attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation in negligence cases.