Riverside Medical Malpractice Lawyer
A patient who suffers an injury or other damages during the course of medical care and treatment in Riverside may have a medical malpractice case. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the standard of care when treating a patient. It can occur through either an act or a failure to act by the treating physician or facility.
Statute of limitations
For anybody six years of age or older, the statute of limitations for bringing an action for medical malpractice in Riverside, California is three years from the date of injury, or a year from when it was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered, whichever comes first. For those under the age of six, an action is required to be filed within three years of the date of injury or before the child’s eighth birthday, whichever is greater. These are very strict time limits. Those who believe they were injured by the act or failure to act of a health care provider must move quickly. Should they sit on their rights for too long, they might not only prejudice their case, but they might be forever barred from proceeding with their case by the statute of limitations.
Medical malpractice damage caps
In medical malpractice cases, the party claiming injury seeks money damages. They’re ordinarily categorized as economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are compensatory in nature. For example, economic damages will compensate an injured person for their medical bills and lost earnings. There is no limit on economic damages. Non-economic damages compensate an injured person for pain, suffering permanent disfigurement and/or permanent disability. Non-economic damages are limited at a cap of $250,000. One might also seek punitive damages, but they’re required to show recklessness, malice or fraud on behalf of the provider. There are no caps on punitive damages, but medical malpractice cases involving punitive damages are rare.
Litigating medical malpractice cases is highly complex and procedurally detailed. As opposed to most negligence cases where it is less complicated as to whether somebody was or was not negligent, medical malpractice cases are usually determined by testimony of expert witnesses. At time of trial, these experts explain the standard of care relative to the conduct alleged of the defendant(s) unless negligence is obvious to the layperson. The injured person is required to prove the following elements.
A duty to the person claiming damages must be shown. This is ordinarily shown by a physician and patient or hospital and patient relationship. If no such relationship exists, no duty exists. When the duty arises, it’s the duty to use such skill, judgment and diligence as other members of the profession or specialty possess and exercise. In the law, these guidelines known as the standard of care.
Breach of duty
A breach of duty is shown by a deviation from the standard of care. That doesn’t necessarily mean that if a patient’s condition worsens, there was a deviation from the standard of care.
A proximate causal connection must be shown between the allegedly negligent conduct and the damages claimed. There must be a reasonable and foreseeable connection and not a remote consequence.
A breach of duty and deviation from the standard of care can be clearly shown, but if there are no damages, there’s no medical malpractice case. As already addressed, damages are ordinarily economic or non-economic.
At the Riverside Law Offices of Brent A. Duque, we offer compassion, sound legal judgment and aggressive yet highly professional legal representation in complex injury litigation. Doctors, other medical professionals and hospitals must be held accountable when they’re negligent. We understand the devastating consequences associated with medical negligence. We use our extensive knowledge, experience and resources along with the best medical experts available to overcome the complicated medical malpractice litigation process to obtain fair and just compensation for victims and their families.
It doesn’t cost anything to meet with one of our Riverside Medical Malpractice attorneys for a consultation and case evaluation. Call us if you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice for we are well-qualified to help you.
Contact our Riverside County Personal Injury Attorney at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation is just a phone call away. You can even use our online contact form, and we’ll reply to you quickly.