Medical Malpractice FAQ
Patients rely on their physicians and other healthcare providers to offer quality care and make reasonable, life-saving decisions where necessary. Although many healthcare providers do exactly that, there are situations in which the standard of care offered falls.
The healthcare provider may respond inappropriately to an emergency or fail to take necessary action. Such scenarios may result in life-changing injuries to the patient.
Not all negative outcomes from medical care are the result of medical malpractice. Some are, however, and in such cases it’s vital that you receive the compensation you’re entitled to, to ensure your financial well-being while you recover from your ordeal.
The following are some commonly asked questions about medical malpractice. Please contact one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys if you have questions about your specific situation.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice refers to negligence committed by anyone involved in providing health care to a patient. This includes doctors, nurses, hospitals, or any health care provider. Negligence occurs when the patient’s treatment falls below what the medical community considers an accepted standard of care, causing the patient harm.
What is needed to make a medical malpractice claim?
There are a few elements needed to provide medical malpractice:
- The provider owed a duty of care (in other words asking a doctor for medical advice at a party does not count as a duty of care);
- The provider violated that duty of care;
- The patient suffered harm that should be compensated; and
- The harm was caused by the breach of the duty of care.
Can I file a medical malpractice lawsuit?
Yes, if you have the four elements listed above, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Contact an experienced Oakland medical malpractice attorney or Sacramento medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case.
What damages can I seek in a medical malpractice lawsuit?
A medical negligence lawsuit can recover damages for pain and suffering, past medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. In California, non-economic damages (those linked to pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life, for example) cannot be more than $250,000.
Who do I sue if I’ve been a victim of medical negligence?
Defendants in your lawsuit depend on the circumstances of your case. You may file a lawsuit against the specific health care provider who committed the negligent act, against any supervisors if they failed to ensure the health care provider acted properly, and against the provider’s employer—such as a hospital or medical center—if they knew or should have known about issues with the provider’s patient care.
How do I know if medical malpractice was committed?
You might not know for sure. If you suspect medical malpractice was committed, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney serving Sacramento and Oakland to discuss your situation. Our knowledgeable attorneys can determine if you or a loved one was a victim of medical malpractice and if you have a claim.
There are many procedures that could result in a malpractice claim. Following are just a few:
- Birth injuries
- Surgical errors
- Medication errors
- Unnecessary surgery
- Anesthesia errors
Why should I hire a medical malpractice lawyer?
A medical malpractice attorney understands the significance of your injuries and is an expert in filing malpractice claims. There are deadlines for filing lawsuits and gathering evidence can be a difficult process. Malpractice attorneys can help with the entire process, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Our Sacramento and Oakland attorneys have years of experience in medical injury litigation and are committed to ensuring you receive the full compensation you’re entitled to.
What happens if I signed a consent form?
A signed consent form does not prevent you from filing a medical malpractice lawsuit if your health care provider was negligent in any acts related to your medical care. Even if you signed a consent form, you may still be able to file a medical negligence lawsuit.
How long does a California medical malpractice settlement take?
Not all medical malpractice claims end in a settlement. Some are decided by the courts. Either way, it depends on the specific circumstances surrounding your claim. Some settlements happen quickly, while others might take up to two years.
Attorneys at Cutter Law have obtained millions of dollars on behalf of our clients who suffered injuries thanks to medical malpractice and negligence.
We know how devastating a medical malpractice injury can be and will fight to ensure you recover the full damages you’re entitled to.
Contact a member of our legal team at 916-461-8085 or fill out this form to request a free case evaluation.