Over 3,000 medical malpractice lawsuits are filed every year in LA. Medical professionals are expected to exercise the highest standard of care when performing medical practices.
Some medical injuries occur due to negligence or any other act of commission done by the doctor that harms the patient. These cases could also be filed against manufacturers of medical devices and medication.
A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can help you with your medical negligence claim.
Medical Malpractice: What You Need to Know
A popular misconception about medical malpractice is that the victim must be physically or mentally disabled for this kind of case to prosper. There are instances where a wrongful death can also be considered a medical malpractice case.
You can claim compensation for the death of your loved one through a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer by proving that there was an error or negligence on the part of the medical practitioner involved.
What Comes Under Medical Malpractice in Los Angeles?
Medical malpractice is also called medical negligence. “Negligence” is the failure of a doctor or any other medical personnel (nurse, paramedic, etc.) to exercise the requisite degree of care in the diagnosis or treatment of the patient.
Three essential elements have to be established by the injured party while filing a lawsuit for medical malpractice against a doctor or hospital:
- There is a standard of care or level of skill expected from a reasonably competent physician under similar circumstances
- There was a breach of that standard by the defendant physician
- That such breach was the proximate cause of the injuries sustained
You may note that these are not hard-and-fast rules and that each medical negligence case is different.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice Under Los Angeles Law?
The following activities may constitute an act or omission that would give rise to liability on the part of a doctor:
- Failure to provide a proper diagnosis, treatment, or referral
- Failure to follow protocols
- Errors in interpretation by a radiologist
- Improper or delayed treatment of the patient
- Treatment rendered by a nurse instead of a doctor
- Lack of informed consent
- Misdiagnosis that affects the prognosis and treatment options available to the patient
- Mistakes in surgery
- Delayed diagnosis
Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis
When failure to diagnose is the act or omission of negligence, it may be considered medical malpractice. But this will depend on whether there is any recognized body of knowledge that guides the medical profession in making the diagnosis.
Misdiagnosis cases are limited to the incorrect identification of the condition. They include delayed diagnosis wherein there is an unreasonable delay in identifying or referring a patient with a severe medical condition.
The severity of the medical negligence case will depend on the degree of disability that resulted from delaying the necessary treatment for the medical condition.
Mistake in Surgery
Another type of negligent act is the mistake in surgery. When a doctor performs an incorrect or unnecessary surgical procedure on a patient, resulting in injury or loss, the person can file for medical negligence compensation.
Delayed diagnosis is also called missed diagnosis and delay in treatment. It happens when a delay in diagnosing or treating a condition causes or aggravates the condition.
A doctor is expected to use diagnostic tools and equipment that other medical practitioners commonly use in diagnosing a patient’s injury, illness, or disease.
Filing for Medical Negligence
There are four major hospitals and nineteen health care centers in Los Angeles county. If your doctor or other medical practitioner committed an act or omission constituting medical malpractice, there are three possible grounds for filing a lawsuit:
Negligence – the doctor did not exercise professional or reasonable care in diagnosing or treating you.
Battery – the doctor did not have your consent to diagnose, treat or operate on you. This can happen when a drug is administered without your knowledge or a lack of informed consent.
Breach of Contract – the doctor did not follow their obligation under your health insurance policy.
Suppose you’re planning to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. In that case, you should seek the help of an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer.
Why Hire a Lawyer
Your lawyer can guide you on the filing procedures and educate you on deadlines and other procedural requirements. It’s also vital that you find a highly qualified Los Angeles personal injury lawyer for this task because he must be well-versed in dealing with these cases.
Medical negligence cases are complicated. Your Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will study the facts of your case and use the best strategies to help you win the medical negligence compensation.