Medical malpractice is an unfortunate reality in modern America, and medical negligence is one of the most commonly cited causes of accidental injuries and deaths throughout the country year after year. Thousands of people living in the Huntington Beach area and surrounding communities of California trust their medical providers to deliver safe and effective treatment for their injuries and illnesses, and unfortunately, some of these individuals suffer life-changing injuries from those they hoped would cure them.
Representing Victims of Medical Malpractice in Huntington Beach, CA
If you or a family member has suffered any medical complications and economic losses due to the negligence or professional misconduct of any medical professional, a Huntington Beach medical malpractice attorney is the best resource to consult when it comes to proving fault and holding them accountable for their actions. Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates offers compassionate and responsive legal counsel for all medical malpractice claims in the Huntington Beach area. In addition, if you are unsure whether you have grounds for legal recourse, we can review the details of your injury and help you determine the best recovery options available.
Why You Need Legal Representation in Medical Malpractice Cases
It’s technically possible to file a civil claim for medical malpractice on your own, but you would face numerous risks. First, you must meet procedural requirements that are even stricter and more demanding than those that apply to standard personal injury claims. For example, you must provide advance notice of your intent to file suit to the defendant within the applicable time limit; you cannot proceed directly to filing a civil claim for medical malpractice. Additionally, it’s necessary to find a medical professional with the appropriate credentials and experience to comment on your situation. They can provide a sworn statement explaining how your experience qualifies as medical malpractice and substantiate your claim.
Beyond the initial procedural demands of a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must also prepare to prove the scope of the damages they suffered. The average person may be able to identify easily recognizable economic losses like increased medical expenses and lost wages from the time they missed at work, but they may have the right to claim further compensation they do not immediately recognize. By hiring an experienced Huntington Beach medical malpractice attorney, you make your case easier to approach and more likely to succeed.
You Can Use Attorney Sigelman’s Dual Doctorates to Your Advantage
Attorney Kenneth Sigelman holds both an MD and a JD, meaning our team is capable of providing a level of legal representation in your medical malpractice case that very few other law firms can match. In addition, we can identify the key areas of concern present in your case, understand the complex medical issues your claim involves, and help you maximize your compensation to the fullest extent possible.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
“Medical malpractice” is a broad term that can apply to multiple situations. At its core, medical malpractice is a failure to meet a patient’s “standard of care,” or the minimum level of acceptable treatment their symptoms and medical history demand. The professional medical community is required to adhere to accepted treatments and methods for handling patients’ diagnoses, and they may only act outside of their patient’s standard of care in good faith when the typical treatment is ineffective or unacceptable due to the patient’s unique characteristics.
The team at Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates can provide comprehensive legal counsel to individuals facing all types of medical malpractice claims, including:
- Diagnostic errors. Patients require timely and accurate diagnoses for their conditions, and while some medical issues mimic the appearance of others, it is up to the diagnosing physician to deliver a proper diagnosis using appropriate methods. Misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, or delayed diagnosis can all lead to medical malpractice claims.
- Medication errors. Doctors who prescribe medications to their patients must prescribe them correctly, and the pharmacists who dispense prescriptions must ensure patients receive the correct medications in the correct dosages with complete instructions. It’s possible for a prescribing doctor, a pharmacist, or a nurse responsible for medicating patients to be potential defendants in medication error suits.
- Surgical errors. Any surgery involves a degree of risk, but when a surgeon harms a patient through incompetence, lack of qualification, or lack of experience, they become liable for the resulting damages.
- Anesthesia errors. The anesthesia used to prevent pain and keep patients sedated during surgical procedures is potentially harmful when used incorrectly. Any anesthesia error could implicate the anesthesiologist and/or attending surgical staff as liable for the victim’s damages, and some such errors have life-changing effects.
- Birth injuries. Any injury to a baby and/or mother during childbirth can be incredibly traumatic to the family, potentially resulting in lifelong complications for the child or life-threatening medical emergencies for the mother. These medical malpractice cases are particularly challenging and often result in devastating losses for affected families.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a medical professional’s negligence, you likely have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Before you file your suit, it is essential to secure legal counsel you can trust from an experienced attorney and know what type of damages you are legally able to seek from the defendant.
Compensation for Medical Malpractice Injuries in California
A medical malpractice case may be a type of personal injury case, but the damages available in a malpractice suit are different. Primarily, state law limits pain and suffering compensation in medical malpractice cases to $250,000, regardless of the injury the plaintiff suffered. However, as of the signing of AB 35, this cap is set to increase year over year, and a separate cap has been established for medical malpractice claims involving wrongful death.
State law does not limit the economic damages you can seek from the defendant in your medical malpractice case. Depending on the nature and severity of your injury, you may be entitled to claim immediate and future medical expenses and lost income. In addition, the medical professional who injured you is liable for the cost of any corrective treatment you require, and this includes ongoing rehabilitative care for a severe injury until you reach maximum medical improvement.
Similarly, the defendant may also face liability not only for the lost wages you experienced immediately following your injury but also for your lost future income if you were left permanently disabled by the injury in question. If your case involves any long-term or permanent loss of earning power, your Huntington Beach medical malpractice attorney can assist you in proving the amount of future income you would have reasonably expected to earn had your injury not occurred.
When you choose Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates to represent your medical malpractice case in Huntington Beach, we will carefully examine the scope of the damages the defendant caused to ensure we secure the maximum recovery on your behalf. Our team can gather physical evidence and expert witness testimony to substantiate your case, and we will also work diligently to ensure your case award is suitable for the scope of the damage you suffered.
Filing Your Medical Malpractice Claim in Huntington Beach
Working with an experienced legal team offers the best chance of success with your medical malpractice case. Our firm will review the details of how your injury occurred and determine whether malpractice did indeed occur. If so, we can coordinate expert witness testimony on your behalf from a medical professional similarly skilled to the defendant. Their statement will explain why your situation constitutes grounds for a malpractice claim, why the defendant’s behavior fell outside the scope of the standard of care they should have provided, and what a similarly skilled medical professional would have likely done differently in the same situation.
You have a limited time to file your medical malpractice case, but the discovery rule may apply if the harm you suffered is not immediately noticeable. This adjustment to the statute of limitations is one year from the date of discovery of your injury. Once you notice the harm done, you should consult a Huntington Beach medical malpractice attorney immediately to begin working on your case.
Whether you are pursuing compensation on your own behalf after suffering an injury from medical malpractice or you must pursue legal recourse on behalf of a loved one, it is crucial to have reliable legal counsel on your side through every stage of your case. Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates has the professional resources and experience necessary to manage the toughest medical malpractice claims, including those pertaining to permanent damage. Whatever your situation entails, you can rely on our firm to guide you through every stage of your proceedings with confidence.
Medical Personal Injury FAQs
Q: How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice in California?
A: Success with a medical malpractice claim requires proof that a doctor-patient relationship existed between you and the defendant, meaning they had a professional duty of care to provide safe and effective treatment. The plaintiff must also prove that damage occurred from the situation in question and that the defendant’s failure to meet their standard of care directly caused that damage. If you’re unsure whether you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim, it’s vital to consult a Huntington Beach medical malpractice attorney swiftly.
Q: What Is the Most Common Type of Medical Malpractice?
A: The most commonly cited forms of medical malpractice in the United States are misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, and other injuries resulting from diagnostic errors. All diagnosing physicians have a responsibility to use a proper differential diagnosis process and deliver accurate diagnoses to all patients. Failure to do so could allow a patient’s condition to worsen, or they could be subjected to ineffective or harmful treatments.
Q: How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim?
A: California’s statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases is three years. This time limit starts on the date the injury from malpractice occurs. While it may seem like more than enough time to file a medical malpractice claim, it is always best to start the process quickly to have the best chances of success. The more time your legal team has to build and file your claim, the better your chances are of securing the best possible results.
Q: What Are the Penalties for Medical Malpractice?
A: Any health care professional responsible for harming a patient through medical malpractice can face a host of serious penalties. At a minimum, once the victim has succeeded with their claim, the defendant will be liable for civil damages. In addition, depending on the severity and scope of the malpractice they committed, the defendant is also likely to face professional consequences, including loss of their medical licenses for severe cases of malpractice. In extreme cases, such as a medical professional intentionally harming a patient, jail time and other criminal penalties are possible.
Q: Is It Necessary to Hire a Huntington Beach Medical Malpractice Attorney?
A: There may not be a strict law requiring you to hire legal representation for your medical malpractice claim, but this type of civil suit is very different from a standard personal injury claim. Attempting to handle your case alone would mean facing very strict procedural demands from the court while also handling your medical needs. Instead of risking your chance to recover your losses by trying to handle everything alone, have an experienced Huntington Beach medical malpractice attorney represent your case so you can approach your proceedings with peace of mind.
The team at Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates has years of experience helping clients through the most challenging medical malpractice suits. We know the challenges you face in the aftermath of a medical injury and the frustration that comes with knowing your condition is the result of negligence from a medical professional you trusted to do no harm. If you are ready to learn more about your options for legal recourse, contact us today and schedule your free consultation with a Huntington Beach medical malpractice attorney.