The firm has a record that includes many multi-million dollar cases.
Thousands of people living in California trust their medical providers to treat their illnesses and injuries every year, and the majority of these patients receive safe and effective care. But unfortunately, not all health care professionals uphold their professional responsibilities to their patients, and sometimes cause tremendous harm. Whenever a doctor, nurse, or other health care professional fails to meet the standard of care a patient requires and consequently harms that patient, this is medical malpractice and grounds for legal action frm the victim.
Helping Victims of Medical Malpractice Recover in Santa Ana
Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates offers compassionate legal representation to the victims of medical malpractice in the Santa Ana area and surrounding communities of Southern California. Our team has years of experience handling all types of injury claims in Santa Ana, including those arising from acts of medical malpractice. However, unlike most other firms offering legal counsel for such cases in the area, Attorney Sigelman holds both an MD and a JD. Few other firms offer comparable professional experience, leaving our team uniquely positioned to handle the most complex aspects of your impending medical malpractice claim.
Commonly Reported Types of Medical Malpractice
Every medical professional has an obligation to do no harm to their patients. The medical community agrees to standards of care for known conditions, illnesses, and injuries, and all medical professionals must abide by these standards of care for all patients they treat. A physician or other medical professional may only stray from a patient’s standard of care if the patient has a preexisting condition or another medical conflict that renders the typical treatment ineffective or dangerous. Medical professionals are also required to exercise the highest levels of care and caution when treating every patient.
Medicine is inherently uncertain in many ways, and there is always a margin for error in handling any patient. If a medical professional makes an understandable mistake in good faith, this is unlikely to form solid grounds for a malpractice claim. Medical malpractice claims arise from clear acts of negligence, such as:
Misdiagnosis and other diagnostic errors. Physicians who diagnose their patients’ conditions are required to use appropriate differential diagnostic methods and techniques. If a physician delivers an incorrect diagnosis, this could lead to the patient undergoing ineffective and potentially harmful procedures and treatments. Additionally, their actual condition could remain unaddressed and will likely worsen. Delayed diagnosis or failure to provide a diagnosis at all could also have severe consequences for the victim.
Medication errors. It’s possible for a medication error to amount to malpractice in several ways, and more than one party could bear fault for this type of incident. For example, liability for a medication error may fall on the prescribing doctor if they prescribe the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, or fail to account for their patients’ potential drug interactions before prescribing. A pharmacist could face liability if they do not fill a prescription correctly or fail to provide a patient with clear instructions for properly taking their medications.
Surgical errors. Surgery of any kind always entails a degree of risk. However, if a surgeon makes an honest mistake during a procedure, they are required to address and correct it immediately. They also have the responsibility of informing the patient of the error and explaining any associated risks. Some surgical errors can result in tremendous medical harm, potentially leading to lifelong disability or extensive ongoing medical complications for the victim.
Hospital negligence. Most medical malpractice cases focus on specific defendants and their failure to uphold their patients’ standards of care. However, a hospital could face liability in a malpractice suit due to their interactions with the healthcare professional in question, failure to ensure appropriately maintained facilities, or failure to verify the backgrounds of hired employees who go on to harm patients.
Anesthesia errors. Many surgical procedures require the use of anesthesia, and there are various forms of anesthesia a patient may require to undergo a necessary procedure safely. Anesthesia errors can lead to malpractice claims when anesthesiologists fail to properly dose patients, fail to monitor vital signs, or if they neglect to account for patient allergies, drug interactions, or signs of patient distress during surgery.
Gross negligence. Unfortunately, some medical professionals are negligent well outside the scope of understandable mistakes and violate their oaths to do no harm to their patients in egregious ways. An example would be a surgeon attempting a delicate procedure while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or performing surgery on the wrong side of the body or the wrong procedure on the wrong patient.
There are other forms of medical malpractice, and any patient who believes they have been harmed by the negligence or intentional misconduct of any medical professional must consult reliable legal counsel as soon as possible. While a medical malpractice case falls within the purview of personal injury law, these cases are highly complex and involve unique statutes the average person will not know how to address on their own.
How to Build Your Medical Malpractice Case in Santa Ana
Before you can file your medical malpractice suit in Santa Ana, you must provide formal notice of your intent to file suit against the defendant at least 90 days prior to the actual filing of the claim. Your Santa Ana medical malpractice attorney can assist you with drafting the notice, which must include a clear description of the legal basis for the claim, the nature of the damages the claim involves, and a breakdown of all resulting damages. It’s also important to have a medical professional with similar credentials to the defendant provide a signed statement in support of your claim. This statement should include their professional opinion as to why the incident in question qualifies as medical malpractice, as well as their explanation as to what the defendant should have done differently or what another reasonable and similarly skilled medical professional likely would have done in the same situation.
You must be prepared to prove that the defendant caused “actual harm” through their malpractice. This means you must demonstrate tangible losses resulting from the malpractice in question. State law may restrict the amount of pain and suffering compensation a plaintiff can seek in a medical malpractice claim, but the plaintiff could be entitled to recover more economic damages than they initially realized.
Claiming Damages in Your Medical Malpractice Case
Once you assess the full scope of the harm done by the defendant named in your medical malpractice suit, your attorney will assist you in calculating the total amount of damages you could potentially secure if you win your case. Most people who suffer injuries from medical malpractice are able to assess the immediate effects of these incidents but are likely to struggle to calculate the long-term impact malpractice can have. Therefore, the claimable economic damages in your medical malpractice action could include:
Additional medical expenses you incurred for treatment of the injury the defendant caused. Medical professionals who harm their patients through malpractice will face liability for all the resulting medical expenses they cause those patients to suffer. Your attorney can help you recover the cost of immediate medical expenses as well as any ongoing treatment costs you are likely to incur.
Lost income. Your injury may prevent you from working until you recover. The defendant is liable for any income you lose during this time, as well as compensating you for any vacation time or paid time off you were forced to use.
Lost future earning capacity. In the event you are left permanently unable to return to your job, the defendant is liable for lost future income as well, and your Santa Ana medical malpractice attorney will help you accurately calculate this aspect of your claim.
State law typically allows personal injury plaintiffs to seek compensation for the pain and suffering they endured, but California restricts this aspect of your damages in a medical malpractice suit. Therefore, for the best chance of maximizing the results of your claim, you need legal counsel you can trust to assist you in building the case and preparing for the difficult proceedings ahead of you.
The attorneys at Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates excel at handling complex medical malpractice cases. Our team combines the experience of a licensed doctor with that of a seasoned personal injury attorney, enabling our firm to offer a level of representation that very few other law firms can come close to matching. In addition, we make our legal counsel accessible to those who need it most with contingency fee billing, and state law also limits how much an attorney can charge a client for representation in a medical malpractice case. We understand that your experience has been painful and emotionally stressful, and we will do everything we can to streamline your civil claim proceedings as we guide you to the best possible outcome in your recovery effort.
Santa Ana Medical Malpractice Law FAQs
Q: What Must Be Proven to Win a Medical Malpractice Case in Santa Ana?
A: A medical malpractice suit is a type of personal injury claim, but there are special statutes that apply strictly to medical malpractice cases. The plaintiff must prove a formal doctor-patient relationship existed between them and the defendant in question, and they must prove the defendant failed to meet the standard of care the plaintiff required for their condition. The plaintiff must also be prepared to demonstrate the actual harm done by the defendant and the scope of the damages the defendant caused them to suffer.
Q: How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in California?
A: The statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases and all other personal injury claims in the state is two years, starting on the date an injury occurs. However, the statute of limitations could “toll” or pause until the harm in question is discoverable by the victim. In addition, some effects of medical malpractice are not immediately noticeable, so the discovery rule may apply in these situations. This would provide a one-year statute of limitations following the date of discovery of the harm in question.
Q: How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice in California?
A: Your Santa Ana medical malpractice attorney can assist you in gathering the evidence and expert witness testimony you will need to produce to follow through with your civil action against the medical professional who injured you. Every case is unique, so it is vital for a victim of medical malpractice to seek reliable legal counsel as soon as possible after their injury occurs to have the best chance of success with their claim.
Q: How Much Is My Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Worth in Santa Ana?
A: The medical malpractice statutes place no limits on economic damages, but non-economic damages are limited to $250,000 regardless of the severity of the injury in question. A recently passed law in California will increase this cap for non-economic damages beginning in 2023, and the cap will increase each year. Therefore, your Santa Ana medical malpractice attorney is the best asset for proving the full scope of immediate and future economic damages caused by the defendant, and they will assist you in making a strong case for as much pain and suffering compensation as possible.
Q: Is It Worth Filing a Medical Malpractice Suit in Santa Ana?
A: Do not assume that it would cost you more to file your medical malpractice case than you could obtain in compensation for your damages. The right attorney can streamline your case proceedings substantially and potentially uncover more avenues of recovery than you initially expected. If a medical professional injured you due to negligence of any kind, filing a medical malpractice suit may not only help you recover your damages but also potentially prevent others from suffering similar harm in the future.
The team at Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates offers a level of legal representation in medical malpractice cases that very few other firms in the state can match. We have cultivated a strong professional reputation thanks to our ability to provide experienced legal advice with a firm understanding of the medical terms, concepts, and issues that often arise in malpractice cases. If you are struggling in the aftermath of a negligent medical professional’s malpractice, we can help you recover with confidence. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation with a Santa Ana medical malpractice attorney to learn more about the services we offer.
The right attorney can have a tremendous positive impact on the outcome of your impending birth injury claim in Huntington Beach. Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates offers a unique level of professional attention to your case that you cannot find anywhere else, and the sooner you consult our firm, the sooner we can put our resources and experience to work for you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with a Huntington Beach birth injury attorney.
KEN SIGELMAN J.D., M.D.
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