Medical malpractice is a subset of personal injury that occurs when a medical provider provides service or treatment that falls below the standard of care, causing harm to a patient.
If someone has received substandard medical treatment or services, a medical malpractice attorney can step in to help. There are six ways consulting a medical malpractice attorney can benefit those seeking justice.
Often, the attorneys at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen have had previous experience working on similar cases, and a determination can be made on whether or not the case is viable. Take, for example, an individual who believes they have a case for medical malpractice after getting an infection following a medical procedure. In this scenario, the attorneys can draw on prior similar cases to advise what the likely outcome would be.
If a case exists in a grey area, the individual will be asked to gather all the relevant medical records so that an attorney can guide them on the next steps.
Every personal injury lawsuit must be filed within the statute of limitations, which is a law that dictates the time frame that the injured party can make a claim. In California, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be brought either within one year of when the injury is discovered or no later than three years from the date of the injury. Working with a medical malpractice attorney like Los Angeles-based Belgum, Fry & Van Allen can help bring justice by ensuring the lawsuit is filed within the statute of limitations for California.
Whether or not a lawsuit is viable, the attorneys at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen can counsel individuals on how to seek alternate forms of justice. This includes advising victims how to make administrative claims that might provoke accountability within the healthcare providers’ area of practice. It also includes demystifying the process of making a claim with the medical board, which holds the power to investigate a medical providers and discipline them accordingly.
Any case against a medical provider requires qualified expert testimony. Belgum, Fry & Van Allen has access to a network of board-certified physicians in various practice areas who can testify against the offending medical provider, review records, and work with our attorneys to prosecute the case. Without expert opinion, there is no case. When it comes to medical malpractice, an expert declaration is often required. Without one, the defense can bring a summary judgment motion, which is the argument that there are not sufficient facts to continue with the legal case. This usually results in the case being dismissed without a full examination.
There are some cases where negotiating a settlement with the party at fault is possible, though keep in mind that the healthcare provider has the right to decline even if their insurance carrier is willing to provide compensation. Furthermore, the Medical Board must be notified of settlements of $30,000 or more, which can also be an obstacle to settling a case.
It is also worth noting that California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) places a $250,000 limit on the non-economic damages that can be recovered in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Plaintiffs can seek additional economic damages, such as lost earnings.
If a settlement is not reached, the case will go to trial or binding arbitration to determine its outcome. The medical malpractice attorneys of Belgum, Fry & Van Allen will fight to preserve your rights and work to get the compensation you deserve. Those who are seeking further legal counsel can give us a call at (626) 914-9806 or fill out a free case evaluation form.