Several years ago, a landmark medical study exposed the truth about the prevalence of medical errors in the U.S. This study revealed that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in adults. Although it had long been understood that medical errors and other forms of medical negligence affect millions upon millions of Americans every year, this study clarified how destructive medical errors truly are. In addition to the millions of Americans who die because of medical errors, there are many millions more who suffer non-fatal harm as a result of subpar medical care.
If you or a loved one has recently suffered harm and you either know or suspect that this harm was caused by subpar medical care, connect with The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, PC, today to explore your legal options. We can provide you with personalized legal guidance in a confidential, risk-free, no-cost consultation setting. Call 949-727-9300 or contact us online to make an appointment.
Standing To Sue A Medical Care Provider
In California, any patient who has suffered harm due to subpar medical care is in a position to sue that provider for medical negligence or medical malpractice. Medical errors are among the most common forms of medical malpractice but not all medical malpractice involves making a mistake. Essentially, if a medical provider (an individual or a facility) provides care that is below the standard of care that any other reasonably prudent provider would give to a patient facing similar circumstances and a patient is harmed due to that subpar care, the patient is able to sue that provider for damages.
Additionally, closely related family members of patients who have died due to medical malpractice also have the standing to sue medical providers for the harm they’ve caused. Similarly, parents of minors who have been injured or made ill due to insufficient quality of medical care are also able to sue responsible providers.
The only truly notable exception to the rules explained above occurs if someone is harmed by advice or “care” of some sort extended by someone who is not their provider. For example, if you ask a doctor with whom you happen to be attending a dinner party if you should pursue some course of action and you are harmed as a result of that action, you likely can’t sue that doctor unless you’re already their established patient. You and the provider must be involved in some sort of professional relationship before you can hold them accountable for subpar care.
When Must A Lawsuit Be Filed?
Under California law, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within three years of the malpractice occurrence. If the victim is not immediately aware that they’ve been harmed, the law grants them one year from the date they either discovered or should have discovered the malpractice-related injury. Minors are given longer than this to pursue their legal options, and there are some exceptions to the general rules that can result in a statute of limitations extension for adults as well.
The rules are not as absolute for medical malpractice as for other kinds of injuries, primarily because it is often challenging to identify when medical malpractice has occurred. Healthcare providers are often unaware that they’ve made mistakes until the consequences of their missteps start manifesting. Also, healthcare providers often fail to disclose when they’ve engaged in subpar care, so it can take patients and their families some time to discover that something has gone wrong.
Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer
The Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates understand the impact of serious injuries caused by negligence of healthcare professionals. We are experienced medical malpractice attorneys and are committed to providing you with the best representation when you need it the most. With our experience, resources, and compassion, we are here to help you and your loved ones during this difficult time.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary case consultation with an attorney, please call 949-727-9300.
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