Medical malpractice can lead to a wide range of injuries. Some are more superficial and will resolve themselves relatively quickly, but catastrophic or permanent injuries are much more severe and can have effects lasting years.
It's important to know what your rights are and how to protect them in the event that you are a victim of medical malpractice.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs if medical professionals act in a way that provides poor quality care and harms you. Medical malpractice has a time limit to which claims can be filed, and so, waiting to act can limit your legal options.
If you believe you are a victim of medical malpractice, you need to seek alternative medical attention and speak with a lawyer. Filling out a form at Accident.com is a great way to contact a medical malpractice lawyer. Accident.com has helped many people navigate through the process of claims, and they can help you too.
Catastrophic vs Permanent Injury
Some injuries are classified as catastrophic or are determined to be "detrimental" to an individual. Some injuries fall into the category of permanent injuries, where the injury is expected to last a person's lifetime. A permanent injury can be mild or severe, but they usually affect the person's daily life and activities.
Examples of Catastrophic Injuries
- Spinal cord
- Brain injury
- Limb loss
- Severe burns
- Internal organ injury
- Birth injury (can be catastrophic or permanent)
- Surgical mistake (surgery to the wrong side of the body, for example)
- Injury to the senses (eye injury, for example)
Examples of Permanent Injuries
- Medication errors
- Birth injury
- Injuries involving mental or physical damage
What Are the Consequences of Such Severe Injuries?
- Physical aspects of the injury itself can be devastating to an individual. They may need assistance in their day-to-day life. If that is the case, you will likely want a lawyer on your side.
- Emotional aspects of the injury can range from mild to completely debilitating. If you are seeking disability insurance, a lawyer can be a great asset.
- Loss of income can happen if you are away from work due to the injury. A lawyer can help you seek compensation for the lost income.
Criteria for Claims
- The injury happened one year ago or less.
- You were hospitalized or received medical treatment for the injury.
- A medical professional is at fault for the injury.
- You do not have a lawyer that represents you.
- Your claim meets the definition of medical malpractice.
Not all injuries are simple, and a permanent injury may result in further medical complications to the individual. Complications are costly for insurance companies, and the injured person could receive a limited award from a malpractice claim.
The Levels of Liability for Catastrophic and Permanent Injuries
Currently, the limit for personal injury claims in California is $250,000. There are actions in progress to increase that limit, as only a few states have that low of a limit. This level has not increased for several decades in California.
There is no time to wait to file your claim. Section 340.5 of the California Code of Civil Procedure states that medical malpractice claims must be filed within three years of the injury or within one year of discovery. The claim can also be filed one year after someone with reasonable diligence has discovered the injury.
Finding a Qualified Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Make sure you find someone who is well-read in medical malpractice claims. These claims are tricky to file and are complicated. Retaining someone with the appropriate legal background will be important for you. Accident.com will connect you with a qualified medical malpractice lawyer in your area. The lawyer will then review the file and provide you with a free consultation on your case.
If your case is accepted, the lawyer will file your claim for you. The next part of the process is negotiating the settlement amount or taking your claim to trial or further legal action.
You should not speak to third parties that may have conflicting interests with your claim. All communication should go through your lawyer.
If your medical malpractice case is accepted, lawyers will:
- Request your medical records.
- Review police reports and medical charts that pertain to your claim.
- Communicate back and forth with your insurance adjuster.
- Consider accounts of other legal situations, including bankruptcy, divorce, criminal charges, etc., and will work with other lawyers (from other practice areas) to determine the best solution for you.
- Handle the insurance company's lawyers if your case goes past negotiations.
- Handle your arbitration, mediation, or trial when necessary.
Don't wait to file your claim; time may be running out. Reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer at Accident.com.