When healthcare professionals hurt the people they are supposed to protect, injured patients can file civil claims against them. When a surgical error, medication mistake, misdiagnosis, or other healthcare error is the reason for your injuries, California law allows you to pursue justice. Instead of shouldering this burden alone, consider retaining the services of a talented lawyer.
Our tenacious personal injury attorneys fight for those who fall victim to negligent nurses, nursing home staff, doctors, surgeons, and chiropractors. When you are in this position, a Bakersfield medical malpractice lawyer at our firm can review your claim and advise you of your legal options.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider’s actions do not align with what the circumstances and common practice require them to do. For example, when a surgeon leaves surgical instruments, such as a sponge or scalpel, in a patient before stitching them up, the patient could have a viable malpractice claim. Likewise, when a doctor misdiagnoses a patient and should have caught the error, they could also be on the hook for malpractice.
To have a valid claim, the injured patient must establish the appropriate standard of care for their situation. The patient and their legal representative could accomplish this by talking to medical experts who practice the same type of medicine as the healthcare professional who caused their injuries. For example, the expert might testify that acceptable cardiology practices call for doctors to perform a particular scan when the patient presents with specific symptoms.
Diligent attorneys in Bakersfield help injured patients discern how healthcare malpractice occurred and who is responsible for the damage. They can also review medical records or research to determine what should have happened and how to hold the at-fault hospital or professional accountable for their actions.
How Long Do Victims Have to File a Claim After a Medical Mistake?
California Code of Civil Procedure § 340.5 dictates how much time injured patients have to file a lawsuit for the injuries they experience at the hands of a medical provider. Most people must bring a case within three years after their injury. Sometimes, patients can submit a claim up to one year after they discover—or should have discovered—their injuries.
The patient may have additional time to take legal action when their case involves fraud or intentional concealment. These issues might arise when the negligent doctor or hospital intentionally covers up the error. Furthermore, when a provider leaves a foreign object in the patient, the victim may have longer to bring a claim.
When the patient does not assert their legal rights within the deadline, the court could bar them from filing a claim. A skilled lawyer could help an injured patient in Bakersfield determine what deadlines they need to follow for their medical malpractice claim. Likewise, they can prepare and file the appropriate documents with the correct court.
Consult With a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Bakersfield for Assistance
You have the right to seek medical attention without worrying about whether a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare worker will make a mistake that further contributes to your injuries. When healthcare professionals veer from the standards they are supposed to follow, and you get injured, state law allows you to hold them accountable in court.
Our knowledgeable team of attorneys understands some of the frustrations you might be experiencing when a medical provider causes you harm. Contact a Bakersfield medical malpractice lawyer at our office to schedule a consultation.