doctors performing surgery in operating room with surgical instrumentsThe Salamati Law Firm has dedicated the past two decades to helping victims of medical malpractice and other personal injuries in Los Angeles and throughout California. The firm aggressively fights to hold those at fault accountable so that Los Angeles families can focus on recovery.

Whether it is something routine like infant vaccines or non-routine like a double bypass heart surgery, we put tremendous trust in medical providers. Doctors, nurses, surgeons, medical assistants, hospitals – each has a professional responsibility and plays an important role in providing necessary medical care. When that medical care does not meet the current professional standard, it can constitute medical malpractice that threatens the patient and their loved ones.

Call today for a free legal consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

How common is medical malpractice?

There are no official statistics to document all instances of medical malpractice. For instance, death certificates list a cause of death but do not record when the cause was due to medical error. When medical malpractice claims are settled, the terms are confidential and the public does not know what kind of medical errors the provider may have committed.

Despite this, recent studies have estimated that medical errors are the third leading cause of deaths in the United States. For example, a 2016 report from Johns Hopkins University estimated based on data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention that medical errors directly contribute to more than 250,000 deaths in this country each year.

In other words, dangerous medical errors are more common than most people realize.

Is there a California statute of limitations for medical malpractice?

California limits the time that a medical malpractice victim has to file a lawsuit.

The general rule is that a victim must file a claim:

  • Within one year from the date that the malpractice occurred OR that he or should should reasonably have discovered that it occurred, provided that
  • No more than three years has passed from the date that the malpractice occurred.

There are exceptions in special cases, including when:

  • The victim is a minor child
  • Alleged fraud or concealment prevented filing the action
  • The alleged malpractice involves leaving a foreign object in the patient

California has enacted other time frames that victims of medical errors must comply with as well. For example, at least 90 days before filing a lawsuit, the potential plaintiff must provide a notice to the medical provider. It must include:

  • The legal reason for the lawsuit
  • The injuries suffered
  • Losses incurred as a result

If the notice is served within 90 days of the end of the limitations period, the deadline to file a claim will be extended by 90 days from the date of service of the notice to the provider.

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to a medical error in Los Angeles, CA, waiting to pursue a claim can jeopardize your case. Letting the statute of limitations slip by without following the necessary steps to file a claim will permanently bar you from filing a claim. If you think you or a family member have been the victim of a medical error, speak with an attorney in LA without delay.

How long does a medical malpractice case last?

Like most legal issues, the honest answer is “it depends”. In general, a medical malpractice case lasts about a couple of years. A number of factors will influence how long a case takes to resolve. These can include:

  • The number of parties involved
  • Whether the questions are factual or legal
  • How clear-cut the liability is

The length of your case, however, will not affect your legal fee. At The Salamati Law Firm, we only take a fee if (and when) we win a settlement or verdict for you. That means you do not have to worry about the fee increasing if the case lasts longer than expected.

How much is a my medical malpractice case worth?

Each case is unique so there is no way to definitely say what your case is worth without knowing more. Some general guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. A settlement or jury award will depend, in large part, on the measurable economic damages suffered. These will include past and future medical expenses, disability and lost wages, loss of future income, nursing care, necessary household help reasonably related to the injury, and special equipment.
  2. California caps non-economic damages at $250,000. Losses like emotional distress and loss of consortium are real and significant but the state legislature has chosen to limit the amount that an injured party may recover for these less measurable losses.
  3. Juries respond in different ways to different types of cases.

Speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to get a better idea of how these factors may affect in your case.

Speak with a Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyer

Medical malpractice lawsuits must comply with rigorous statutory and procedural rules – something most people are not looking forward to when they are coping with the physical, financial, and emotional loss of a medical error-related injury. Sean Salamati is dedicated to helping people in this situation, managing the legal end so that you can focus on recovery.

The Salamati Law Firm understands the fatigue that most people feel when going through a medical malpractice claim. Sean Salamati has more than two decades of experience fighting for the rights of injury victims and enlists a team of experts as he fights for maximum compensation. Call today for a free review of your case.

Additional “California Medical Malpractice Lawsuit” Resources:

  1. California Legislative Information, Chapter 5. The Commencement of Actions Based Upon Professional Negligence, http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=364.&lawCode=CCP
  2. Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins study suggests medical errors are third-leading cause of death in U.S., https://hub.jhu.edu/2016/05/03/medical-errors-third-leading-cause-of-death/