Medical Malpractice Attorney Los Angeles

Medical malpractice results in thousands of severe injuries and fatalities in the state of California each year. Patients have the right to seek financial compensation for harms suffered due to the medical negligence of practicing medical doctors and physicians. Medical malpractice claims are not only reserved for medical doctors but can also include hospitals, health care centers, chiropractors, dentists, nurses, and pharmacists.

Expert Medical Malpractice Legal Representation: Medical negligence lawsuits are considerably more difficult to litigate when compared to many other personal injury claims. In one study, only 27% of medical malpractice trial cases resulted in a beneficial outcome for the plaintiff, in comparison to 52% for all other personal injury type claims. Under these circumstances, it is vital to seek legal representation from accomplished medical malpractice lawyers who have the depth of knowledge and expertise to handle your case. Normandie Law Firm is one of the top-rated law firms in Los Angeles, and our experience handling medical malpractice claims will help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Types of Medical Malpractice

There are numerous sorts of medical malpractice acts that are common. Some of the most widespread and harmful types of medical malpractice are provided below.

  • Failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis of a harmful disease or conditions, including failure to conduct proper tests in evaluating cancers or heart disease.
  • Surgical errors, which are common errors during operations. These include performing the wrong surgery, wrongful amputation of the legs, removal of the wrong organ, damage to the nerves, anesthesia errors, leaving foreign objects inside the body following procedures, and failure to provide informed consent.
  • Medical malpractice in the emergency room. For instance, following an auto accident, slip and fall injury, head injury, or other serious accidents, you require immediate and careful medical attention. Usually, this is the result of over crowding or inattentiveness by emergency room staff and medical providers.
  • Birth Injuries, which include improper use of forceps and vacuum extraction. Such cases often result in significant nerve injury and a diagnosis of Erb’s palsy or cerebral palsy.
  • Medication Errors. Sometimes, you may be given the improper dosage or receive the wrong drug altogether.
  • Nursing home medical errors, including medical neglect. Many patients in nursing homes will suffer from severe bed sores due to the inattentiveness of medical providers. According to the naturally followed practice, patients who are immobile must be turned from one side to the other so as to prevent bed sores. Another major issue for nursing home and elderly care centers is the contraction of deadly infections which can be easily spread around the facilities from person to person.

Other less common types of malpractice include dental and oral surgery malpractice, falls from hospital beds, slip and fall and trip and falls in hospitals, chiropractor malpractice, botched cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery, and infections contracted in hospitals due to lack of sanitary conditions or sanitary operating rooms.

No matter what type of medical malpractice you have sustained, you should seek out an expert medmal attorney.

Legal Definition of Medical Malpractice – What is Medical Negligence:

Doctors and medical physicians must follow specific guidelines delineated by their profession in their conduct during the treatment of a patient’s medical issues. Medical malpractice can be established when a failure to follow such guidelines is the cause of severe injuries to the patients.

For Example: If a diabetes patient is admitted to the hospital with a severe infection to the foot, the practicing physician must perform certain tests, including the taking of live cultures in order to determine whether the foot is infected. A case for wrongful amputation can be established when the practicing physician fails to conduct such tests or does not wait for the live culture of the test to reveal a positive identification for a severe infection before amputating the foot.

An attorney who has experience in medical malpractice claims can inform you as to whether or not your injury were due to the negligent actions of a doctor.

Elements Required to Establish a Claim for Malpractice under California Law

There are four essential elements in a successful medical malpractice claim.

One – Duty Owed by the Practicing Medical Provider: The duty that is owed by the medical provider is predicated on a set course of action established by the medical specialty the practitioner is a member of for a given medical condition. The medical provider is bound by his specialty to follow the established guidelines. Any deviation from the pre-established procedures will be a violation of the duty. Note: A medical doctor does not have a duty to provide medical care for nonpatients.

Two – Was there a Breach of the Medical Providers Duty of Care: A breach of a duty of care is established when there is any sort of deviation from the standard of care established by the medical specialty.

Three – Causation: Did the breach of the duty of care result (or cause) in the harm that was suffered? Causation can be a rather difficult element to prove often requiring expert testimony from the medical field at large. One way to overcome causation is to show the presence of “Res Ipsa Loquitur,” which is Latin for “it speaks for itself.” In order to present this notion, a plaintiff’s attorney will have to show that the injury could not have taken place otherwise (no other possible reason for the harm suffered), the defendant has exclusive and complete control of the instrument that resulted in the harm, and that no other individual had control over the instrument that caused the harm.

Four – Was there an actual injury? Medical documentation of the harm suffered is necessary in order to show that there was actual harm suffered.

For further information on these points of negligence, consult an attorney with expertise in medical malpractice injury lawsuits.

Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Claims in California

Historically, our common law system did not allow for family members of the deceased to receive any financial recovery from the at-fault defendant.  In the early part of the 20th century, many jurisdictions, including California, passed specific statutes granting certain family members of the deceased the right to file a civil claim for monetary damages for the death of a loved one.

Those who can file a Wrongful Death Motion in California: Specific individuals have the right to file a claim for the death of a loved or family member. These individuals include:

  • Spouse of the deceased
  • Domestic partners
  • Children of the deceased
  • Parents or sibling of the deceased: If there are no surviving descendants (children or spouse), they are entitled to the property of the deceased via intestate succession.
  • Financial Dependence: In certain instances, family members of the deceased are able to retrieve economic compensation if they were in some way financially dependent on the deceased.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

In the state of California, medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within ONE YEAR from the date of the incident. This differs from other personal injury claims which have a statute of limitations of two years. In some instances, courts may allow for the case to go forward despite a filing after the one-year statutory deadlines. Common examples where courts have allowed for a tolling of the statute of limitations in medical malpractice matters include injuries sustained by minors, wartime, and leave of state. A year can go by quickly; as a result, you should seek the assistance of a qualified lawyer experienced in medical malpractice cases so you will not miss any deadlines.

You can recover certain damages from these claims. They include:

  • Economic Damages: All medical and health-related costs, cost of future medical and rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, property damage, and loss of future earning capacity due to long-term or permanent disabilities.
  • Non-Economic Damages: Pain and suffering, emotional and mental anguish and punitive damages.
  • Note on MICRA Caps for Non-Economic Damages: In the state of California, recovery for non-economic damages is capped at $250,000.

Medical Malpractice Claim against Kaiser Permanente Hospital

Kaiser Permanente is the largest provider of medical care in Los Angeles and the State of California at large.  As a result, the Kaiser system receives the largest number of civil claims for monetary compensation on behalf of injured patients. Claims against Kaiser are different than other malpractice claims in that claimants who are part of the Kaiser system must sign an arbitration clause. Thus, members will have no choice but to follow a specifically delineated arbitration process in order to receive financial recovery. If you have any further questions regarding how the process works, feel free to contact our top law offices and we will set you up with an experienced attorney.

Compensation Available for Victims of Medical Malpractice

Victims of medical malpractice are entitled to compensation for both economic and non-economic damages sustained. The potential value of medical malpractice cases is dependent on several factors which are unique to each case. Talk to one of our experienced lawyers to learn more about these damages in greater detail. Some of the most important factors in determining a cases potential value include the following:

  • The degree of harm that the plaintiff suffered – The specific type of injury that was suffered due to the wrongful actions of others play a significant role in the overall potential value of a personal injury case.
  • Incurred medical costs associated with the treatment of the injury.
  • Cost of future medical care, treatment, nursing and home care due to the injury and development of long-term disability. A life care planner will be able to estimate the yearly costs of the necessary medical treatment based on the specific injuries and disability suffered.
  • Life expectancy of the individual – A person who suffered from life-altering harm at a younger age will likely have a higher case value because of the expected yearly costs of his medical care, which are multiplied by the years he is expected to live.
  • Loss of income and future loss of earnings potential.
  • Pain and suffering compensation – Including emotional distress, anxiety, mental hardship, depression, and the development of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Punitive damages: Courts may award punitive damages in cases where the wrongful party acted intentionally or acted with reckless disregard for the life and health of patients.
  • Availability for Spousal Loss of Consortium: Loss of consortium compensation is available for spouses of those who have suffered harm. They are entitled to recovery for the loss of love, companionship, sexual relations, and emotional support due to the harm affecting their husband or wife.

Note on MICRA Caps for Non-Economic Damages: In the state of California recovery for non-economic damages is capped at $250,000. Thus individuals can only recover a maximum of $250,000 in non-economic damages.

MICRA Restrictions on Attorney Fees and Provisions: The state of California has placed a cap on the amount an attorney can charge in a medical malpractice case:

  1. The first $50,000.00 attorney fees on medical malpractice cases are capped at 40.00%
  2. On the second $50,0000.00, the fees are capped at 33.33%
  3. On any sums of money recovery from $100,000.00 to $500,000.00, the fees are capped at 25.00%
  4. On any amounts of money recovered past $600,000, the fees are capped at 15.00%.

Cost of Hiring an Attorney – Legal Representation

Victims of personal injury are often hesitant to seek help for their case because of the seemingly high cost of legal representation. This concern is not unfounded; many attorneys will ask potential clients for thousands of dollars in initial retainer fees just to review their medical records in order to determine the existence of a medical error.  In order to avoid such concerns, our law firm has made the decision to work on medical malpractice claims strictly on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients will not have to pay us anything up front. An experienced lawyer will review your file free of charge, determined the viability of your case free of charge, and we will not charge you a single penny until there is a financially successful resolution of your claim. If we are not able to sin your case you do not have to pay us back for any legal costs or fees. For this reason, amongst many others, we are rated as one of the leading law firms in Los Angeles to deal with medical malpractice claims. To learn more about our Zero Fee Guarantee, see here or consult with one of our attorneys with experience in medical malpractice cases.

Attorney Help: Our law offices are proud to represent victims of medical malpractice and medical negligence including surgical errors in Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California. All consultations and case reviews are free as you never have to pay to speak to a skilled attorney experienced in medical malpractice cases.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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