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Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Medical Malpractice & Negligence Lawyer

Understanding Medical Malpractice

Physicians, nurses, hospitals, clinics, healthcare organizations and other medical professionals must possess and exercise the same level of professional knowledge, skill and judgment expected of all other similar healthcare providers and properly utilize that knowledge, skill and judgment for the benefit of their patients. The same standard of care is required no matter the location or cost of such care or the ethnicity, insurance status, age, marital status, relative wealth or poverty of the patient.

Unfortunately, not every medical professional, hospital or clinic consistently exercises the required standard of care. According to Johns Hopkins University, 250,000 Americans are injured or killed by medical errors or negligence every year, making it one of the leading causes of death and injury in the United States. Among all those who have been injured or died only about 3% of these victims or their families file a claim for damages.

Some physicians are consistently negligent. An astonishing 5% of physicians are responsible for half of all medical malpractice claims. The worst 1.7% of these offenders are responsible for nearly 28% of all claims for medical negligence. Also, not all hospitals are created equal. It is no secret that the quality of hospital care differs significantly depending on location, affiliation with a medical school, and staffing quality and supervision.

Types of Medical Malpractice

Our practice concentrates on medical malpractice cases, particularly those involving children – such as when a child suffers from cerebral palsy as a result of medical negligence during birth. Learn more about the medical malpractice cases we handle:

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

Medical or hospital malpractice is just a species of negligence. A driver can run a red light and cause injury, a physician or nurse can run a medical red light and cause the same injury. Both are negligent and must be responsible for the injury and damage they cause.

Some other common examples of medical malpractice include failure to adequately recognize and respond to fetal distress in labor, wrong location or unnecessary surgery, failure to obtain proper informed consent from the patient, exceeding the consent, incorrectly prescribed medication, surgical mistakes, lab errors, premature discharge, failure to recognize and respond to worrisome symptoms, failure to obtain a proper patient history, failure to order a proper x-ray or other studies, sending an unstable patient home, failure to accurately diagnose a patient or obtain the necessary studies or consults to do so.

To meet the legal standard of negligence, a claim must meet the following standard:

  • The standard of care was not met. The law recognizes that the medical industry has certain standards relating to the quality of care provided to patients. These standards define what is considered acceptable medical treatment by reasonable and prudent professionals. Patients have the right to expect that their care meets this standard.
  • The victim was injured by negligence. In addition to a negligent act, the victim must prove that he or she suffered an injury as the result of that negligence. A physician may perform a deeply ill-advised procedure, but if no injury occurred, then the malpractice standard is not met. The victim must prove that an injury was suffered and that the negligent act or omission, cause or contributed to an injury.
  • The injury caused significant damages. Due to the nature of medical malpractice cases (they are often long, complex and expensive to litigate) for our office to accept a case, the patient must have sustained a significant injury. This often means showing that the injury caused a significant loss of income, or requires ongoing and costly care, or hardship or a disability. If the injury is not sufficiently severe, the costs of litigation may outweigh moving forward (although borderline cases may be resolved through negotiated settlement).

Finding the Right Medical Malpractice Attorney

California is one of the states most affected by medical malpractice. If you or someone you love has been impacted by this situation, it is critically important to speak to an experienced attorney.

Michels & Lew specializes in medical malpractice litigation and has for 40 years. Our lawyers are recognized by the state bar as experienced in medical malpractice. We have written about and spoken many times about medical malpractice at lawyer conventions and seminars. We hire the best national medical experts in all of our cases. We spend what is necessary to pursue and prove our cases. No client is ever asked to advance the expenses required to work up or litigate our cases. You owe us nothing if we lose but we win 98% of our trials.

Contact us today for a quick and free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice refers to a situation in which a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or nurse, deviates from the accepted standards of care, resulting in harm or injury to a patient. This can include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication mistakes, or negligence in providing medical treatment, and often leads to legal action to seek compensation for the victim's damages.

What is the statue of limitation in California?

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