Los Angeles Hospital Malpractice Attorney
Seasoned Legal Representation in Elder Abuse Cases
Elder abuse and neglect occurs in many ways and in various circumstances. One of those circumstances can involve the misconduct of hospitals or their employees when caring for the elderly. Hospitals, their doctors, nurses, technicians, and other staff owe a duty of care to all patients. When dealing with the elderly, who may be fragile, chronically ill, physically, mentally, or emotionally unstable, that duty of care is even more crucial. Should any type of malpractice occur resulting in harm to the patient, the hospital may be liable for damages.
Hospital Malpractice Claims in Los Angeles
Malpractice can occur in emergency rooms, operating and recovery rooms, hospital pharmacies, through lab testing, post-treatment, and in any aspect of the patient’s care during a hospital stay.
Examples of hospital malpractice can include (but are not limited to):
- A failure to diagnose, or a delayed diagnosis
- Complications from treatment or surgery
- Mistakes made by hospital technicians (e.g. failure to sanitize equipment)
- Surgical errors (e.g. a foreign object being left inside you during surgery, etc.)
- The “standard of care” was not followed
- Dangerous or negligent actions by hospital staff (reusing equipment or needles, leaving floors wet, stealing or abusing medications)
- Discrimination (a staff member refusing to treat you due to your race, sexual orientation, nationality, etc.)
Schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles hospital malpractice lawyer about your potential case. Contact us today at (818) 808-0048.
Elderly Hospital Malpractice
The elderly are especially susceptible to hospital malpractice. One common form of elder abuse and neglect involves the misconduct of hospitals or their employees when caring for the elderly. Hospitals, their doctors, nurses, technicians, and other staff owe a duty of care to all patients. When dealing with the elderly, who may be fragile, chronically ill, physically, mentally, or emotionally unstable, that duty of care is even more crucial. Should any type of malpractice occur resulting in harm to the patient, the hospital may be liable for damages. Because of laws put in place to protect the elderly, financial damages may be much higher for a hospital malpractice suit involving an elderly victim.
How Do You Know if You Have a Valid Malpractice Claim?
Suing a hospital for malpractice can be a very complex process. The best way to determine if you have an actionable case is to consult with an experienced attorney who can review the facts and circumstances. An experienced malpractice attorney will cover many things in your free consultation. The attorney will determine:
- If you had a reasonable assumption of care that was not met.
- If your medical care provider was negligent.
- If that medical care provider’s negligence caused you injury.
- If that injury led to specific provable damages.
Once it is determined that your case is valid, you can use your attorney’s skills and resources to determine how to proceed. It is important to remember that a statute of limitations generally applies to malpractice claims, putting you under specific time limits to pursue your case.
Hospital Malpractice Statistics
- An estimated 225,000 people die each year from some form of medical malpractice, from incorrect dosages to surgical errors, to wrong diagnosis. This is the third most common reason for death in the United States. Only 2% of those who suffer from hospital medical malpractice ever file claims for compensation.
- The average out of court settlement for a medical malpractice lawsuit is just over $425,000, while the average jury award is now over $1 Million.
- In California, there are 16.9 malpractice suits per 100,000 residents. In 2018, the total payout was $263.8 million, an almost 20% increase on the year before.
What Berberian Ain LLP Can Do For You
Hospital Malpractice cases can be very complex from a legal, medical, and procedural standpoint. Proving your case is going to require not just a firm understanding of the law as it applies to your situation, but a familiarity with the kinds of hoops a hospital medical malpractice plaintiff needs to jump through, including the retention of the right expert medical witness. Having an expert hospital malpractice lawyer on your side can make all the difference. Here are some ways Berberian Ain, LLC can help you in attaining justice from a negligent hospital:
Help You Act Before The Statute of Limitations Deadline Passes
The biggest mistake a patient can make is waiting too long to file a hospital malpractice lawsuit in court. Statutory time limits (called “statutes of limitations” in legalese) require patients to file legal claims promptly.
In California, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed no later than three years after the date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury (whichever occurs first).
There are circumstances that will extend these dates, for instance if the neglect was leaving an instrument inside a surgical patient, and it is not discovered until much later. This and other extenuating circumstances will change the limitation statute deadlines, and Berberian Ain can help you navigate the specific dates.
Determine Who Is At Fault
Just because medical negligence occurred at a hospital doesn’t necessarily mean that the facility itself can be held responsible. If the malpractice your case is based on was carried out by an individual doctor and that doctor is an independent contractor (therefore not an employee of the hospital), you need to pursue action against the doctor themselves. In many cases, you can’t sue a hospital for a doctor’s treatment error, unless the doctor is an employee of the hospital, or when the doctor’s incompetence should have been obvious to the hospital. An experienced hospital malpractice attorney can help you figure out the relationship between a doctor and a hospital, and determine who is liable for your injuries.
Obtain Complete Medical Records
Hospitals in California must keep patient records for a minimum of 10 years after a patient is discharged. In fact, all medical service providers, including hospitals, are required to keep a record of each service rendered, the beneficiary or person to whom rendered, the date of service and any additional information that the Department of Health Care Services may require. A hospital malpractice attorney will make sure you are given your full medical records, including your chart, in a timely manner.
Determine Your Damages
A medical malpractice attorney will help you determine the value of your case. The lawyer will consider all possible losses and harm stemming from the malpractice, including medical treatment made necessary by the error, past and future wage losses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life (the decreased value of a person’s life as a result of the injury, measured by changes in lifestyle, such as the loss of the ability to enjoy sports, walk or play with children), and loss of consortium (losses suffered by family members as a result of the injury). Itemizing and justifying these damages will be crucial in presenting your malpractice care.
Comply With All Procedural Rules
Only a local medical malpractice attorney will know all of the requirements a state requires patients fulfill before filing hospital malpractice lawsuits. Did your injury occur in Los Angeles, or Glendale? The requirements for filing medical malpractice lawsuits vary by locale, so a national law firm will be less desirable than a hospital malpractice lawyer near Los Angeles, California. Any pre-filing duties necessary, determined by type of case, will be handled by Berberian Ain, LLC.
Draft and File The Complaint
The actual substance of the complaint will be drafted and filed in civil court by your experienced hospital malpractice attorney. The complaint is a formal recitation of the allegations against the defendant doctors and/or hospital. The filing of the complaint kicks off the mechanisms of the lawsuit. Often, no talk of settlement will occur until the complaint is filed and official.
Mediation, Negotiation, and Trial
Once the complaint is filed, the lawsuit begins in earnest. Both sides will get the opportunity to hear the arguments of the other. If mediation is called for, or negotiation for a possible hospital malpractice settlement, your personal hospital malpractice attorney can handle these confrontations completely as your representative. If negotiations fail, having an attorney is crucial in going to trial.
We’re Here to Help. Contact Us Today!
Your case may seem overwhelming in the beginning, but there are others who have been in similar situations and found a way forward. Our team can help you make the next steps. Contact Us today to schedule a free initial consultation with our lawyers. You can also call us at 818-808-0048.