Medical Malpractice

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Orange County Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals perform incredibly important duties in our society. They are regularly trusted to diagnose, treat, and, hopefully, prevent disease using skills and knowledge obtained over years of study and through practical experience. No other profession so often calls for someone’s complete trust in the professional’s competence and care.

But when medical professionals do not exercise due care, devastating injuries can result. Medical negligence can result in prolonged illness, permanent disability, or even death. According to the Journal of Patient Safety, each year between 210,000 and 440,000 patients who go to the hospital suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their passing. This makes medical malpractice the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Victims of medical malpractice are not without recourse. They are legally entitled to compensation for their damages, which may include emotional distress, loss of quality of life, loss of income, and past and future medical expenses. However, medical malpractice cases are also particularly complex and daunting affairs that require extensive investigation and thorough expert workup. Thankfully, the attorneys at Hodes Milman Ikuta are extremely familiar with the challenges of medical malpractice cases and we have a proven track record of successful litigation in these unique matters.

If you feel you or a loved one has been wronged by a doctor, hospital, clinic, or other medical provider or facility, we may be able to help. We have over 30 years of experience in obtaining compensation for victims of medical negligence and we can help you and your family take the first step toward recovery.

Once you realize you’ve been hurt by those meant to help you, a common question many clients ask us is: how could something like this happen?

During this stressful time, we know that filing a lawsuit against your doctor can sound like a daunting task, and your health and healing should come first – not searching for the right lawyer to represent you.

If you feel you have been wronged by a medical facility or members of the staff and don’t know where to turn, call one of our medical malpractice attorneys to have your questions answered accurately and confidentially. We have over 30 years of experience defending victims of medical mistreatment and we can help you and your family take the first step towards recovery.

Medical Malpractice Verdicts and Settlements

The attorneys at Hodes Milman Ikuta have successfully fought on behalf of hundreds of people who have been affected by a medical professional’s mistake and recovered millions of dollars for future care.

Below are a few examples of recoveries which may also be found on our Case Results page.

$10,096,000

Awarded to the family after the wrongful death of a young woman and mother.

$4,000,000

For a woman whose discontinuation of antibiotic medication put her in a coma.

$2,400,000

For a man who suffered a brain injury as a result of nurse negligence.

$2,100,000

For a multiple sclerosis misdiagnosis that caused liver and neurologic injury.

$1,550,000

For a woman who suffers incurable breast cancer due to delayed diagnosis.

 

GET A FREE CASE REVIEW

Take advantage of our free, private case review offer! Simply fill out the form below or call us at (949) 640-8222 to schedule your consultation.

 

Client Testimonial:

My husband received bad medical care and as a result almost died. I was fortunate enough to be referred to Jeff Milman. Jeff was so easy to talk to and worked so hard to get us a settlement. He kept us informed every step of the way. It was so great to have someone who believed in us after what we went through. We are forever grateful for the work he did on our behalf and would highly recommend him to anyone in our situation.
– Cyndi Farrington.

What Has to Be Proven in a Medical Malpractice Case?

In order to prevail in a medical malpractice claim, the injured party has to be able to prove all of the following elements:

  • They were owed a professional duty of care by the healthcare provider;
  • There was a breach of this duty by the healthcare provider;
  • The breach of the duty of care caused injuries; and
  • The injuries have resulted in measurable damages.

Healthcare providers must always render treatment within the standard of care. This means that they must utilize the level of skill, care, and knowledge that a reasonably careful provider would use in the same or similar circumstances. When a healthcare provider fails to exercise this level of reasonable care and because of that failure, the patient is injured and suffers damages on account of that injury, it is medical malpractice.

Proving whether the standard of care was breached and whether the breach of the standard of care caused injury requires the input of expert witnesses. For instance, a case involving an error during surgery will require an expert surgeon to testify as to what the standard of care was, how it was breached in the case, and how that caused or contributed to the patient’s injuries. Similarly, a case involving a hypoxic brain injury to a newborn during labor and delivery may require the input of an expert obstetrician, an expert labor and delivery nurse, and an expert pediatric neurologist to prove the elements of duty, breach, and causation.

The Kinds of Medical Malpractice Cases We Handle

Medical malpractice can occur during a variety of contexts, such as during hospital admissions, during surgery, and even during routine outpatient care. Our firm handles cases arising from all of those contexts, as well as from many other situations. The types of cases we handle include:

  • Birth injuries resulting in brain damage or cerebral palsy due to failure to recognize fetal distress by nurses and doctors and failure to perform a Cesarean section
  • Delay in the diagnosis of cancer due to misinterpretation of X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs; misinterpretation of pathology specimens; or failure to properly follow up on findings of masses during routine physical examinations, endoscopies, and other procedures
  • Delay in the diagnosis of breast cancer due to misinterpretation of mammograms and ultrasounds or failure to follow up on breast lumps
  • Misdiagnosis, delay in diagnosis, or failure to recognize signs and symptoms of treatable diseases
  • Improper medication administrations and prescriptions
  • Improperly performed surgeries, injections, and other invasive procedures resulting in organ damage, nerve damage, brain damage, or paralysis
  • Wrong-sided or wrong-site surgeries
  • Retained foreign bodies following surgeries or invasive procedures

We have experience pursuing these cases against hospitals, doctors, medical groups, nursing facilities, and surgery centers; in arbitrations against Kaiser Permanente; and in proceedings against the Veterans Affairs healthcare system.

We also regularly handle wrongful death cases on behalf of families who have lost loved ones due to the negligence of healthcare providers, as well as elder abuse claims if the case involves an elder or dependent adult and the malpractice rises to the level of neglect.

Every medical malpractice case has unique features and challenges and thus, we encourage you to contact us if you feel that your situation involved negligent medical care by a healthcare provider.

What Can Be Recovered in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Victims of medical malpractice are able to recover both economic and non-economic damages, much like in other forms of personal injury litigation. Non-economic damages represent the value of non-quantifiable or abstract losses sustained by the injured party. The value of an injured person’s pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, worsening of prior injuries, and emotional anguish are all forms of non-economic damages. These are a significant component of any claim for personal injury, including medical malpractice claims.

However, California law puts a strict limit on the amount of recoverable non-economic damages for claims of professional negligence against a healthcare provider. The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 (abbreviated as MICRA) limited the recoverable non-economic damages in all medical malpractice cases in California to a maximum of $250,000. This is codified in Civil Code section 3333.2.

Economic damages represent quantifiable losses sustained because of the injuries alleged in the case. Loss of past and future earnings, loss of household services, and past and future medical expenses are all common forms of economic damages. Each of those may be recovered in medical malpractice actions if proven by evidence.

Although MICRA placed a maximum limit on recoverable non-economic damages in any medical malpractice case, there is no such limitation on economic damages.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney?

At Hodes Milman Ikuta, there is no charge for an initial consultation regarding a potential medical malpractice case. We also take these cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that our fees are dependent on the outcome of the case. If we obtain a recovery during the case, we take a percentage of the recovery, but if we do not, then we do not charge any attorney’s fee.

Furthermore, after we accept the case, our firm will front the costs of court filings, gathering evidence, and taking depositions against the potential recovery, meaning that you will not need to fund the entire litigation process.

One of MICRA’s provisions was a limitation on the maximum contingency fee that an attorney may charge in a medical malpractice case. Thus, in compliance with this law, as codified in Business and Professions Code section 6146, our fee structure for medical malpractice cases is generally as follows:

  • 40 percent of the first $50,000 recovered
  • 33.3 percent of the next $50,000 recovered
  • 25 percent of the next $500,000 recovered
  • 15 percent of any amount on which the recovery exceeds $600,000

In medical malpractice cases, we also take our fees after deducting any disbursements or costs associated with the case. Again, each case is different, so it is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney regarding your specific case.

How Long Do I Have to Sue For Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice actions, like other personal injury actions, are subject to statutes of limitations that govern how long one has to bring a case before the right to compensation is forever lost. California’s medical malpractice statute of limitations is codified in Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5, which states that “In an action for injury or death against a health care provider based upon such person’s alleged professional negligence, the time for the commencement of action shall be 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.”

Thus, in most cases, one has only one year from the date that they discovered, or should have discovered, the injury caused by the malpractice to bring a lawsuit.

Determining when the statute of limitations period will expire in a given case can be very tricky. There are some exceptions to the general rule where the statutory period may be longer, such as in cases involving injuries to minors, or shorter, such as in cases involving government-operated healthcare facilities.

A year can pass extremely quickly when one is dealing with the aftermath of a devastating injury due to malpractice. Thus, you should immediately take action if you believe that you or a loved one was injured by the negligence of a healthcare provider.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

We know that not all healthcare professionals are the same, and neither are all attorneys. The right one can help change your life for the better – you deserve that.

The team at Hodes Milman Ikuta can help make this difficult time easier for you and your family. Our team will do all of the work, while you focus on getting your life back on track. You pay nothing unless we win for you.

Contact us today by calling (949) 640-8222 for a no-cost, no-obligation.

From collecting medical records to making phone calls on your behalf, we will handle every aspect of your case, allowing you to focus on what is more important: your healing and recovery. Let us be your advocates.

Sources:

http://journals.lww.com/journalpatientsafety/Fulltext/2013/09000/A_New,_Evidence_based_Estimate_of_Patient_Harms.2.aspx

 

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When you work with us, you’ll see the difference. A lot of firms are quick to show you numbers, and it is absolutely true that your lawyer should have experience and a strong track record in the area that you require. However, we’ll take it one step further. We also believe that your attorney should put your needs, cares and desires first. Because you deserve more than just compensation for your losses - you deserve a true advocate.

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