If a person suffers a medical complication or injury caused by negligence while being treated by a medical professional, he or she can file a medical malpractice case in court and request compensation. If you are a member of Kaiser Permanente, however, your case is generally resolved through binding arbitration. This is because the paperwork a person signs to become a Kaiser member waives the right to sue for medical malpractice in court. This does not mean, however, that a person who signs a Kaiser arbitration agreement is not able to fight for compensation if he or she received negligent medical care.
A Kaiser arbitration case is not like a traditional lawsuit where a jury hears the case and renders a verdict. Instead, in Kaiser cases, one or more neutral arbitrators decide the outcome of the claim. In Kaiser medical malpractice cases it is essential for the arbitrator or arbitrators to be selected fairly, and having an attorney who is experienced in Kaiser cases to ensure the correct process is followed and the maximum recovery is obtained.
How do I know if I have a Kaiser case?
When it comes to personal injury and medical malpractice cases, there is no “one size fits all” approach. The best way to know whether you have a case is to book a confidential consultation with an experienced attorney who can help determine whether it is worth bringing your case to arbitration.
What is a contingency fee?
California law states that attorneys who represent clients in medical malpractice cases can only do so on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney must be able to successfully resolve the matter on behalf of the client before they can charge a fee, and a maximum fee must be set – which is usually dependent on the amount of financial compensation recovered.
The time limits
If you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you usually have to one year to make a claim. However, the time limits can vary depending on the facts of each case, and it is advisable to make a claim as soon as you suspect you have a case. Hiring an attorney to advise you should also be done at the soonest opportunity. Kaiser cases are usually resolved more promptly than court cases. However, they could take at least a year before an outcome is decided upon.
In what circumstances do cases end up at an arbitration hearing?
Many Kaiser malpractice cases are resolved through negotiations prior to any hearing. However, when a settlement cannot be reached, an arbitration hearing is usually the next necessary step. Kaiser will hire experienced attorneys to examine each case, and if Kaiser believes that no medical malpractice occurred, it will more than likely push for an arbitration hearing rather than settle.
If you believe that you have a Kaiser medical malpractice claim, the experienced lawyers at Karlin & Karlin can provide you with excellent counsel and aggressive representation. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.