While healthcare professionals are extensively trained and usually have years of working experience, they are still capable of making mistakes. Unfortunately, a momentary misstep or lapse in judgement by a doctor can have severe or even catastrophic consequences for the patient they are treating.
If you suffered a negative medical outcome that you suspect stemmed from medical negligence, it may be time to talk to a Corona medical malpractice lawyer about your legal options. Once retained, a skilled injury attorney could help you identify evidence of negligence, follow filing procedures set by state law, and mitigate factors that may limit the amount of compensation you could recover. En Español.
What are the Prerequisites for Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
At least 90 days before an injured person files a lawsuit for healthcare malpractice, they must notify the prospective defendant(s) in their case about their intent to file. According to California Code of Civil Procedure §364, this notification must include the legal grounds on which the plaintiff will file, the injuries they sustained, and the specific losses for which they seek to recover. Unlike many other states, California does not require that medical malpractice plaintiffs obtain and submit a certificate of merit with their initial filing.
That being said, injured parties still must adhere to the statute of limitations codified in California Code of Civil Procedures §340.5. Under this statute, plaintiffs in Corona or the medical negligence lawyers representing them must file their lawsuits by the earlier of two dates: three years from when their injury first occurred, or one year from when they discovered—or reasonably should have discovered—their injury.
It should be noted that this statutory period may be tolled if a presumptive defendant fraudulently concealed evidence of their negligence, or if the alleged negligence involved a surgical implement being left inside the body of a patient. Additionally, the statutory period can be extended by up to 90 days if the notice required by Ca. CCP §364 is first sent out within 90 days of the filing deadline.
Possible Limitations on Recovery in Corona
In a medical negligence lawsuit, there is no debate as to who the liable party is. If a doctor misdiagnoses or fails to discover a condition, makes a mistake during surgery, or gives a patient the wrong prescription, they may be legally responsible for any harm the plaintiff suffers as a result.
However, in some cases, a defendant doctor may argue that the person filing suit against them was partially liable for causing or exacerbating their own losses, either by not following their doctor’s instructions or acting recklessly of their own accord. If a court supports this argument, California Civil Jury Instructions §405 directs jury members to reduce a plaintiff’s recoverable compensation by a percentage proportionate to their degree of fault.
Furthermore, California Civil Code §3333.2 sets a cap of $250,000 on recoverable non-economic damages in malpractice cases, which means recovery for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, and other subjective personal harms may be severely limited. A dedicated Corona doctor malpractice lawyer could work with an individual plaintiff to maximize their compensation despite these potential roadblocks.
Learn More from a Corona Medical Malpractice Attorney
Although California is not as strict as some other states with regard to filing requirements for medical negligence lawsuits, the rules that are in place must be followed to the letter in order for a claim to be valid. Without assistance from a Corona medical malpractice lawyer, you may inadvertently miss an important deadline or filing prerequisite, leaving you without options for pursuing the compensation you need. Do not put your financial future at risk—call today to speak with a seasoned legal professional about your case.