The statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Californian cases is generally three years from the date of injury, with a few exceptions. It’s recommended to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer in Los Angeles to determine the specific statute of limitations that applies to your case. In the case of medical malpractice, the injured party may be entitled to compensation for his/her medical expenses, with the help of our qualified personal injury lawyers.
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What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to provide the level of care that is expected in his/her profession, whether through an act or omission. To claim compensations through a medical malpractice lawsuit in California, you need to prove some situations:
- That the healthcare provider had a duty of care to you. This is usually established through the existence of a doctor/patient relationship;
- That the healthcare provider was negligent in fulfilling his/her duty of care. Negligence can be shown by demonstrating that a similarly trained healthcare provider would not have acted (or failed to act) in the same way;
- That you suffered harm (physical, emotional, or financial) as a result of the healthcare provider’s negligence;
- You are entitled to compensation for the harm you suffered.
The malpractice statute of limitations in California sets a deadline for when the lawsuit must be filed. A personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles can assist you in pursuing a claim for medical malpractice and seeking the compensation you deserve.
Medical malpractice statute of limitations California time limits
According to California law (Code of Civil Procedure § 340.5), medical malpractice claims generally have a time limit for filing. The statute of limitations allows for one year from the date the patient discovered his/her injuries. Most malpractice lawsuits in California have a maximum limit of three years from the date of the alleged malpractice, regardless of when the discovery occurred.
Therefore, it’s crucial to seek legal advice for malpractice from reliable personal injury attorneys in LA as soon as possible if you believe you have a case in order to ensure that you file within the applicable statute of limitations.
What are the California medical malpractice statute of limitations exceptions?
There are several exceptions to the California medical malpractice statute of limitations. These include cases where the victim was a minor, where the malpractice involved leaving a foreign object inside the victim, and where the healthcare provider engaged in some form of misconduct.
The malpractice statute of limitations in California is different for minors, running until three years after the date of injury or the child’s eighth birthday if they were under six at the time of malpractice. As mentioned before, another exception to the California medical malpractice statute of limitations is if a foreign object was negligently left inside the victim, or if the healthcare provider engaged in misconduct, including intentional concealment, collusion with parents to prevent a claim, or fraud.
In these situations, the statute of limitations would not start running, giving the victim more time to seek legal advice from a qualified medical malpractice attorney. By working with our personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles, the injured person can file a compensation claim and potentially recover some damages.
Here are some statistics and information related to medical malpractice in California and the United States, that could be of interest:
- According to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), California has an incidence of approximately 16,9 medical malpractice lawsuits per 100,000 people;
- “Improper Performance” is the most common allegation made in California for malpractice, as the second most frequent allegation is “Failure to Treat”;
- From 2023, California will impose a cap on damages for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases that do not involve wrongful death, at 350,000 USD;
- A study conducted by Johns Hopkins University found that over 250,000 people in the United States die each year as a result of medical errors and negligence.
If you require further information about the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in California, our experienced medical malpractice attorneys, as well as our personal injury and birth injury lawyers in Los Angeles, are available to provide you with guidance and representation. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance.