When a doctor or health care professional injures you, starting a lawsuit is not as simple as just hiring an attorney and filing the paperwork in the court. First, a plaintiff must follow specific steps to make sure that the doctor has had sufficient notice of the claim.
In California, the state’s laws require that any physician or other health care professional receives at least 90 days of notice before a malpractice claim can be filed against them. This notice must be served within the statute of limitations for the malpractice claim, and the lawsuit cannot start until the 90 days have expired. If the statute of limitations runs out during the 90 days, the statute will be extended until 90 days after the date the notice was served.
The notice, usually called an “intent to sue” letter, must tell the doctor or health care professional about the legal basis for the claim, the type of loss the injured person suffered, and must specifically detail the person’s injuries.
The 90-day rule is part of California’s Medical Insurance Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), which was created in 1975 and severely limits the amount of money an injured person can collect in a medical malpractice case. As part of this statute, the notice requirement was enacted to allow physicians to better prepare for a case, notify insurers, and prepare possible settlement offers.
Proving Medical Malpractice
In California, health care providers have a duty to treat their patients with the degree of skill, knowledge, and care that other doctors in similar circumstances would use. This is called the standard of care.
The most important thing that a medical malpractice case must contain is a violation of this standard of care. No matter what a doctor does, if his or her actions are in line with what any other doctor would do in the same situation, there is no violation of the standard of care, and no medical malpractice case.
This means that even if there is a bad result after a procedure, or an error in judgment, the physician or health care practitioner may not be liable for medical malpractice unless the injured patient can show that the treatment was far enough below the standard of care to constitute negligence.
Proving that a doctor’s actions were below the standard of care can be difficult without extensive medical and legal training. At the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq., we work to help victims of medical malpractice, and will thoroughly investigate your case. Our experienced staff of legal and medical professionals help you recover your losses, including medical expenses, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more.
For a free consultation with a Los Angeles medical malpractice death lawyer, call (310) 289-2600 or use our online contact form to have your case reviewed today.