At Sette Law in Stockton, our medical malpractice attorneys must work with a complex of legal statutes and medical issues to represent clients who have suffered a personal injury. Lawyers must have extensive knowledge in a number of disciplines to prevail in court and prove malpractice. Attorneys need to move seamlessly between legal precedents, varying state laws and knowledge of medical procedures and medical regulations. It’s clearly a challenge for any lawyer to specialize in the realm of medical malpractice.
Attorneys Must Satisfy Four Requirements to pursue Malpractice
Personal injury lawyers must first affirm that a plaintiff did, in fact, have a mutual physician-patient relationship. Most often this is the simplest precept for malpractice attorneys to satisfy. A ‘grey area’ that complicates the issue might arise when it’s a consulting doctor who is being accused of medical malpractice. Attorneys defending the consulting doctor may claim that, because their client had no direct, personal link to the plaintiff’s treatment, he or she does not bear responsibility for the personal injury. Lawyers will also watch out for malpractice claims based on hearsay or third party reports. For example, a treatment suggestion from a physician to another party, overheard by a would-be plaintiff, would not meet the criteria set forth on the doctor-client relationship. A medical malpractice lawyer could be fairly certain the court would decline to hear such a malpractice claim, despite the severity of personal injury suffered.
Attorneys will next have to determine that a physician was negligent in providing the treatment that caused the injury. Stockton malpractice lawyers agree that this aspect is one of the most difficult to establish in a personal injury claim. Attorneys will need to provide evidence that a competent doctor, under similar circumstances, would not have caused a plaintiff’s personal injury. And, lawyers are quick to point out that the assessment of a physician’s relative skills may be irrelevant to the claim of malpractice. Our attorneys know that a doctor only has to show that “reasonable skill and care” were delivered to the patient who claims a personal injury. So, lawyers need not prove a doctor is excellent or substandard, but rather that another competent physician would have achieved a different outcome that would not have caused an injury. Attorneys add that this question becomes even more complicated in the arena of specialty medicine where a physician’s intensive training and education engender a higher expectations of quality care. Our Stockton malpractice attorneys know that this aspect of a malpractice suit can be both time consuming and costly, in part, because expert witnesses will likely be required to testify about the defendant and the personal injury.
Thirdly, lawyers have to demonstrate that there is a clear relationship between a defendant physician’s negligence and the plaintiff’s personal injury. Attorneys have to deal with issues such as existing medical conditions that existed before the alleged malpractice. Our lawyers have experience in cases in which a family member suffering from late stage cancer, died during surgery. When family members file a wrongful death suit, their Stockton injury attorney must prove the death was unrelated to the disease and, instead, caused by a physician’s malpractice. Lawyers, in such cases, will need to have command of multiple issues – medical, legal and ethical – for the court to accept the direct relationship between a physician’s negligence and the death or personal injury.
Attorneys must then approach the fourth requirement for a successful lawsuit for medical malpractice. Our Stockton malpractice lawyers will establish for the court a direct relationship between the physician’s actions as the cause of the personal injury. Attorneys will seek to demonstrate there was physical harm that resulted in pain, suffering and economic losses. Our Stockton malpractice lawyers will itemize the plaintiff’s lost earnings and the costs of related medical care due to the personal injury. Lawyers, at the same time, will underscore the argument that the defendant physician delivered care that was well below medical standards, reaching the level of verifiable negligence. Our Stockton malpractice lawyers reiterate that, without the determination of negligence or proof of injury and harm, the court will decline to consider the allegation of medical malpractice.
According to Stockton malpractice lawyers, there are many kinds of personal injury cases that result in a determination of malpractice. Our attorneys point to cases in which surgeons have left medical sponges inside body cavities; physicians prescribing medications without proper notice of possible side effects, and physicians making erroneous diagnoses – all leading to grave and costly personal injury.
Attorneys advise that Compensation may be limited by State Law
Stockton malpractice attorneys must work within the bounds of California’s 40-year-old Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) that limits the amount of non-economic damages to $250,000 for medical personal injury. Attorneys explain this applies to compensation for pain and suffering, emotional and psychological injury, and other non-quantifiable damages like loss of enjoyment of life. These results can’t be measured and quantified, and thus are subject to the MICRA cap. Stockton personal injury attorneys further comment that the $250,000 award has not kept up with inflation over the past four decades. Malpractice lawyers and victims of malpractice in California have repeatedly attempted to raise the cap through legislation but, thus far, have failed to do so.
Awards on quantifiable injuries, our Stockton malpractice attorneys explain, are not subject to such limits. These costs include past and future medical care, and the amount of earnings a victim faces to lose as a result of the personal injury. Lawyers at Sette Law in Stockton, and throughout the state, generally support the updating of MICRA to reflect the current and future state of the economy, so that victims of medical malpractice may be fully compensated for their losses.
Stockton medical malpractice lawyers at Sette Law recognize the complexity of their chosen area of legal expertise. Personal injury attorneys facing the many high bars in medical malpractice feel a heightened sense of responsibility to people injured through medical malpractice. Our lawyers are aware it would be nearly impossible for a layperson to navigate the malpractice system. Attorneys formally study for many years and then practice for several more to develop the kind of broad and deep legal expertise required in the field of medical malpractice. Our lawyers also know that the need to monitor legal outcomes, state statutes and nationwide decisions is an ongoing commitment. Stockton medical malpractice attorneys must dedicate themselves to lifelong learning and vigilance.
Attorneys at Sette Law in Stockton have a unique and deep
understanding of that it means to lose a loved one in a wrongful death. Our
lawyers work closely with surviving family and know the pain and anger that
often linger with families in Stockton. Wrongful death attorneys recognize that
the mere thought of filing a lawsuit may be overwhelming but, at the same time,
survivors may feel a moral responsibility to do so. Unfortunately, California
has a statute of limitations on such action of just two years, according to
Stockton wrongful death attorneys. Consequently, while survivors are still
grieving they must take on the demands of a wrongful death lawsuit. Our
lawyers, however, are prepared to provide the support and expertise needed to
move through the process and onto healing.
What constitutes a Stockton Wrongful Death
Sette attorneys explain that wrongful death involves certain
elements, such as careless or reckless acts that may be intentional or due to
negligence. It is the job of a Stockton wrongful death lawyer to prove
liability for actions that led to a death. For example, throughout 2014
accident and wrongful death attorneys have been working on actions related to
the recall of Takata airbags in many models of cars. Wrongful death and
accident lawyers will look at a chain of responsibility – from Takata to
automobile manufacturers and even dealers in Stockton. Wrongful death attorneys fully expect the
number of fatalities to rise as scrutiny increases across the U.S., as well as
liability in accidents that caused injuries.
Stockton wrongful death lawyers say this nationwide concern
illustrates similar issues on a more personal scale. Surviving family members,
no matter what the cause, seek accountability and justice after a wrongful
death. Experienced attorneys know that compassion is required along with legal
expertise in supporting clients in Stockton.
Our wrongful death lawyers treat each case as if it was of
national importance – because, to surviving loved ones, justice is
paramount. The scope of a wrongful death
lawsuit can be limited, say, to an individual who provided alcohol to an
individual who is later killed in a drunk driving accident or much more
extensive such as wrongful deaths related to airbag malfunction – potentially effected
scores of people. Our Stockton wrongful death attorneys seek to establish clear
liability in these cases.
Responsibility for wrongful death, our attorneys explain,
can be shared. Consider, for example, the owner of a bar who hires a bartender
who fails to check birthdays of patrons and serves an under-age patron who
subsequently dies in a car accident. Stockton wrongful death lawyers may look
to hold the bartender responsible, but an also seek liability of the bar owner.
Of course, it’s not only individuals who have liability in
wrongful deaths. Our attorneys have also looked to corporate entities,
agencies, businesses and builders in Stockton wrongful death actions. In
California, for example, there have been a number of lawsuits involving
assisted living and elder care facilities alleged to contribute to wrongful
deaths. Attorneys in such cases work to establish liability – from the specific
facility (and staff) to corporate ownership that contributed to the wrongful
death. Our Stockton wrongful death lawyers say tracing responsibility in these
instances can be complicated because of many levels of corporate ownership. In
such cases, liability is often shared from the individual level all the way up
the corporate chain.
Stockton wrongful death attorneys also handle medical
malpractice cases. On the occasion that the acts (or inaction) of a physician
leads to a wrongful death, attorneys must delve into the details of medical
practices and treatment. Fundamental to a malpractice action is to affirm the
relationship between physician and the patient who suffered a wrongful death.
Lawyers must then establish a direct link between the doctor’s negligence and
the ensuing wrongful death. A deadly outcome from a medical procedure is
certainly an unexpected blow to surviving family, according to our Stockton
wrongful death attorneys. The family may swiftly move from disbelief to
outrage. As Stockton wrongful death lawyers our job is to help survivors work
though the anger to resolution for themselves and for others who risk
experiencing similar, tragic outcomes.
Compensation for Those Left Behind in Stockton
Wrongful death lawyers know that behind many lawsuits is a
desire to right a wrong, and to protect others. In addition, surviving loved
ones should not have to shoulder the financial burdens such a loss may cause.
Our Stockton wrongful death lawyers can seek financial compensation for losses
incurred by survivors. Some of the conditions a Stockton wrongful death
attorney advocates to repair includes reimbursement for medical costs, for
current and future wages, and even for loss of companionship and comfort of the
loved one lost to a Stockton wrongful death.
Attorneys can also sue for punitive damages when they prove a defendant’s
negligence and liability.
Now, as Stockton wrongful death attorneys, we are aware that
financial compensation can never make up for the loss of a loved one. That
absence will forever be an emotional scar. We know that even the decision to
engage a Stockton wrongful death attorney is a complicated one – with emotions
high and rational thinking affected by profound loss. However, from our
experience, prevailing in a wrongful death lawsuit can bring a level of
relief. Financial burdens caused by a
wrongful death, our lawyers know, can weigh heavily on surviving family. Once
that concern is lifted, family members are free to focus on emotional loss,
healing and the future of their family in Stockton.
Our wrongful death attorneys consider the representation of
survivors is a responsibility and a privilege. In our professional – client
relationship there is trust that we’ll assume full responsibility for legal
details, thereby lifting a burden from the shoulders of our clients in
Stockton. Our wrongful death attorneys offer assurance, support and hope to
people who come to us during some of the worst days of their lives.
Thankfully, most people never experience a wrongful death.
But, our attorneys experience the aftermath of many. We are prepared to provide
the support and expertise demanded by such difficult circumstances. Our
Stockton wrongful death lawyers are committed to helping survivors look forward
to a better tomorrow.