Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
Personal Injury Attorney
Serving The Stockton California Region
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Exacting Requirements face Stockton Malpractice Lawyers

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.



Seeking Justice in Stockton Wrongful Deaths

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.

R
esponsibility 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.


Injury, Death Risk is high in Stockton Motorcycle Accidents

Lawyers at Sette Law appreciate the appeal of riding motorcycles in the Central Valley – plenty of great weather and many exhilarating rides in the region surrounding Stockton. Motorcycle accident lawyers also recognize the serious dangers surrounding this popular mode of transportation and fun in Stockton.
Personal injury lawyers refer to data collected by national and state agencies that documented a 175 percent increase in deaths due to motorcycle accidents over 10 years (1998-2008).  In 2012 the NHTSA reported that riders faced a 26 percent increased risk of death, according to miles traveled, than do people traveling in cars. Stockton motorcycle accident lawyers also note that public perception of motorcycle riders may be skewed, with officials sometimes assuming the rider was responsible for a crash. In handling numerous Stockton motorcycle accidents our lawyers know this assumption can be far from the truth.

Stockton Injury Lawyers say Motorcycle Riders at Bigger Risk
But, motorcycle riders must be aware they are in greater danger of serious harm from an accident in Stockton. Injury lawyers caution the margins for error are small on a motorcycle. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, driving at high speed, improper turns and driving while intoxicated are the top three causes of motorcycle accidents. Of course, these behaviors apply equally to car drivers in Stockton. Motorcycle accident lawyers refer to police reports, witnesses and accident scene evidence to establish liability for a crash in Stockton.

Motorcycle Accident lawyers advise riders to be aware of some startling statistics. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, in 2006 13.10 vehicles out of 100,000 were involved in fatal accidents. Comparable motorcycle crashes resulted in 72.34 percent deaths per 100,000 nationwide and comparably in Stockton.

Motorcycle accident Lawyers encourage Education for Riders in Stockton
Personal injury attorneys at Sette are alarmed at these statistics. It is clear that motorcycle riders must take extra precautions on the roads of Stockton. Our motorcycle accident lawyers believe education and training enhance safety, and we recommend the California Motorcyclist Safety program sponsored by the California Highway Patrol. This proven program equips riders with important skills and leads to a certificate that provides a waiver for the requirement that motorcycle riders take a Driving Skills Test at the DMV in Stockton.

Our motorcycle accident lawyers also point to NTHSA research that shows riders over the age of 40 were involved in 56 percent of fatal accidents across the U.S. and similarly in Stockton. Personal injury attorneys report that injuries to riders in this age group were also more severe, according to the 2012 study. Stockton accident lawyers tapped research from Brown University for reasons behind these numbers and found that the over-40 group tended to ride big motorcycles that are heavier and more prone to roll over. Researchers also attributed diminished vision and slower reaction times in older riders.
Stockton motorcycle accident lawyers note alarming statistics on the other end of the age spectrum. Young (and inexperienced) riders often choose Super-Sport-Bikes which are lighter, faster, powerful, and quickly reach high, dangerous speeds on roads in Stockton.  Motorcycle accident lawyers say riders on these youth-oriented bikes face a risk of death or injury that’s four-times high than for other model motorcycles in Stockton.

Personal injury attorneys at Sette see the devastating impacts of motorcycle accidents in Stockton. Our motorcycle accident lawyers urge riders to take advantage of the CHP training course and to ride with extreme awareness, as if your life depends on it!



Stockton Car Accident Lawyers Note Auto Recall Explosion

STOCKTON – Personal injury attorneys are vigilant about monitoring car maker recalls, such as those announced by GM over the past several months in Stockton. Car accident lawyers point out that GM is not alone in recalling vehicles because of dangerous defects. In July, Volkswagen announced the recall of its Routan model, identifying defects in the ignition switch that can cause failures in brakes and airbags. Our Stockton personal injury attorneys are also aware of airbag problems in the Range Rover.

As car industry representatives report data on crashes due to these failures, Stockton car accident lawyers at Sette, along with other industry-watchers, suspect that many defect-caused accidents go unreported nationwide and in Stockton. Personal injury attorneys find that car accident victims may not realize their vehicle was subject to a recall. As Stockton car accident lawyers, it is our job to make sure victims injured in cars with defects, do not have to bear the burden of huge hospital bills and repercussions of life-changing injuries.

Stockton Car Accident Lawyers Navigate Legal Labyrinth
Of course, our Stockton injury attorneys must also be experts in working within a legal system that is complex. For most people, trying to recover financially (and medically) from a serious car accident is highly stressful. At Sette Law, our Stockton injury attorneys spend their professional lives navigating the justice system to protect the best interests of our clients in Stockton. A personal injury attorney has the expertise to advocate for individuals who find themselves facing giant corporations with a full time legal staff.

Our Stockton injury lawyers note that many defects in cars, only recently recalled, were known to auto-makers several years ago.  As far back as 2003, GM was aware of potentially dangerous ignition issues in cars purchased in your hometown – Stockton. Car accident lawyers at Sette remain aghast that it was not until 2013 – at least 10 years later – that GM’s top management publicly tackled the issue with massive recalls of automobiles. Clearly, there are accident victims from those years of silence who are unaware a defect played a role in their Stockton car accident. Lawyer’s on Sette’s Stockton team are dedicated to supporting accident victims through expertise and strong legal advocacy.

The highlighted legal case against GM dates back to 2006 when an airbag in a Chevy Cobalt failed to deploy, killing the 26-year-old passenger and her unborn child. Our Stockton personal injury attorneys are saddened by this tragic accident and outraged that it took extreme events to bring this endemic problem to light for car owners in Stockton. Our injury lawyers believe the public deserves swift action when safety is threatened. Instead, GM’s airbag defects were kept quiet for years – out of reach for drivers across the U.S. and in Stockton.

Personal Injury Attorneys Eye Disparate Data
Given the many years GM management failed to make airbag defects public, our Stockton car accident lawyers are skeptical about the numbers of related deaths and injuries reported by the company. With GM’s total reported airbag related deaths at 16, red flags went up for investigative news agencies, including Reuters whose probe indicates 74 deaths related to faulty airbags. Clearly, as time passes, our Stockton injury attorneys will also uncover more incidents that have gone uncounted.

If, during the past decade, you have been injured in an accident involving one of the GM models named in the recall, our Stockton personal injury attorneys suggest you consider recovering the financial harm caused by the incident. We believe that, had GM – and other companies with similar issues – been forthright and accountable in a timely manner, accidents and deaths could have been prevented.