Beverly Hills Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Beverly Hills Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Medical Malpractice Attorney in Beverly Hills, CA

We as patients trust doctors and hospitals to act professionally and in the best interests of their patients when they render medical care. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or medical facility like a hospital injures a patient because of a negligent act or failure to act. The law requires that doctors live up to a standard of care that is common to the medical community. If the doctor’s treatment falls below the standard of care, the doctor can be liable for malpractice.

What Law Governs Medical Malpractice in California

In the mid-1970’s, the California legislature enacted MICRA (Malpractice Insurance Compensation Reform Act). The most significant aspect of MICRA is that it placed a cap on non-economic damages (also known as pain and suffering damages) at $250,000. This amount applies regardless of the severity of the injury and even in wrongful death cases. Additionally, the sum has not been adjusted to account for inflation. Because of the way MICRA operates, this law adversely affects the poor and elderly who are less likely to have large economic damages.

Settlements in Medical Malpractice Cases

There are challenges to settlement in a medical malpractice case. In order to understand this, it is important to recognize how insurance companies operate. In a typical case like a car accident case, an insurance company has the right to settle a case with or without the consent of the defendant. In a medical malpractice case, the relationship is different. The defendant doctor, hospital or medical group must consent to any settlement. Complicating the matter further, any settlement of $30,000 or more must be reported to the California Medical Board.

Trial of A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

There are difficult hurdles that must be overcome during the trial of a medical malpractice case. The jury instructions favor the defendant doctor. For example, one instruction tells the jury that just because a doctor’s efforts are not successful doesn’t mean there was malpractice. Another one instructs that a doctor is not necessarily negligent simply because there is another alternative form of care available. For these reasons, it is important to retain an expert witness who can clearly and unambiguously explain how the doctor’s conduct was below the standard of care.

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