When can I file a medical malpractice lawsuit?

When can I file a medical malpractice lawsuit?

After having obtained medical care, if your condition doesn’t improve, or even worse, your health declines, potentially even leading to catastrophic harm, can you file a claim for medical malpractice?

The answer is complex, and in each case requires a review by an experienced California medical malpractice attorney. However in general, a few core principles apply.

Medical malpractice occurs when doctors, nurses or other hospital staff fail to meet the standard of care required of their position. When this failure leads to harm, it may be possible to bring a successful medical malpractice action.

The first step in bringing a medical malpractice action is to establish that you are owed a "duty of care". This is done by showing that a doctor/patient relationship exists. The next step is to set forth the specific “duty of care” required of the medical professional and that the professional's conduct failed to meet this duty (i.e. they breached the standard of care." This is almost always proven via expert opinion.

Once you have established that the health care professional has breached their duty, you must show that this breach directly caused your injuries. You also must be able to demonstrate that you have suffered injuries - i.e. physical or mental harm due to the conduct. Medical malpractice lawsuits are often won or lost on this point. The strongest medical malpractice lawsuits can provide evidence that a doctor or other health care provider’s negligent conduct led to catastrophic and long-lasting harm. It’s important to remember that this may include a hospital’s conduct as well. Claims where a professional breached his or her duty, but you didn’t suffer harm or your harm was not a result of the doctor’s conduct, are not as strong.

Due to the complex nature of each medical malpractice case, it is important to contact an experienced San Diego medical malpractice lawyer if you believe you or a loved one has suffered harm due to medical malpractice.

For more information, please contact our dedicated San Diego personal injury law firm for an immediate consultation.


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