The insurance company investigating the claim would likely speed up the process of the investigation if you actually file a claim against the physician. As far as the statute of limitations is concerned, you should consult with a California attorney to determine whether or not you missed the statute of limitations and if there is any way to overcome it. There are many reasons why the statute of limitations can be tolled including the continuing treatment doctrine theory and the discovery theory. Please search Avvo for attorneys in your area.
I would agree with my colleague regarding his comment that the insurance company investigation could actually speed up the process. However, the statute of limitations issue is a bit more of a problem. If you've "blown the statute," it may not be saved simply by filing a small claims action. The key point on the statute of limitations issue, is when you discovered (or reasonably should have discovered) the alleged malpractice. You should check with an expereince med mal lawyer to weigh your options, if any.
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