Medical malpractice law in CA state, misdiagnosis of cancer doctor and hospital's liability under CA tort law

Asked about 6 years ago - Fontana, CA

I was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. but befor that i had pains bumps (lymph nodes) on my chest and face. i started having really bad pains in the middle of the night. late 2005 it got worst in worst then started getting bumps on my chest then by may i had them on my face. lost alot of weight. i would go to the hospital every time i would get pain they would just give me pain killers. i didnt have insurance. i went to about 4 or five hospitals and nothing none of them found anything wrong i got cat scans and blood drawn and everything like that. nothing was found. it got so bad at one point i was in the hospital for three days everyday blood was drawn and test were done. they let me go with some pain med. i didnt know what to do my dad got so desperate he sent me to mexico. were there in less than a week they found i had cancer. i came back and went to another hospital with proof... in spanish and they said it was not valid. and they discharged me. after all these hospital visits im in dept still have bills of 1000s of dollars each hospital i refuse to pay them since they let my cancer well leukemia get worst if caught at an early stage i would not have needed a bone marrow transplant said my doctors at city of hope were im currently a patient. im in remission and im healthy but the cancer can still return. I need to know if i can at least get rid of the hospital bills. thanks in advance for taking the time to read and respond.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Jon Mitchell Jackson

    Contributor Level 14

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . DISCLAIMER- THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE AND DOES NOT ESTABLISH AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. CONSULT QUALIFIED LEGAL COUNSEL IN YOUR CITY OR STATE FOR IMMEDIATE LEGAL ADVICE.

    We practice law only in California. In this state medical malpractice cases can be very hard to win and even if you do prevail, the general damages are capped or limited to $250,000.

    Generally speaking, a medical doctor is liable for injuries to a patient caused by failure to possess and exercise, in either diagnosis or treatment, that reasonable degree of skill, knowledge, and care that is ordinarily possessed and used by other medical doctors in similar circumstances. Medical specialist may be held to an even greater standard.

    It can be professional negligence for a doctor to fail to hospitalize a patient under circumstances in which standard practice dictates hospitalization. Armstrong v. Svoboda (1966) 240 CA2d 472.

    There are strict time periods (called statutes of limitation) within which a person must properly begin his or her malpractice case. A failure to comply with these time periods will more than likely forever bar a malpractice victim from pursuing his or her rights. As such, you should contact an experienced local medical malpractice attorney right away to discuss the merits of your case and to protect your legal rights.

    The above information is provided for discussion purposes only. Jackson & Wilson, Inc. and its attorneys believe in helping people and answering their questions and providing information and solutions. To encourage and facilitate this practice, it is understood and agreed by the recipient that by opening, reading and viewing this information, no attorney-client relationship has been discussed, agreed to or otherwise established. In legal matters, time is of the essence. As such, you should contact an experienced lawyer right away to protect your legal rights!

    Best Regards,

    Jon Mitchell "Mitch" Jackson
    Jackson & Wilson, Inc.
    An "AV" rated firm listed in Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
    www.JacksonWilson.com

  2. Bruce David Abel

    Contributor Level 10

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You can try to negotiate with the health care providers to reduce or even write-off the medical bills. Often, health care providers will reduce, but not often write-off, medical bills depending on a person's ability to pay. Here, you may want to suggest that you would waive any claims against the creditor in return for the reduction. Explain that you were not diagnosed properly or timely and that you are now dealing with a more advanced stage of disease than would have been the case had you been properly treated.

    After 4 years, if you have not made any payments, the creditor will be time barred from bringing a complaint against you for the unpaid medical bills. However, your credit may be adversely impacted.

    You should seek legal counsel to determine your rights and liabilities against the health care providers who misdiagnosed you. There are time limits within which to bring a complaint. I am not expressing an opinion or giving any advice with regard to that other than that you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible.

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