It is hard to find an attorney because medical malpractice attorneys have to be very selective about the cases they take on. These cases are tremendously expensive to try (expert witness costs, depositions, etc.) so the damages sustained by the plaintiff must be severe. Hope that helps
. . . and so much for the fallacy that there are too many medical malpractice lawsuits.
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Unless it is absolutely clear malpractice has occurred, many attorneys will require the potential client to front the money for an expert opinion to determine if there was malpractice. If that expert opinion shows there was malpractice , then the attorney will feel more comfortable taking the case on. As my colleague points out, these cases are incredibly expensive to bring so attorneys must be selective.
Expert opinions are needed to show the medical professional fell below the standard of care -- not just that something went wrong. Even if a doctor acted on the low end of acceptable, that is not malpractice.
The California Medical injury Compensation Reform Act ("MICRA") makes it difficult to pursue medical malpractice claims in California, as it caps non-economic damages, limits attorneys' fees, and subjects potentially righteous cases to other limiting factors. As was stated above, these cases tend to be very expensive/difficult to try (and require the hiring of multiple experts), and can make it difficult for many attorneys to succeed in this area (though there are some who continue to do phenomenal work in medical malpractice). I wish you luck in finding an attorney to take on your potential case.
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Medical Malpractice cases are difficult and can be costly to win. You require a medical expert that can say the doctor fell below the standard of care for your medical community and the doctor's negligence was a legal or proximate cause of your injuries. You also need to show that you have resulting damages that entitled you to compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings and pain and suffering. You most certainly also reviewed and signed a form(s) that informed you that there are also certain attendant risks associated with your procedure and your injury may have been one of those risks. None the less, if you are having trouble finding an attorney feel free to contact me for assistance.
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You ask an excellent question. There are several explanations. First, the chance of winning at trial is less than 50%. To prove that there is malpractice is expensive; it requires hiring an expert who will charge money to review the medical records, whether or not there is a case. Finally, even if you do win, any pain and suffering award is capped at $250,000 (the same amount that has been in place since 1975 or so) . And, attorney's fees are limited by statute also. Finally, not every bad result is malpractice.
By way of history, when the malpractice reform laws were passed, there was a "medical crisis." The argument was that too many doctors were going to leave the state because the cost of insurance was going up, up, up. As it turned out, the cost of insurance never really stopped going up, but your right as a consumer to be compensated for a doctor malpractice has been restricted ever since (with no increase in the amount of pain and suffering; I have read that $250,000 in the mid-70's is equal to less than $80,000 in today's money).
Sorry to read about your ongoing medical issues. (If you would like to see a change, it will require our legislature to make it happen. )
The case could cost more than might be recovered. Best bet is to offer to pay the lawyer's costs in advance, and you will have an easier time getting representation.
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It is hard because California has severely limited the recovery of these types of claims, and the cost to pursue them often outweighs the recovery. Also many firms do not handle these types of cases. If you suffered long-term effects from this medical error, you should look on Avvo to locate a medical malpractice attorney.
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You may well have a surgical error claim, I recommend that you meet in person with a medical malpractice attorney in your area. You can find one on AVVO.
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The California legislature has made the legal procedures and rules for medical malpractice cases different from other areas, and done so with a purpose - that purpose being protection of doctors... and while there are many who see protecting doctors as a bad thing, it is not in and of itself really so... some doctors should be protected while others should not get the extra legal shield afforded by the law. Physicians provide an extremely valuable services to the public and one that requires an enormous amount of skill and brain power to provide correctly - all in a field which is not black and white science but science and art combined - lives are at stake, opinions vary, advancements in science abound, no two patients are alike, etc.
Physicians are not held to a standard of perfection or even to the standard of being the best or even almost the best... They are held to the standard of care for their community and peers.
In addition, medical malpractice cases are extremely expensive and difficult to bring (properly, that is... anyone can slam together an unintelligible complaint and pay the filing fee). To make a suit "worth it," there needs to be significant damages - and damages that would not have occurred otherwise. As a generalized example, a one month delay in treatment, that is just as effective one month later as it would have been earlier is not going to provide significant damages.
Ignoring all of my above post, anyone who even thinks he or she has a medical malpractice case should immediately consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Most of us offer free consultations, so there is nothing to fear in calling us.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker
Fransen & Molinaro, LLP
980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206
Corona, CA 92879
www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com
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Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. ... Attorney at Law, Physician, Broker... Fransen & Molinaro, LLP... 980 Montecito Drive, Suite 206... Corona, CA 92879... (951)520-9684... www.fransenandmolinaro.com / www.888MDJDLAW.com... "When you need a lawyer, call the Doctor... Call Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D... Call (888)MDJDLAW." ... * This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy... ** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and real estate law.
It is difficult to find a medical malpractice attorney because it costs alot of money to pay an expert to review your case to determine if there is negligence by the health care provider. If there is negligence by the health care provider, it costs alot of money to finance a case with the expert witnesses and depositions needed. Also, medical malpractice cases are difficult to win because of the publics perception that doctors or health care providers can do no wrong. Good luck!
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Because attorneys' fees are limited artificially by law, because medical doctors are career-motivated and adequately insured to fight fully, because in our diminishing-middle-class reality the attorney's are asked to finance extremely expensive litigation costs, and because a lot of cases have little or no merit.
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