Dana Point Medical Malpractice Lawyer

The stress and damages that can result from an error during surgery, or a reaction to a drug, may leave you confused and unsure of how to proceed or recover. If you were injured to a medical error or mishap, a Dana Point medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help.

However, while the law provides opportunities for you to seek compensation for your injuries, many insurance and pharmaceutical companies are often reluctant to pay. Instead of navigating the claims process alone, a dedicated personal injury attorney could guide you through each step and work toward getting you the compensation you deserve.

How Does a Lawyer Prove a Medical Malpractice Claim?

The most likely claim a plaintiff might bring for a doctor or medical professional’s error or fault is based on negligence. In order to prove a claim based on negligence, a plaintiff must demonstrate the following to a court:

  • The defendant had a duty of care toward the claimant
  • The at-fault party subsequently breached that duty of care
  • This breach of duty was the proximate cause of an accident
  • The accident resulted in injuries to the plaintiff

Generally, medical professionals have a duty to act as a reasonable doctor would under similar circumstances. As such, whether or not a doctor was negligent depends on the circumstances of a specific claim. A Dana Point medical malpractice attorney experienced in these cases could help present a persuasive case demonstrating negligence during medical practices.

Vicarious Liability in Dana Point

While a doctor’s error may have caused injuries, it is important for potential plaintiffs to understand who to bring their claim against. For example, even though a doctor may be directly responsible for a medical injury, the doctor’s employer may also be held liable under the legal theory of vicarious liability.

Generally, vicarious liability allows claims to be brought against an employer if a negligent medical professional’s actions were within the scope of their employment. For instance, if a doctor performed their medical duties as they usually would and in accordance with hospital policy, but an injury still occurred nonetheless, it is likely that the doctor acted within their employment.

Can All Employers be Held Vicariously Liable?

Not every employer can be held vicariously liable—an employer must have control over the employee in order to be considered additionally liable. Many doctors, however, may be independent contractors, which means that their employer cannot be held liable for their actions.

Potential Recovery Following a Doctor’s Error

In malpractice cases, there are two primary forms of damages that a plaintiff can recover: compensatory and non-compensatory. Compensatory damages are those which a plaintiff has directly suffered as a result of a medical injury. For example, a plaintiff’s additional medical bills for injuries stemming from malpractice would be considered compensatory damages, as would subsequent costs for physical therapy or related payments.

In contrast, non-compensatory damages are those that cannot often be directly measured. For example, pain and suffering or mental anguish, while directly-related to an injury, are subjective and difficult to formally evaluate. Furthermore, according to California Civil Code §3333.2, there is a limit to punitive damages—those pursued to punish the at-fault parties for their actions—to $250,000.

Due to these nuances, assistance from a compassionate attorney could be key to a claimant properly documenting and calculating every injury and loss resulting from medical malpractice, so that a claim could request adequate compensation.

How a Dana Point Medical Malpractice Attorney Might Help

Unfortunately, the legal system might be confusing and discouraging to navigate for a claimant seeking recovery. If you were injured due to a medical professional’s errors, a Dana Point medical malpractice lawyer could help to guide you through each step of the claims process.

Tenacious attorneys understand the tactics of insurance companies and the necessity for building a thorough claim to request compensation. To learn more about how a legal professional might be able to help you, call today.