Orange County Medical Malpractice Lawyer

I was referred to Jesse from my chiropractor after he reccomended I give him a call a couple of times. I was nervous to call an attorney, but so glad I did! Jesse Bablove handled everything while also ensuring I received any aftercare I needed to recover from the accident! Recognize your value and worth and give them a call. Thank you guys for going above and beyond!

Melanie Tydingco

Mr. Bablove managed to help me receive the maximum payout possible from my auto accident. He was very responsive and made sure I got every bit of medical attention I needed. He’s a good guy, I would highly recommend him.

Jeff Renfro

Upon being referred to the guys at Kohan & Bablove Injury Attorneys, I spoke with Jesse about my case, and from the get go he was super hands on and a genuine guy who treats you like family and cares for the well being of his clients. I would definitely recommend Jesse and his team to one of my friends or family members!

jared batson

Medical malpractice is a serious issue that can have devastating consequences for the patient, their family, and their loved ones. Because of this, you need to understand what medical malpractice is and how it can affect you.

Malpractice occurs when a doctor or other member of the healthcare team makes an error that causes injury or death to their patient. Recovery is difficult but your Orange County medical malpractice lawyer can help you get a fair settlement. The lawyers at Kohan & Bablove Injury Attorneys have the tools and expertise to assist you if have been injured.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is negligent behavior committed by medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, hospitals, nursing homes, or other health institutions or care facilities. If a medical professional behaves irresponsibly or fails to meet widely accepted standards for proper care, and their patient is harmed, it is classified as medical malpractice.

There are many instances of medical malpractice – too many to list – but the most common cases of medical malpractice are found in:

  • Birth Injuries often result when complications during birth are addressed incorrectly or just not quickly enough. Birth injuries can have lifelong consequences for both parent and baby. Birth injuries can look like:
    • Brain damage, including kernicterus
    • Intraventricular hemorrhaging (internal bleeding)
    • Newborn cephalohematoma (a dangerous accumulation of blood under the scalp)
    • Newborn jaundice (yellow-tinged skin with accompanying painful symptoms)
    • Skull fractures
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Periventricular leukomalacia (damage to brain matter that can result in problems with vision and motor skills)
  • Medication Errors can include underdosing, overdosing, providing the wrong medication, incorrectly administering medication, not considering potential drug interactions properly, or failing to account for patient medical history, including allergies. Medication errors can result in serious injury and sometimes even death.
  • Misdiagnosis due to negligence can result in incorrect treatment or premature release from the hospital, all while the patient’s illness and symptoms progress without proper treatment. Misinterpreting test results, hurrying through appointments, or dismissing patient symptoms contribute to misdiagnosis.
  • Failure to Diagnose due to negligence often occurs when a medical professional fails to take someone seriously or not urging a patient to seek a second opinion if the doctor is not fully confident in their theory. 
  • Unnecessary Surgical Procedures can cost you time, and money, and result in mental and physical trauma.
  • Surgical Errors due to negligence can occur when a doctor inadvertently injures surrounding tissue or nerves because they are rushing or inebriated, opens the patient up in the incorrect location due to skimming the chart, or even leaving surgical equipment inside of the patient after the surgery is complete.

Failure to Inform is when a medical professional negligently fails to inform a  patient of their health condition. This can mean failing to prepare them for at-home treatments, medical procedures’ potential consequences, or medication’s side effects. Failing to inform a patient of anything is negligent because it alters the information they use to make their decisions.

Compensation for Malpractice Victims

One of the more difficult aspects of being injured by malpractice is the financial burden that comes with it. Unfortunately, many medical malpractice victims find it difficult to get the compensation they need to make a full recovery.

This is because they may be entitled to economic as well as non-economic damages, which are difficult to calculate because they cover both the financial costs and emotional toll of the injury. Because of this, you may need a lawyer’s guidance to help you calculate your claim’s worth. 

Economic damages should cover the financial losses you’ve suffered, such as the following: 

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Property damage

In contrast, your non-economic damages should cover the intangible suffering you’ve experienced, like these below: 

  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Strict Malpractice Laws in California

California has some of the strictest standards for proving medical malpractice in the country, so without a lawyer experienced in medical malpractice by your side, it’s hard to know where you stand.

Your lawyer can review the details of your claim and ensure you’re following the laws that can impact your claim. Laws like negligence, time limits, and damage caps can hurt your claim if not followed carefully, so talk to an attorney for guidance. 

Proving Negligence

In California, medical malpractice claims are usually not allowed unless there was demonstrable negligence on the part of the defendant. This means that if your doctor was following typical standards of practice in medicine, they won’t be held liable for any damages that result from their actions. 

In some cases, they may still be guilty of gross negligence. If so, they could be held liable even if they were following standards of medical care. Your medical malpractice lawyer in Orange County can review the details of your injury or illness and determine whether you’re eligible for a lawsuit

Negligence can be broken down into four sections: duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation, and damages. To have a case, you must prove that negligence played a factor. For negligence to be proven, all four sections must be present.

Duty of care is a legal responsibility that every medical professional has to treat a patient who has requested their services to the best of their ability. Doctors have a specific oath regarding their duty of care, known as the Hippocratic oath. That is to say, every medical professional is aware of the responsibility they shoulder.

Let’s say that a patient arrives at the hospital complaining of severe pain in the abdomen. The patient is a woman of color and is clearly distressed. It falls under a doctor’s duty of care to run a battery of tests to determine the cause of the woman’s pain and distress and to do the best they can to alleviate her suffering in the meantime.

If the doctor who sees this patient instead dismisses her, telling her that her pain is likely due to menstrual cramps, that doctor is breaching their duty of care. The doctor has failed to take responsibility for addressing the woman’s condition properly, instead making an unfounded guess to get her out of the emergency room without seeing her.

Causation is the harm that results from the doctor’s breach of duty of care. In this case, the woman has been turned away by the doctor and has been sent home to continue suffering without answers or relief.

Damages are used to describe the results of the doctor’s negligent behavior. In our example, the damages could be permanent disability from untreated appendicitis in the patient, or even death, if she did not feel safe enough to seek a second opinion after being dismissed by the doctor the first time.

Types of Negligence

There are three primary categories of negligence in medical malpractice cases. These include gross negligence, comparative negligence, and vicarious liability. The strongest medical malpractice cases result from gross negligence, but any form of negligence is a basis for filing a medical malpractice case in Orange County.

Gross negligence is the most severe form of negligence. Extreme recklessness or disregard for human life falls under gross negligence. Gross negligence in the medical field will likely be apparent to someone without any medical training whatsoever. An example of gross negligence is administering a drug to a patient that their chart clearly states they are allergic to, resulting in injury or death to the patient.

Comparative negligence occurs when the patient is partially responsible for the damage to their own body. Failing to follow your doctor’s directions after receiving care and harming yourself, as a result, can find you comparatively negligent. Another example of comparative negligence is failing to disclose one of your medications when you seek treatment, which can cause your healthcare professional to administer a medication that interacts poorly with your medication.

Vicarious liability occurs when the person who technically did the damage is not fully responsible. Vicarious liability in medical malpractice can look like a doctor leaving an unsupervised medical student to care for a patient. If the medical student makes an error that harms the patient but had the doctor’s permission to do so, the doctor can be held vicariously liable.

Limits on Medical Malpractice Damages

California has a limit on non-economic damages in cases against health care providers. In 2022, the California Legislature and the Governor signed AB 35 into law which increased the damage caps on medical malpractice cases. Specifically, the noneconomic damage cap — beginning with claims filed January 1, 2023 – will be adjusted annually as follows:

  • $500,000 for wrongful death claims resolved in 2023, increasing $50,000 per annum for 10 years and then 2.0% per annum thereafter;
  • $350,000 for other claims resolved in 2023, increasing $40,000 per annum for 10 years and then 2.0% per annum thereafter;
  • Potential for the cap to apply (i.e., “stack”) up to three times depending on negligence of:
    • Healthcare providers
    • Healthcare institutions
    • The separate negligence of providers or institutions unaffiliated with those held negligent in items 1) and 2) above, and occurring at separate institutions.

Statute of Limitations

California has specific rules regarding when you can file a medical malpractice claim. For example, if you want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor or hospital, you must file one year from the date you should have known about the injury or three years from the actual date of the injury (whichever is earlier). 

This means if you want to collect for any injuries or damages that happened outside of those timeframes, your case may be dismissed immediately as being time-barred. Meet with your medical malpractice lawyer in Orange County as soon as possible after you are hurt.

Pure Comparative Negligence Laws

California law allows people who were injured by a doctor’s mistake to recover damages for their injuries even if they were partly responsible for the mistake. If you do accept partial fault, you will only collect a fraction of those damages.

This means if your doctor makes an error in diagnosis or treatment that causes you harm, California courts will still hold them responsible for their actions. However, if it can be proven that you contributed to the error in some way, then your recovery may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Orange County

If you’re looking for an Orange County medical malpractice lawyer who can help you navigate the confusing laws and make sure that you get the justice you deserve, you don’t have to go through this alone. Call Kohan & Bablove Injury Attorneys for the guidance you need for your injuries. 

Reach out for a free consultation from our team. Call us at 1-844-404-2400 or fill out the form on our website for guidance with your case.

Orange County Medical Malpractice FAQ

Can I still file a medical malpractice claim if I signed a consent form?

If your doctor is guilty of negligence, a signed consent form does not release your doctor of the duty of care they owe you. If you can prove that your injury resulted from the negligence of your healthcare professional or institution, you have a case.

Why shouldn’t I just take the settlement offer?

If you receive a settlement offer without involving an attorney, it is practically guaranteed that you are not given the proper value for your case. Having an attorney to help negotiate a fair settlement is the only way to ensure you aren’t being taken advantage of after your medical malpractice ordeal.

Will I be required to go to court?

Most experienced attorneys can settle personal injury cases out of court, but unfortunately, medical malpractice cases are often inherently more complicated. Many medical malpractice claims can still be solved through mediation, but it is impossible to know for certain without speaking to an attorney about the details of your case.

Who can file a medical malpractice lawsuit?

If you are an adult affected by medical malpractice, nothing prevents you from filing a lawsuit. If you are a parent or guardian of a child suffering from medical malpractice, you can file a suit on their behalf. If your medical malpractice case resulted in the wrongful death of a loved one, their next of kin can file a suit on their behalf.

Are cases of negligence in nursing homes considered medical malpractice?

It depends on the specifics of the situation. Negligence in nursing homes can include personal injuries, negligent hiring, negligent supervision, premises liability, mismanagement of funds, theft, or medical malpractice. Just because negligence occurred in a nursing home or other care facility, it isn’t automatically medical malpractice. If you are unsure about your case's status, connect with one of our attorneys today.