Holding Los Angeles Medical Professionals Accountable
Patients have what is known as a “reasonable right” to expect good medical care from their doctors. Physicians must provide a reasonable standard of care—that is, they must make decisions that are medically justifiable and in the patients’ best interests, based on what the doctor knows about the patient. If a nurse or doctor should have known about a particular symptom or condition, they are responsible for providing appropriate treatment.
However, the “standard of care” can be difficult to pin down. The law recognizes that medical situations call for difficult decisions with hard-to-predict results. As a result, the standard of care is slightly vague, allowing for various situations to have different needs. In order to assert that a doctor, nurse, or medical professional violated a reasonable standard of care, courts require a level of proof only possible through a complex investigation.
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What is needed to prove medical malpractice?
Due to the realities of practicing medicine, the law has made it purposefully difficult to prove negligence when it comes to medical treatment. Certain elements must be proven together, and within the one-year statute of limitations in California. Proving negligence without the representation of an experienced medical malpractice attorney would be virtually impossible—you need the knowledge and insight of a legal professional.
What you need to prove medical malpractice includes:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship established;
- The doctor was negligent or did not provide reasonable care;
- The doctor’s negligent treatment directly caused the patient harm; and
- The patient has specific injuries and damages as a result of treatment.
Protecting the victims of severe genetic disorders
In recent times, a new form of medical malpractice has taken shape. These cases involve parents of disabled children with birth defects, or the children themselves. Known as wrongful birth/wrongful life, these particular malpractice cases are only heard in four U.S. states, California being one of them. In these cases, parents or their children will file suit against physicians for not informing them of their risk for having a child with a birth defect.
When it comes to having a child, parents today have more options than ever before to make informed decisions. Couples who are having a child can consult their doctors and use genetic testing to gauge their odds for having a healthy child. During pregnancy, further tests can identify health issues, allowing parents to consider their options with clarity. Some parents may only go forward with a pregnancy when they know their child is healthy.
During this time, parents not only put their own future in the doctor’s hands—they put the future of their unborn child in their hands. If a child is born with a debilitating genetic disorder, the emotional, physical, and financial cost to the whole family can be devastating. Because couples have the reasonable right to trust their physician’s advice and treatment, the law may hold the doctor responsible for the child’s health costs.
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E&L, LLP, has cultivated attorneys who are prepared to represent plaintiffs in complex personal injury, product liability, and car accident cases. If you have questions about your rights and options following an automobile defect, our team is readily available to help.
If you have been injured, contact E&L, LLP, at (213) 306-5868, for a free case evaluation and consultation.
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