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El Centro Medical Malpractice Lawyers

When an El Centro doctor commits a negligent act that injures you, denial is often the first reaction. No patient wants to believe that their doctor caused them harm. Sadly, negligent medical events occur every day. They are sometimes passive acts such as failing to diagnose a harmful condition. They can also be active acts of negligence. These occur, for example, when a physician injures a person during surgery or continues prescribing a medication beyond the point of addiction.

El Centro doctors hold a unique position of trust in their patients’ lives. Patients rely on a doctor’s routine care to help keep them well. When they suffer from a serious injury or condition, they often relinquish personal control. If and when a patient learns that a doctor’s actions caused further harm, denial or disbelief often prevents them from recognizing the truth. It sometimes prevents them from seeking legal assistance.

Negligent medical treatment often worsens an existing problem or causes new difficulties. Patients endure pain, suffering, continuing disabilities, and even addiction. As they gradually become aware of what happened, they sometimes face psychological setbacks. Many negligently treated patients return to the same doctor, hoping for a different outcome.

Number1Award2019The El Centro medical malpractice lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys believe physicians have a duty not to harm their patients, and practitioners must be held accountable when medical malpractice results in injury. By holding these negligent professionals accountable, we can prevent future patients from suffering harm, and enhance our community’s safety and trust in our medical caregivers.

Medical Professionals Should Pay For Their Negligent Acts

At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we understand that it’s often traumatic for a patient when they recognize that their physician has harmed them. Our attorneys have provided legal solutions to help our injured clients deal with their sense of denial and doubt. We have used our knowledge and resources to determine liability, present our clients’ claims, and recover the damages to which they are legally entitled.

As medical negligence claims have always been somewhat difficult to prove, we have immediately taken the appropriate investigative steps. Our attorneys have reviewed malpractice legal issues and evaluated our clients’ damages. We have consulted with qualified medical experts for opinions on compliance with medical standards of care. We have thoroughly prepared our cases and evaluated all the issues before moving forward with our client’s claim or suit.

Just like our clients, our lawyers always believed in doctors as trusted medical professionals. We’ve also seen where some physicians have caused serious harm. We’ve never sought to minimize any doctor’s professional standing. Our primary goal is to recover damages for our injured clients.

Our Law Firm’s Results

Our attorneys recover settlements and win courtroom verdicts because we’ve always fought hard for our injured El Centro clients. We have resolved cases in ways that were best suited to our clients’ financial interests and goals. When possible, we have negotiated medical negligence claims with responsible parties, their insurance carriers, their personal representatives, and their defense attorneys. We have sometimes resolved cases during mediation and court-mandated settlement conferences.

Sometimes, we’ve had to accept that litigation was the only reasonable way to come together in serious conversation. In anticipation of future court involvement, we’ve prepared our cases ahead of time. We’ve taken the critical steps and done the work necessary to present a convincing case before a judge and a jury.

Each malpractice case is unique, so we can’t promise a specific outcome.

To further understand our commitment to our injured clients, however, we recommend that you visit our case results page.

  • $105,356,000 jury verdict: Fraud & negligence
  • $105,000,000 jury verdict: Medical fraud
  • $30,000,000 settlement: DePuy hip-medical product liability
  • $2,500,000 settlement: Wright hip-medical product liability
  • $1,875,000 settlement: Medical malpractice

Medical Malpractice in El Centro

The term medical malpractice describes negligent events that harm a patient under a medical professional’s care. These events occur when a medical professional either commits an act or fails to perform in some way.

This often involves.

  • A delayed or missed diagnosis
  • Failure to act during a complicated childbirth
  • Medication errors
  • Surgical mishaps
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Inappropriate or badly performed surgery
  • Disfigurement
  • Inappropriate or dangerous treatment practices
  • Negligent mental health practices

The National Practitioners Data Bank tracks performance data from medical professionals across the country. NPDB statistics show that California patients reported more medical negligence acts than any other state. Their 2019 data confirms that 5,135 California patients filed adverse action reports and 1,092 patients recovered damages.

Doctors Don’t Tell on Themselves

If you believe that your doctor’s negligent act harmed you, don’t wait for an admission of guilt. Doctors rarely acknowledge that they made a mistake. If they do accept that a mishap occurred, they don’t often admit the error to their patient. A negligent doctor who discovers a problem will often provide a corrective solution. When neither the patient nor the doctor recognizes the reason for additional or continuing symptoms, the problem rarely comes to light.

The Consumer Reports article, “What You Don’t Know About Your Doctor Could Hurt You,“ discusses real-life medical malpractice problems. The article describes how thousands of doctors are on professional probation but their patients never know about it. The article focuses primarily on a Southern California physician, describing his “…errors of medical knowledge, judgment, protocol, and attentiveness…” It further describes the two young mothers who died while under his care. The doctor’s record documented multiple negligent medical acts. His patients never thought to look for another physician because they knew nothing about his history.

Some Doctors Have a History of Bad Acts

El Centro Medical Malpractice LawyersPatients rarely anticipate that their doctors have prior negligent acts on their records, so they never think to do the research. Like other medical professionals in similar situations, the above physician had no incentive to inform new patients of his previous mistakes.

Given his history, honesty would have hurt his ability to maintain a lucrative career.

  • If an incident shows a negligence pattern, the doctor could lose his license.
  • Patients or their families sometimes file suits.
  • Doctors lose their reputations and sometimes their patients.
  • A doctor might have to pay part of the settlement if a jury awards a large verdict.
  • The malpractice insurance company might drop his coverage or increase his premium.

Medical Negligence Occurs More Often Than You Think

When Johns Hopkins researchers released a medical malpractice study several years ago, they concluded that incidents of malpractice were seriously undercounted. Their review determined that negligent medical acts caused 250,000 deaths each year. Based on these numbers, they ranked “medical error” as the third leading cause of death in the United States.

The study found a quirk in the systems that medical communities use to document patient deaths. Their primary purpose is to capture patient billing data. Consequently, they don’t document data related to medical mishaps. The Johns Hopkins team also found that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention miscategorized medical events.

Tracking a Doctor’s Medical Malpractice History

As the Consumer Reports article explains, doctor information is out there, but often, patients don’t know how to access it. Despite ongoing problems and a history of adverse medical events, doctors continue practicing. The physician discussed in the Consumer Reports article had a history that included two fatally injured patients. He never lost his license, so he still practices medicine. You can still find positive patient reviews on Yelp, Google, WebMD, and other rating sites.

The Medical Board of California’s disciplinary decision confirms the above physician’s adverse history. The decision addresses the most recent incident where he left a device in a patient during surgery. As of 2017, his progressive discipline included additional training and another year added onto his existing seven years of professional probation.

Search for the information through available resources.

  • National Practitioners Data Bank: NPDB is a government resource that provides physician background information for doctors and eligible organizations. Anyone can access a database with state malpractice statistics.
  • The Medical Board of California: MBC’s Enforcement Public Document Search page allows anyone to search their database for adverse reports.
  • Doctor alerts: is a website maintained by the California Patient Safety Advocates. It provides links to physician disciplinary actions, medical license numbers, and license status information.

If you don’t find formal disciplinary records and you still sense a problem, consult an El Centro medical malpractice attorney, who can investigate for you.

What Types of Injuries Does Medical Malpractice Cause?

Medical malpractice injuries vary widely because doctors practice many specialties and perform a variety of tasks. El Centro Patients suffer when a physician delays a critical diagnosis or fails to discover a condition. A simple mistake during surgery often leaves a patient in worse condition. While the current opiate crisis focuses on those who are addicted to the drug, their habits often began with a physician who continuously renewed their pain prescription.

Medical malpractice often includes these and many other injuries and conditions.

  • Injuries from misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
  • Pharmaceutical overdose and addiction
  • Brain damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Birth trauma
  • Birth defects
  • Disfigurement and scars
  • Chronic infections
  • Fatalities

Who Is Responsible for Medical Negligence?

El Centro Medical Malpractice LawyersDoctors, psychologists, and other medical professionals are responsible for the damages they cause. If they are hospital employees, the employer sometimes shares responsibility for a doctor’s negligent acts. Medical negligence has a different standard than an auto accident or a premises liability case. A medical professional is deemed negligent when he or she fails to meet the prevailing standard of care.

Just like other liability claims, a medical professional owes damages based on a simple negligence formula.

  • The medical professional had a duty to treat a patient in compliance with the standard of care
  • The physician breached that duty
  • The patient sustained damages as a result of the breach.

This standard of care is usually defined by medical professionals. To present a convincing case, a plaintiff’s attorney must find a knowledgeable medical professional to confirm that the defendant breached the prevailing standard of care. Preferably, the expert should be knowledgeable about the medical field in which the defendant is alleged to have committed a negligent act.

Recoverable Damages From a Medical Malpractice Injury

Medical malpractice settlements include economic damages and general damages. In rare instances, an injured person may also receive exemplary damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages include current and future out-of-pocket costs incurred by an injured person.

They often include:

  • Lost income
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Hospital and doctor bills
  • Prescriptions
  • Prosthetics, mobility devices, and structures
  • Therapy costs
  • Medical transportation
  • Personal care
  • Household replacement services
  • Funeral and burial expenses

General Damages

A general damage award considers an injured person’s physical and emotional pain, psychological trauma, and other subjective issues. In California, the applicable civil code places a cap on these damages. Regardless of the type of injury or severity, the injured person may recover a maximum of $250,000 in general damages.

These often include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Anxiety and emotional distress
  • Diminished spouse and family relationships
  • Loss of bodily functions
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement
  • Permanent disabilities

Exemplary Damages

California courts have the right to award exemplary damages to medical malpractice plaintiffs, but this is a rare occurrence. The statute requires that a plaintiff produce clear and convincing evidence that proves a defendant acted out of malice, oppression, or fraud. If a plaintiff wins a punitive damage award against an insurer or certain health care service plans, the plaintiff must comply with specific instructions outlined in the Exemplary Damage statute.

How Do El Centro Medical Professionals Avoid Paying Damages?

Doctors often initiate the process of avoiding responsibility long before the case becomes a claim or a lawsuit. They are in the best position to notice, diagnose, and treat a problem. They usually understand when they’ve breached a standard of care. Even when a medical professional determines that they caused a problem, they rarely turn in a claim unless the harmed person hires an attorney and files a lawsuit.

Doctors Don’t Admit Fault

As most doctors and medical organizations have malpractice insurance to cover their negligent acts, insurance companies become involved in deciding whether to pay a claim. When a malpractice incident becomes a claim or a lawsuit, often doctors still refuse to acknowledge fault.

Insurers investigate new malpractice claims, but they often rely on the physician’s opinion on a claim’s validity. If an insurance company wants to settle, they often look to their insured for insight.

Some Insurers Need Permission to Settle

Some malpractice policies have a consent clause that gives doctors final settlement approval. Even if an insurer decides it’s in the physician’s best interest to settle a claim, they can’t do it without the doctor’s permission. If the medical professional doesn’t agree to settle, the insurer must defend the case.

At Gomez Trial Attorneys, our El Centro medical malpractice lawyers understand the challenges inherent to medical malpractice cases. We’ve countered defendants’ strategies by preparing our cases well ahead of any hearing, mediation, or court appearance. We have evaluated evidence, connected with medical experts, and planned out case presentations. We have done our best to deliver the best results for our clients.

Call Our El Centro Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

If you or your loved one sustained an injury due to medical negligence in El Centro, Gomez Trial Attorneys want to hear your story. We have recovered millions of dollars in damages for our injured clients; let us review your case to determine we can help you. Call us at (619) 237-3490 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation today.

Review: 5/5
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

“I know firsthand that Gomez Trial Attorneys is a professional and compassionate law firm. The entire office is a family and they treat their clients like family as well – these people truly care. Not only that, but they strive to make a positive difference in the community through their outreach efforts. Highly recommend.

Gomez Trial Attorneys
2299 West Adams Avenue, Suite 102
El Centro, CA 92243

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