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Temecula Medical Malpractice Attorneys

National Trial Lawyers Top 100With Temecula Valley Hospital, Neighborhood Healthcare, and many other area facilities and independent practitioners, we are fortunate to have an unusually large number of doctors for a city of our size. Situated between the University of California, San Diego and Loma Linda University, we also benefit from research and teaching institutions that Temecula’s medical providers can draw upon when they encounter especially difficult cases or want to attract promising young talent.

Sometimes, however, the people to whom we entrust our health fail us. They get careless or reckless. Their employers place unrealistic expectations on them, and they cut corners. Medical facilities fail to provide adequate training or oversight, or don’t enforce protocols designed to protect patients. The result—medical malpractice—can cause devastating injuries to Temecula patients.

If you or a loved one suspects you have been a victim of medical malpractice, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys at 866-TRIAL LAW (866 874-2552) immediately. Let our Temecula medical malpractice lawyers tell you if you have a case.

Medical Malpractice Verdicts We Have Obtained

We want to make sure you understand there is never a guarantee as to how a Temecula malpractice case may turn out.

While past successes are not always a good indication of how specific future cases may turn out, some of our recent verdicts include:

  • $1,875,000 for a medical malpractice settlement.
  • $5,000,000 for a wrongful death claim due to medical malpractice.
  • $105,000,000 for medical fraud.

We fight for every client. Whether your loved one was injured in a nursing home, your child was born with a birth defect because you did not receive proper care during labor and delivery, or you had a surgical procedure that was botched by your surgeon, Gomez Trial Attorneys can help.

Understanding Medical Malpractice

We seldom come face-to-face with someone who was a victim of medical malpractice, but more people than you think may suffer repercussions from doctors, nurses, chiropractors, dentists, hospitals, and other providers.

In fact, according to some statistics, medical errors are the third most common reason people lose their lives in the United States.

Many people tend to have a narrow view of medical malpractice, and most often, people believe only a doctor who makes a grave error can commit malpractice. This is inaccurate since many other parties can commit medical malpractice. In addition to hospitals and nursing homes, any licensed health care provider may be held liable for malpractice. However, to file a malpractice claim, the victim must establish that the health care provider acted negligently.

Here is what must be established in a medical malpractice claim:

  • A professional relationship existed – Before a Temecula medical malpractice victim can file a claim, they must be able to prove that there was an established relationship between the provider and the victim. For example, a victim who attends a conference and has a discussion with a physician about their symptoms cannot assume the physician can be held liable if the advice turns out to be incorrect.
  • The medical provider deviated from the accepted standard of care – The second element in a malpractice claim is how the medical professional treated the patient. For example, if an adult patient went to the emergency room at UC San Diego Medical Center with a long-lasting cough, a high-grade fever, and general body aches, and was sent home by the attending physician with a recommendation that would be suitable for treating the flu but the patient later learned they had lung cancer, then the doctor may have been negligent. If common practice is to run certain tests to rule out certain conditions and the doctor failed to do so, they deviated from the typical standard of care. The “standard” is set by similarly trained medical professionals in similar settings. For example, you would not ask a lab technician to abide by the standard of care expected of an emergency room doctor.
  • The provider’s negligence resulted in harm – In the above-referenced scenario where a patient was sent home with instructions on dealing with the flu but the patient actually had cancer, the victim would have to provide evidence that the delay between the “flu” diagnosis and treatment for cancer caused additional harm to the patient. Let’s assume the patient went home, felt better, and went back to work. During their annual physical a year later, the doctor conducted a routine chest X-ray because the patient complained about some shortness of breath. If the patient is diagnosed with advanced lung cancer at that time, the delayed diagnosis may have prevented them from seeking timely cancer treatments. This negligence may have resulted in harm.
  • The harm resulted in damages – Continuing to consider the same scenario, the patient might lose additional time from work, suffer mental anguish, and experience additional pain and suffering because of the delayed diagnosis. The patient may also have a shorter life expectancy because of the delay in accurately diagnosing lung cancer. Any of these would qualify as damages.

Common Types of Medical Malpractice

Solana Beach Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Malpractice covers a broad range of issues. Anyone from a newborn child to a senior citizen enjoying their golden years can be a medical malpractice victim.

Some common malpractice claims include:

  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis;
  • Nursing home abuse;
  • Failure to treat a patient;
  • Errors made with prescribing drugs for an illness;
  • Errors during surgery or medical procedures; and
  • Birth-related injuries.

While there are several types of medical errors that can result in a medical claim, these are some of the more common ones.

Holding Parties Accountable for Medical Malpractice in Temecula

Medical malpractice claims are complicated. There may be multiple parties who are responsible for the harm a victim has suffered.

Some potential parties in a Temecula medical malpractice lawsuit include:

  • Attending health care staff members – Doctors, nurses, radiologists, or anesthesiologists may be accountable for the victim’s illness or injury.
  • The facility where a health care provider worked – Depending on the specific circumstances, the facility where the health care worker was employed may be partially liable for your suffering.
  • Pharmacy chains or technicians – If a pharmacist dispensed improper medications, they may be held accountable and the pharmacy may also be partially liable.

Every malpractice case is different, which makes it difficult to determine who may be at fault in your case. Your Temecula medical malpractice attorney will explain who may be held accountable and what options are available to you.

Potential Damages That Plaintiffs Can Pursue in Temecula Medical Malpractice Cases

Numerous issues will affect a medical malpractice claim and determine how much money you may collect for the harm you suffered. For example, if your child was born with a birth defect that will affect their entire life due to malpractice, the damages award may be significantly higher than if your grandmother was given the wrong treatment for a minor illness.

In general, damages you may collect in a Temecula medical malpractice case include:

  • Medical costs associated with harm – Any medical bills that are associated with the harm you suffered as a result of medical malpractice can be included in a malpractice claim. This includes tests, prescription medications, special medical equipment, and transportation to and from doctor’s appointments.
  • Wages, current and future – While this can be a complicated calculation, you are entitled to claim lost wages in a medical malpractice case. Calculating the wages you lost while recovering from your injuries is fairly straightforward. However, if you are going to be out of work permanently, or you are unable to return to your current type of employment, your attorney will need to estimate your lost wages in the future.
  • Other possible compensation – You may be entitled to additional types of compensation, including pain and suffering, emotional harm, and punitive damages. These all depend largely on the extent of the harm you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice.

Should you lose a loved one, you may also be entitled to collect for unexpected costs, including funeral and burial costs associated with the loss of your loved one. While money will not make up for this terrible loss, you can ensure your family’s financial security by moving forward with a wrongful death claim.

Fighting the Insurance Company in Temecula Medical Malpractice Claims

Medical malpractice claims are complicated. Doctors and other health care professionals often deny any wrongdoing, insurance companies try to protect their bottom line, and in some cases, it is difficult to find another professional who will describe how a medical malpractice victim should have been cared for. This is why you must seek guidance from an experienced attorney when you believe you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice.

As the victim of medical malpractice, you will be forced to reckon with some challenging questions pertaining to your treatment.

Insurance companies and healthcare professionals may try to show:

  • You ignored symptoms or did not share them with your medical team;
  • You failed to follow the orders given by the doctor;
  • You failed to verify the medications you were prescribed or follow dosing instructions;
  • You failed to provide an accurate family medical history; and/or
  • You are exaggerating the harm done to you by medical malpractice.

These are just a few of the claims the provider or their insurance company may make in an attempt to minimize the amount of compensation they have to pay you. Your attorney is there to act as your advocate and they will make sure you are not revictimized by a legal team fighting against paying a legitimate claim.

Understanding the Complexities of Temecula Medical Malpractice Claims

While you may be angry about a bad outcome after a surgical or other medical procedure, these are not always a result of malpractice on the part of your medical team. Sometimes people who lose a loved one want to lash out at the doctors who provided end of life care—again, a bad outcome does not always indicate malpractice. The only way to ascertain whether you have a legal claim against a doctor or other medical provider is to discuss the particulars of your case with an experienced attorney.

Licensing boards often get complaints from patients because those patients are unhappy with drug interactions, they are unhappy about a doctor’s inability to make them feel better, or because they expected to feel differently after a surgical procedure. In some of these cases, the doctor may have done something wrong—and if they did, Gomez Trial Attorneys can help you hold them accountable for their negligence.

Costs Associated With Temecula Medical Malpractice Claims

One of the most common reasons a victim of medical malpractice does not contact an attorney immediately is because they are concerned about the cost. This is a legitimate concern, but don’t let cost stop you from seeking legal help.

A medical malpractice attorney will review your case and help you understand your legal rights. This review is done during a free consultation, which means it costs nothing to find out what options are available to you as a victim of medical malpractice. This free consultation is to ensure you know what rights you have and make sure you understand the process you will have to follow to file a medical malpractice complaint.

Should you decide to move forward, your attorney will review their legal fee structure with you. At Gomez Trial Attorneys we take medical malpractice cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that until—and unless—we are successful in obtaining a settlement on your behalf, you will not be responsible for any legal fees. Once we have obtained a settlement, our fee will be a percentage of the amount we obtain on your behalf. Our retainer and fee agreement will lay out in detail what you can expect financially for securing our assistance in pursuing compensation in your medical malpractice case.

Being a victim of medical malpractice or having your family torn apart because one of your loved ones received inadequate care may leave you feeling helpless. However, you are not helpless, and we are here to help you. Our mission is to fight on behalf of injured victims and help hold the at-fault parties responsible for the injuries our clients suffered because a provider failed to act appropriately.

Gomez Trial Attorneys’ Temecula Medical Malpractice Lawyers Answer Your Questions

When someone visits a physician or other medical provider, the provider owes their patients a special “duty of care.” When the provider breaches or abuses that duty, the victim has the right to fight back by hiring a medical malpractice lawyer to hold the negligent provider accountable. While a bad outcome is not always the fault of a doctor or other medical practitioner, instances of medical malpractice can have a devastating impact on a family.

Below, the team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Gomez Trial Attorneys provides answers to some of the questions we get asked most frequently about medical malpractice claims.

What is the “standard of care” or “duty of care” when it comes to Temecula medical malpractice?

The relevant standard of care depends on the provider. Competent health care professionals are required to provide care in the same manner that similar providers offer to other patients in similar circumstances. Generally, this means that to prove that you are a victim of medical malpractice, your attorney must seek information about the appropriate standard of care from an expert witness who has a similar background.

An example of this would be if your case involved an orthopedic surgeon. You would not contact a dentist to serve as a witness to explain the level of care you should have been provided, you would seek out another orthopedic surgeon to explain what level of care they would have provided.

What situations can result in malpractice?

A report from the National Practitioner Data Bank indicated that more than 1,200 patients filed successful malpractice claims in California in 2019.

While it is not easy to categorically identify the situations that lead to successful claims, some of the most commonly filed medical malpractice claims include:

  • Failure to diagnose – A failure or a delay in accurately diagnosing a condition can unfortunately lead to bad outcomes. Victims of cancer, heart attack victims, and those with serious infections that lead to sepsis can suffer bad outcomes as a result of a missed or inaccurate diagnosis. Cancer victims and others who face a delay in a proper diagnosis sometimes cannot pursue treatment, which can result in shortened life expectancy.
  • Medical and medication errors – Practitioners sometimes make mistakes during treatment or when prescribing drugs. When these types of errors occur, victims often face additional health problems or may suffer an injury due to the negligent treatment or prescription. Contact a medical malpractice attorney if you or a loved one has suffered an illness or physical harm due to these types of errors.
  • Failure to properly advise – When a medical professional is recommending a specific procedure or medication to a patient, they have a duty to explain the potential for likely side effects or bad outcomes. Patients have a right to know about potential risks associated with treatment, lack of treatment, or a medication they are being prescribed. If a medical professional fails to provide this information, the patient cannot properly consent to treatment.

Many other types of malpractice can lead to bad outcomes for patients due to negligent behavior by a healthcare professional. If you are uncertain whether you have the basis for a case, contact a Temecula medical malpractice attorney for more information.

Are only doctors subject to Temecula medical malpractice claims?

No—in addition to physicians, dentists, nurses, chiropractors, and other licensed health care professionals can act in a manner detrimental to their patients. Plaintiffs may also hold the hospital or other medical facility where the medical practitioner is employed responsible.

Some other healthcare professionals who can be held responsible under medical malpractice laws include:

  • Facilities – Hospitals, nursing homes, and laboratories may be held accountable for medical mistakes that result in a patient’s injuries or illnesses. There are many types of facilities that may be liable for medical malpractice.
  • Individual care providers – Nurses, psychiatrists, anesthesiologists, physical therapists, in-home health care aides, dentists, and other health care providers who are responsible for a patient’s care may be held liable for injuries or illnesses caused by their negligence.

You should seek legal advice if you believe you or a loved one suffered an injury or illness due to a medical error of any kind. Since you can schedule a free consultation with a Temecula medical malpractice lawyer, you have nothing to lose by speaking with someone about the circumstances of your claim to help you decide whether or not to move forward.

How can I determine whether I have a Temecula medical malpractice case?

As we previously mentioned, a bad outcome does not always mean the problem stemmed from malpractice. For example, if you have bleeding or a minor infection following a surgical procedure, this may not be unexpected or unusual. Most patients will see these warnings mentioned on the consent form they sign before undergoing a procedure. Regardless of the quality of care, patients sometimes may experience a bad outcome.

A medical malpractice claim requires the victim to establish certain “elements” to be successful.

Questions a medical malpractice attorney will ask you at an initial consultation to determine whether you may have a viable case include:

  • What led to your illness or injury?
  • What treatment were you offered or given?
  • How was the treatment explained to you?
  • Did you properly follow all the instructions provided by your doctor or other provider?
  • What was the outcome in comparison to the outcome you expected?

The attorney may have other questions, but in general, these will be sufficient to provide your attorney with enough information to determine whether you have a viable medical malpractice case.

How long can I wait to file a Temecula medical malpractice lawsuit?

Temecula medical malpractice lawsuit

Victims of medical malpractice have three years to file a claim unless:

  • The injured party learns of the injury before the three-year deadline, in which case they have one year.
  • The injured party should have known about the injury before the three-year deadline.
  • The injured party is a minor under the age of six, in which case the child’s parents have three years to file or until the child’s eighth birthday.
  • There was fraud involved in the malpractice (e.g. the insurance company or other parties withheld information from the victim or the victim’s family).

Must I provide any notice to the Temecula medical services provider before I file a medical malpractice case?

Yes—California Code of Civil Procedure section 364 requires the injured party to notify the provider at least 90 days before filing a lawsuit with the courts.

While there is no legal requirement for a specific format, the notice must include specific information, including:

  • The legal basis is for the claim.
  • What type of loss the victim claims to have suffered.
  • What injuries the victim has suffered as a result of malpractice.

Remember, this notice must be made at least 90 days before the statute of limitations expires.

How much can I expect to collect from my Temecula medical malpractice case?

This depends on the specific circumstances of your case. An attorney will have to review your medical records, the likely outcome had there been no malpractice, and the extent of the illness or injury resulting from the malpractice. There is no simple way to put a price on your health, and we understand this. However, there are also some limits on how much you may be able to collect.

In California, we have the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA).

MICRA puts restrictions on compensation for what are known as “non-economic” claims, including:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Loss of enjoyment of life;
  • Loss of consortium; and
  • Physical impairment.

However, there are no caps on the compensation for economic losses that you may recover.

Economic losses include:

  • Medical care expenses – You can seek reimbursement for your treatment for any illness or injury that was a result of medical malpractice. This includes not only current expenses but also estimated future expenses for your care or treatment.
  • Current and future earnings – If you missed time at work or are unable to work, you are entitled to file a claim for the earnings you lost as a result of medical malpractice. Your attorney can help draw up an estimate of what you may lose in the future if you are unable to return to work and include that amount in your claim as well.
  • Other financial losses – Your attorney can also help determine if you have suffered other financial losses such as having to modify your home to accommodate a disability, long-term nursing care, and other expenses that relate to your malpractice case.

How much are attorney fees in Temecula medical malpractice cases?

California limits how much an attorney may charge a victim of medical malpractice. The current limits are:

  • $0 to $50,000 recovered – 40 percent.
  • 50,001 to $100,000 recovered – 33 1/3 percent.
  • $100,001 to $600,000 recovered – 25 percent.
  • $600,000 or more recovered – Attorneys may claim as much as 15 percent of any amount over $600,000.

There are some additional costs associated with hiring a lawyer to help with a medical malpractice claim in Temecula, including expert witness fees, court filing fees, and more. You, however, will not pay those costs unless your lawyer helps you recover compensation.

Can I file a Temecula medical malpractice case without an attorney?

It is never a good idea to take on a medical malpractice lawsuit without the guidance of an experienced Temecula medical malpractice lawyer. Victims who represent themselves have a harder time securing expert witnesses, understanding information in medical records, and understanding the rules and procedures they must follow to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.

In many cases, a medical provider’s insurance company will reach out to you soon after you notify the provider of your claim. Before the insurance company adjuster speaks with you, they will have spoken with an attorney who will have advised them as to how solid your case is against their client. The insurance company is there to protect the provider and also to protect the company’s bottom line. They know that if you are representing yourself they can almost always negotiate a lower settlement than if you had legal representation.

I have been out of work for three months. My medical care is costing thousands of dollars a month. How can I afford to hire a Temecula medical malpractice lawyer?

First, you should know that an initial consultation will cost you nothing. And if you decide to go ahead with your claim, medical malpractice attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney will not charge for legal fees until they secure a settlement or judgment on your behalf.

While there is never a guarantee that your attorney will be successful, and their past results are not always a reflection of future results, working with a lawyer who has experience handling complicated medical malpractice cases can drastically improve your chances of getting a fair settlement.

Should I ask for a copy of my medical records before calling a Temecula medical malpractice lawyer?

There is no need to request your records, provided that you can give your attorney the information they need to answer your initial questions and you can explain why you believe the circumstances warrant a medical malpractice lawsuit. Once a personal injury attorney agrees to take your case, the discovery process will begin, and your attorney will request your records directly from the medical provider.

What happens if medical malpractice resulted in the death of my loved one?

Losing a loved one is hard and we understand that deciding whether or not to file a lawsuit after their death is never an easy decision. Of course, the money you might receive if you win the case cannot make up for their loss. Compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit can help your family stay on their feet financially, though. California law allows the family of a medical malpractice victim who died as a result of the malpractice to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In general, families have up to two years following the death to file a claim.

Call Gomez Trial Attorneys’ Temecula Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

Temecula medical malpractice lawsuit

John Gomez, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you were a victim of poor health care practices or you have lost a loved one because of medical malpractice, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys at 866-TRIAL LAW (866 874-2552) immediately for a free consultation.

Contact our offices today or fill out our simple online contact form and let us get to work fighting on your behalf. Allow us to review the facts of your case and help you understand what options are available to you and your family to recover financially from a medical provider’s negligence.

We are here to hold the responsible parties accountable, and if you choose to work with us we will fight tirelessly to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for the negligence you suffered at the hand of a medical professional.

Injured in an accident? Get a real trial lawyer. Get Gomez.

Temecula Office
27720 Jefferson Avenue
Temecula, CA 92590

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