A patient cannot sue a hospital or doctor if they don’t have certain elements. Patients may not be able to file medical malpractice claims against every doctor or patient who is incompetent. California’s medical malpractice laws provide details on how, when, and why a patient may bring a claim against a doctor. California’s medical malpractice laws have four elements that you will need to file a claim. Contact an attorney to determine if your claim includes all of these elements.

Definition Of Medical Malpractice

Each state has a different definition of medical malpractice. California’s laws are therefore unique. To have a case, your situation must meet the requirements of California’s medical negligence law. The state’s medical negligence statute can be found in Title XLV, Chapter 766 of the 2018 California Statutes. Medical malpractice is defined as any professional negligence in the medical industry that results in personal injury or wrongful deaths of patients. To help you better understand this tort, it is possible to hire an expert.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit: Required Elements

California law states that the claimant must prove that the doctor’s actions violate the accepted standard of care in the field by using the “greater weight” of evidence. According to the facts, the accepted standard refers to the level of skill and treatment that was appropriate and prevailed by similarly skilled doctors. The plaintiff must demonstrate four elements in a California medical malpractice case.

  1. At the time of the alleged malpractice, a doctor-patient relationship existed. The plaintiff must prove that the doctor owed a professional obligation to the patient. A friend who happens not to be a doctor is not a professional doctor-patient relationship.
  2. The doctor did not fulfill his professional duties to the patient. A breach of duty is any action or inaction that a doctor does not take under similar circumstances.
  3. The patient’s injuries were caused by the doctor’s breach of duty. The plaintiff must prove that the negligence of the doctor caused the patient’s injuries or illness. A patient may not be entitled to a lawsuit if a doctor is negligent and terminal cancer causes the patient’s death.
  4. The doctor’s actions caused damages to the plaintiff. The plaintiff must have actually suffered damages as a result of the incident. Personal injury, illness, medical bills, and lost wages are all possible damages.

These four elements are sufficient to make a California medical malpractice claim. You can file a lawsuit against your doctor. If the doctor is an independent contractor, your claim will be against him/her. If the doctor is an employee, you could still hold the facility responsible.

This article was written by Alla Tenina. Alla is one of the best tax attorneys in Los Angeles California, and the founder of Tenina law. She has experience in bankruptcies, real estate planning, and complex tax matters. Click Here for more information. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This website contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user or browser; the ABA and its members do not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.