Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence
Injuries caused by the dangerous mistake of a trusted doctor, nurse, hospital or healthcare provider is a tragic nightmare come to life. We at Heimanson & Wolf, LLP understand the devastation caused by unsafe medical practices, misdiagnosis, a failure to diagnose a medical condition, and mistakes during surgery. Medical malpractices occurs when a doctor, nurse or medical provider fails to provide care that is up to the standard of good care. When medical malpractice occurs, patients often sustain serious injuries such as birth injuries, brain injuries, orthopedic injuries, surgical injuries, repeat surgeries, and medical complications.
We have handled medical negligence cases in the following forms:
- Cutting of a bile duct during a laparoscopic gall bladder surgery
- Misdiagnosis of Cancer
- Misdiagnosis of a heart attack
- Unnecessary implants of medical devices such as implantable defibrillators and pacemakers
- Faulty dental procedures that have resulted in serious injuries including death
- Improper use of anesthesia such as Propofol, the same drug that allegedly led to the death of Michael Jackson
- Injury during pregnancy or birth
- Failure to obtain consent for a medical procedure
- Medical battery
There is a substantial hurdle that must be overcome in medical malpractice cases in California. In 1975, California passed MICRA (Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act) which places caps on the amount of compensation that can be achieved in medical malpractice cases. We at Heimanson & Wolf, LLP have handled many cases in which we successfully recovered damages for our medical malpractice clients well in excess of these caps because of the way we handled those cases.
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Any victim of medical malpractice should immediately obtain his or her medical chart from the doctor, dentist or medical provider believed to have committed the medical malpractice. Often times, medical charts disappear or are altered. A patient is entitled to inspect his or her chart within 5 working days after submitting a written request to the doctor or medical provider. (California Health & Safety Code Section 123110)
The statute also provides:
Any patient or patient’s representative shall be entitled to copies of all or any portion of the patient records that he or she has a right to inspect, upon presenting a written request to the health care provider specifying the records to be copied, together with a fee to defray the cost of copying, that shall not exceed twenty-five cents ($0.25) per page or fifty cents ($0.50) per page for records that are copied from microfilm and any additional reasonable clerical costs incurred in making the records available. The health care provider shall ensure that the copies are transmitted within 15 days after receiving the written request.
If you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice, it is critical that you contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to ensure that critical documents do not disappear and because there are strict time limits on medical malpractice cases.