Santa Rosa Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Proven Santa Rosa Medical Malpractice Attorney Ready To Assist You
Serving Victims of Medical Errors in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Healdsburg, and all of Sonoma County
When you go to the doctor or visit the hospital, you expect to be treated by medical professionals who have the training, skill, and experience necessary to accurately diagnose your condition and develop a treatment plan focused on helping you recover as safely and quickly as possible. We trust doctors to provide reliable medical advice and do things we cannot do ourselves, and the law entitles us all to expect a certain standard of care.
Unfortunately, doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, and other medical professionals make mistakes. In fact, they do so with alarming frequency. In 2016, Johns Hopkins Medicine published the results of a study which indicated that medical errors have become the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Of course, this only reflects known instances of medical malpractice. Far more medical mistakes go unreported, and this means that far too many patients and their families fail to recover the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one have been affected by a medical error, let our dedicated Santa Rosa medical malpractice lawyer fight for your justice and for a fair compensation to help you get back on your feet.
Top 100 Trial Lawyer for Medical Malpractice Claims
If you suspect medical malpractice, we encourage you to contact us promptly to discuss your legal rights. You do not need to know if you have a claim. California’s medical malpractice laws are complicated. It takes significant legal experience to know whether a medical mistake rises to the level of malpractice that you can get compensated for. Santa Rosa medical malpractice attorney, Michael Henderson has been practicing medical malpractice law in California for more than 20 years. He will provide you with a thorough case assessment, and if it appears that you have a claim, he will work tirelessly to win the compensation that you deserve.
“Mr. Henderson, upon first meeting him was very thorough and . . . made sure to never over-promise [or] under-deliver. Although my case resulted in a favorable settlement, I have no doubt this was more to do with whom I chose as my representation . . . Mr. Henderson. I would advise anyone looking for a candid, detail-oriented, and trustworthy [attorney] to look no further than Henderson Law.”
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in California?
In California, all medical providers are subject to a “standard of care.” When a provider fails to treat a patient consistent with the expectations set by the applicable standard, it can be held liable for medical malpractice. Under California law, the applicable standard of care depends on the nature of the service being provided (e.g., there are different standards for general practitioners, specialists, nurses, and hospitals), and assessing your rights starts with understanding the standard of care that applies to your situation.
Mr. Henderson brings decades of experience to representing patients and families in medical malpractice cases in the Santa Rosa, CA area. He has particular experience in cases involving:
- Birth Injuries
- Doctor and Hospital Errors
- Failure to Diagnose
- Failure to Treat
- Surgical Errors
Regardless of what you believe may have happened – or even if you aren’t sure – we encourage you to give us a call. There is too much at stake for you not to speak with an experienced Santa Rosa medical malpractice lawyer, and Mr. Henderson will be happy to personally provide a free assessment of your legal rights.
What You Need to Know About Damages
If your claim for medical malpractice succeeds in California, you will receive certain types of monetary compensation for your harm or damages. Here are some important things to know about damages in our state.
Doctrine of Pure Comparative Fault
Luckily for victims, California follows the doctrine of pure comparative fault. This allows victims to recover damages even if they are partially at fault for their own harm. For instance, let’s say that Sally suffers from acute back pain and her doctor told her to go on bed rest for at least two months. But Sally gets antsy and goes on a walk at week six. She did not follow medical advice 100%. Now her pain is worse and she needs surgery. But the physician makes an error during surgery, which results in Sally having partial paralysis. The court could hypothetically find that Sally is, say, 10% at fault for her own injury.
Under pure comparative fault, Sally would still be able to recover 90% of the damages that she suffers. The court would simply subtract the 10% that she was found to be at fault. Some states that do not follow this rule would refuse to allow any damage recovery if the victim is more than 49% at fault for their own injuries, and some states do not allow any recovery at all if the victim is even 1% at fault for their own injuries. So for our state, that is the good news.
Medical Malpractice Caps
Now for the not-so-good news. California is one of 31 states that has enacted caps on recovery for medical malpractice claims. Non-economic damages are capped at $250,000. The good news is, economic damages are not capped.
These damages are tangible, straightforward, easily calculable damages because they are based on expenses that can be tracked or proven by receipts and invoices. These damages include:
- Lost wages from loss of job or work hours
- Medical expenses
- Prescription drug costs
- Cost of therapy
Non-economic damages are less tangible or easily measured. They do not represent actual expenses but are meant to compensate victims for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of marital relations or consortium
California also allows for punitive damages that punish the defendant for egregious wrongdoing, but these are also non-economic damages in that they are not specifically quantifiable based on receipts or invoices. However, the damage cap is $250,000 in our state, and that means that all non-economic and punitive damages combined cannot exceed a mere $250,000. Although this rule has been attacked recently, it is currently still in place.
California Medical Malpractice FAQs
Q: What kind of medical situations can constitute malpractice?
It’s important to understand that not all medical situations that end differently than desired are always the result of malpractice. Generally speaking, to have a medical malpractice case, the following aspects must be demonstrable:
- There was a clear doctor-patient relationship.
- Some or all of the doctor’s actions, while working within the parameters of that relationship, can be classified as negligent.
- This negligence is directed related to injuries or inflictions suffered by the patient.
- The patient’s injury or infliction is responsible for damages that have also caused suffering.
Even if you aren’t sure if your case includes one or all of these medical malpractice characteristics, reach out to our Santa Rosa medical malpractice attorney today – you may still have a case!
Q: What are some of the most common medical malpractice claims?
As we mentioned already, malpractice is rampant in the medical industry. But, the most common claims may not include what you’re thinking. Notably, here is what some of the most commonly reported malpractice cases involve:
- Surgery performed on the wrong person
- Surgery performed on the right person, but on the wrong side
- Errors with prescriptions
- Failing to disclose all potential risks with procedures and use of medical devices
- Leaving foreign objects inside of patients
- Many more
Q: How long do I have to file a medical malpractice claim?
As a general rule, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in California is one year from the date on which you learned, or reasonably should have learned, about your illness or injury. However, there are exceptions that apply in certain circumstances, and in any case, you do not want to wait any longer than necessary to find out if you have a claim.
Q: How much can I recover for medical malpractice in California?
Under California law, there are no limits on the amount you can recover for medical expenses and lost wages resulting from medical malpractice. Damages for pain and suffering are limited to $250,000.
Q: What should I do for treatment of an illness or injury resulting from medical malpractice?
We understand if you are concerned about seeing another doctor after suffering an illness or injury due to medical malpractice. If you are not sure where to turn for treatment, we will be happy to provide you with a referral.
Q: If I file a medical malpractice claim, will I have to go to court?
Not necessarily. While some medical malpractice cases end up in court, most result in settlements through the provider’s malpractice insurance company. If we receive a settlement offer in your case, our proven and skilled Santa Rosa medical malpractice attorney will help you make an informed decision about whether to accept the offer or continue progressing toward trial.
Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Contact Our Highly Experienced Santa Rosa Medical Malpractice Lawyer
To find out if you are entitled to financial compensation for medical malpractice, schedule a free case assessment at Henderson Law in Santa Rosa, CA. Call (707) 843-3743 to schedule an appointment with our team, Michael Henderson or send us your contact information online and we will be in touch as soon as possible.
We also handle other personal injury cases, such as:
- Dog and Animal Attacks
- Employee Rights
- Family Law
- Insurance Claim Denial
- Car Accidents
- Pedestrian Crosswalk Injuries
- Personal Injury
- Slip and Fall Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- Truck Accident
- Motorcycle Accident
- Bicycle Accident
Henderson Law serves the greater Santa Rosa, CA area including Sonoma County, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Windsor, and Healdsburg.