When Californians seek medical assistance for an injury, illness or condition, there is an inherent expectation that the physicians and staff will adhere to the necessary standard of care. However, medical errors are common. When they happen, the patient can suffer a worsened condition and even death. When medical professionals have failed in properly caring for a person and there is a negative outcome because of it, it could be the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

There are certain steps to take when considering legal action. Prior to filing, it is wise to contact the medical professional or physician to discuss the situation. Perhaps the issue can be addressed without legal action. If that does not yield an acceptable resolution, the medical licensing board should be informed of what has happened. These entities oversee medical credentials. In general, it cannot tell the medical professional to give compensation, but it can give a warning or dispense discipline.

When considering a legal filing, a key is knowing the time constraints. There is a statute of limitations on civil lawsuits, restricting the length of time in which a judgment could be enforced. The clock starts to tick when the incident happened. Failing to file within the necessary time frame could waive the right to be compensated.

There is a chance that the physician or medical facility will conclude that an out of court settlement is preferable to having a trial. This can also benefit the victim as the settlement guarantees some form of compensation. Still, if the mistake was especially egregious, the settlement offer could be insufficient. A medical error can cause physical, emotional and financial hardship. To consider a legal filing to be compensated for medical malpractice, it may be beneficial to contact a legal professional for help with pursuing a case.