Most people enjoy a successful physician-patient relationship. However, on those occasions where a doctor, hospital, or other health care provider acts outside the standard of practice in the community and thereby causes harm to a patient, that patient or his/her heirs have a right to seek monetary compensation from the insurers of the responsible parties.

In order to prevail on a claim for medical malpractice which results in injury or death, we have to first prove that the doctor, hospital, or other health care provider breached the standard of care and that the breach caused harm. Since medicine is not an exact science, sometimes patients can suffer harm or even death, and it is not the fault of the doctor. This means that a poor result or bad outcome alone is not sufficient to prevail in a claim for medical malpractice. However, when doctors or other health care providers do act negligently and cause harm or death as a result, they must be held legally responsible for their actions. That is where we come in.

In order to determine whether you have a viable claim, you must provide us with all relevant medical records for our review. We will then send your records to a medical expert to give us an opinion as to whether you have a viable claim. If we have the necessary medical experts on board from day one, then we will take your case on a contingency fee basis pursuant to a sliding scale set by statute. If our medical experts conclude that your doctor did not act outside the standard of care or that your harm was not caused by any negligence of the doctor, then we cannot retain your case. Either way, we work with the most highly respected and competent medical experts in every field to provide us with honest and comprehensive opinions about your potential case. Whether or not we take your case, you will receive a medical explanation as to what happened.

Once we are able to establish that you have suffered injury or other damage due to medical malpractice, then you are entitled by law to receive monetary compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.

Items of economic damages typically include past and future medical care and reimbursement for lost wages and/or future earning capacity. If you are the surviving heir and dependent of a person who died due to medical malpractice, then you are entitled to the loss of financial support from that person.

Items of non-economic damages include compensation for your pain, suffering, anxiety, frustration, fear, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, and grief. If you are the spouse of an injured person, then you are entitled to compensation for your loss of consortium, or the effects of your spouse’s injuries on your marital relationship, including the loss of love, companionship, moral support, physical assistance in the home, and sexual relations. If you are the surviving heir of a person who died due to medical malpractice, then you are entitled to receive compensation for the loss of your relationship with that person.

Clearly, there is no amount of money that can possibly take away your pain or bring back a loved one who has died due to medical malpractice. But monetary compensation is the only means by which the law can provide compensation and hold the negligent parties responsible. It is for this reason that health care providers purchase and pay for malpractice insurance in order to protect them and to compensate those who they may unintentionally harm as a result of their actions. In these cases, the law limits the amount of compensation you can receive.

Specifically, in the State of California, the law places a cap on the amount of compensation you can receive for non-economic damages arising from medical malpractice. Unfortunately, the MICRA statute, codified as California Civil Code Section 3333.2 way back in 1975, with no increase or adjustment for inflation or cost-of-living since that time, limits your non-economic compensation to $250,000.00. This means that even if a jury awards more for your non-economic damages in a medical malpractice case, the judge is obligated to reduce the jury’s verdict for non-economic damages to $250,000.00.

Rest assured that the Law Offices of Nora Hovsepian will fight for your right to maximum compensation from the insurers of health care providers who have committed malpractice and caused you harm. You will be advised at every stage of your case on our recommendations for settlement and/or litigation. The decision on how your case will be resolved rests entirely with you.