Encino Medical Malpractice Attorney
When the doctors you trust to care for you make mistakes or deviate from the standard of care, catastrophic injuries and wrongful death can occur. While these doctors and medical facilities should be held accountable for their negligence, California malpractice laws have made it increasingly difficult to win these cases.
- The Castranova Law Offices obtained a large settlement when I was hurt by a drunk driver even though I had no car insurance.
- Mr Castranova went to trial on my case and was victorious when the other party tried to wrongfully take my home.
- Mr Castranova got my son a generous settlement in court when he was injured in a school ground accident, he can now have a more secure future.
- Mr Castranova will fight for you in court. He got me settlement of over $700,000 when the bus company that injured me did not want to compensate me for my injuries.
For more than 30 years, Elia J. Castranova has helped medical malpractice victims and their family members build strong cases against large medical facilities and powerful insurance companies. As a seasoned Encino medical malpractice attorney, he is committed to helping you get the compensation you need to start rebuilding your life after a serious injury or the death of a loved one.
Pursuing Justice for Victims of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice cases are some of the most challenging cases a personal injury lawyer can take on. Proving negligence is a difficult task, and many attorneys are not up to the challenge. Fortunately, Mr. Castranova has the background and knowledge needed to win these cases.
With years of experience handling the complexities of medical malpractice cases, he knows how to investigate and prove medical negligence. He is also prepared to aggressively protect your rights if your case goes to trial. Medical malpractice cases we have successfully handled include:
- Wrongful death caused by medical negligence
- Surgical errors
- Prescription drug errors
- Failure to diagnose
Another hurdle in medical malpractice cases is a California law that limits the amount of compensation that victims can receive for their non-economic damages, or pain and suffering. Enacted in 1975, the law put a $250,000 cap on malpractice compensation. We will fight to get you the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to receive under California law.
Contact an Encino Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Free Consultation
Se habla español. Pilipino po tayo.
The most important thing to understand regarding cases of Medical Negligence or Malpractice in California is that there is a very restrictive law called the MICRA Law that was passed in 1975. This MICRA Law favors the doctors and hospitals rather than the injured victim of the medical malpractice incident. The first, and perhaps most important part of this law, is that it limits the time you have to bring a lawsuit to one year from the date of injury, or discovery of injury (with a maximum of three years total from the time of the injury) rather than the two years California allows in other injury cases. So in cases of medical malpractice if the victim waits too long after the injury to file a suit, there will be no chance of recovering any damages regardless of the severity of the injury. The other implication of this law is that in medical malpractice cases, no matter how terrible the injury is, even if it is a lifelong injury that paralyzed the patient or will require 24 hour care, damages are limited to only 250,000 dollars for the pain, suffering, and disability the victim will endure for their entire life. This does not include economic damages such as loss of earnings and medical bills, which can be recovered as well. This law was passed back in 1975 and there has never been an adjustment for the cost of living despite inflation devaluing this maximum recovery limit time and time again.
In such cases of Medical Negligence, our office must make sure that the case is a strong one, where we can virtually guarantee the maximum recovery of 250,000 dollars, or more if there is economic damages. The financial investment on the part of my office in pursuing these cases is very high, often ranging from 50-100,000 dollars, none of which is recovered if we fail to collect for our client. Even though there are very high numbers of malpractice incidents due to negligence on the part of medical professionals and studies have shown that this is a leading cause of death in hospitals in the US, these cases can be very difficult to prove. In order to achieve recovery in medical malpractice suits, the burden lies with us to show that the doctor or hospital caused the injury by treating the patient below the standard of care, which can be very difficult to do.
In my many years of experience I have represented numerous clients for wrongful death, botched surgeries, and a variety of other types of medical malpractice suits. With the one year window for filing medical malpractice suits in mind, it is instrumental that any suspicions of injury due to negligence or medical malpractice be investigated immediately. Often what will happen is that the client, or their family member will seek medical help from another doctor, who might make an off handed comment like, “This should have never happened,” or some other statement indicative of malpractice.
When bringing a medical malpractice complaint to an our office it is integral that you prepare ahead of time by trying to obtain all medical records from the doctors and hospitals involved in the case. This allows us to evaluate the case and seek consultation from trusted experts, both of which would be impossible without the adequate records needed for thorough discovery. It is well known that under both California and federal law, a person has the right to privacy regarding their medical records, but perhaps less understood is that they also have a right to get copies of those record upon demand, for free. So if a doctor or a hospital is telling a patient that they have to wait to get the records for an inordinate amount of time, that the records are unavailable, that they should have an attorney request them, or are in any other way resisting supplying the records, they are in the wrong and the patient should insist on their rights and demand the records. Unless the records are kept off site the records should, in my opinion, be supplied almost immediately, and even when off site, a week or ten days at the very most. If it is taking two, three weeks, or thirty days, etc, there may be something wrong… I have seen many cases of tampered with medical records where doctors have changed records during or even after a surgery to make their actions appear more favorable.
I had one case in particular involving a wrongful death due to medical malpractice where the patient had given consent for a gall bladder surgery only via a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure. But during the surgery, the doctor decided he needed to use a more traditional procedure where he opened the patient up. Instead of just sewing him up and getting the consent for the more invasive procedure or just doing the open procedure and saying that it was an emergency situation, he actually changed the records to make them reflect that he had consent to perform the surgery as an open procedure and had a nurse initial and timestamp that she was a witness to his consent. Fortunately it was rather easy to prove the fraudulent consent because the doctor quite foolishly used a timestamp that reflected a time where the anesthesia records show that the patient was under anesthesia, and therefore obviously unable to give consent. Needless to say, when I returned to my office after deposing the doctor, I found a faxed offer from the doctor’s insurance company who were previously refusing to offer compensation for my client’s injuries.