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What are medical errors in California?

A medical error is an unintended act of commission or omission during medical care that may cause injury, illness, disability, accelerated death or death. If your loved one has died as a result of a medical error, you may be able to file a claim for compensation.

Surgical errors are some of the most frequent medical errors because surgery involves multiple practitioners and equipment, providing more opportunities for a mistake. You have rights with other types of errors too. The law takes medical errors seriously whether they are from surgery, a misdiagnosis, an equipment failure or something else.

Types of medical errors

Four types of medical errors are preventative, diagnostic, treatment and other. Preventative medical errors include failing to follow up with you, monitoring you poorly or failing to provide a preventative treatment. Diagnostic errors don’t just mean mistakes in diagnosing you; they also include failing to give you the right tests, failing to give you tests quickly enough and using outdated tests.

Avoidable delays in providing treatment and errors in drug dosages count as treatment errors and so do mistakes in carrying out procedures or treatment. Other medical errors are any type of system or equipment failures and miscommunication.

Statute of limitations

You have up to a year in California to file a claim against a health care provider after an error. Fortunately, you may have up to three years to file a claim against a health care provider if you didn’t immediately know about the medical error when it happened.

Once you are aware of the medical error, you only have up to one year to file a claim. You can read more about California’s medical malpractice statute of limitations in the California Code of Civil Procedure section 340.5.

You need to give 90 days’ notice

California law states that you must give your medical-care provider 90 days’ notice before suing them. You can read more about this in the California Code of Civil Procedure section 364.

Medical errors have varying degrees of severity that may affect the results of your claim. A medical malpractice attorney may help you understand the relevant laws and know what your rights are.