I was contacted today by a woman who was inquiring about filing a medical malpractice action against her former knee surgeon. In late 2012, her surgeon made a mistake during a total knee replacement procedure. He acknowledged doing so, and the woman has been left with chronic problems ever since.
In California, a medical malpractice action must be filed within one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury, or within three years of the date of the injury, whichever comes first. (California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.5.) For reasons that are unclear, the woman had initiated a small claims action against her doctor more than a year ago and then dismissed same. Though still within the 3 year outside limit, this prior claim would now serve as a basis for the doctor to bar her claim – he would argue that she knew of the harm more than a year ago. Had she spoken with a lawyer at first, she would have learned about these time limits and that she had a case that was significantly more valuable than a small claims action.
Nearly all plaintiff side personal injury law firms will speak with a prospective client free of charge. So, there is no downside to contacting a lawyer for some free advice. If you or a loved one has a possible case, contact butler Viadro, LLP attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.
To contact the attorneys at Butler Viadro, LLP, call us at (510) 287-2400 or simply complete our online contact form. Cases are handled on contingency, which means that you owe us no attorney fees unless we collect compensation for you.