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Los Angeles Physician Negligence Defense Attorneys Who Protect Your Rights and Reputation as a Doctor

Building medical malpractice lawsuit and Medical Board of California defenses

Doctors devote their careers to taking care of their patients. When a patient files a lawsuit or a claim with the Medical Board of California, the action disrupts a physician’s business and jeopardizes their reputation, license and career.

The lawyers at Davis, Grass, Goldstein & Finlay believe that healthcare providers should always be — and have the right to be — fully defended on the merits of a claim. We strategize a medical malpractice defense that protects your integrity during settlement negotiations, litigation and administrative proceedings. We know you work hard for your patients, and in turn, we work hard for you.

Affirmative defenses in medical malpractice claims

Patients do not always follow directions and often have a variety of aggravating health problems. However, they may try to shift blame to their doctors when their medical conditions fail to improve or if they suffer severe setbacks. If appropriate in your case, our attorneys may demonstrate the plaintiff’s negligence to avoid or reduce damages. For example, causation would be interrupted if the patient did any of the following:

  • Was not truthful about the amount of a medication being taken — particularly painkillers and anti-anxiety medications
  • Failed to disclose use of certain drugs or herbal medicines that interfered with the treatment regimen
  • Refused recommended treatment options and then claimed the doctor failed to treat the medical problem
  • Disregarded post-op or at-home treatment instructions
  • Engaged in behavior that exacerbated the medical condition — such as a patient with diabetes who eats sugary foods after dialysis
  • Did not immediately notify a doctor about side effects or adverse reactions from a pharmaceutical drug

Additionally, a patient suffering from the normal progression of a disease or engaging in insurance fraud might view a lawsuit as a means of winning a cash windfall.

Limiting damages in California

California is a comparative negligence state — meaning that a damages award is limited to the actual degree of the defendant’s fault. Under the comparative negligence doctrine, a plaintiff who contributed to a medical condition is entitled to damages if the plaintiff’s negligence was less than 50 percent responsible. The award is adjusted to reflect the percentage of liability. For example, if the damages are found to be $100,000, but the patient contributed 25 percent to the injuries, the award is reduced by $25,000. A patient found to be 51 percent at fault is denied damages.

In addition, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) of 1975 limits the noneconomic damages to $250,000 and allows doctors to pay a judgment in installments over time.

Protect your license and your practice with help from a skilled malpractice defense lawyer

For more information about medical malpractice defense in litigation and administrative proceedings, call Davis, Grass, Goldstein & Finlay at 909.476.2662 or contact our law firm online. Our attorneys handle defense cases throughout Southern California — including in Riverside and San Bernardino counties — from our office conveniently located near the intersection of I-10 and I-15 and the Ontario International Airport.