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Gross negligence

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Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys may be able to help you get justice if someone else’s gross negligence caused you to suffer preventable injuries. This can occur in many ways, but medical malpractice cases are among the most common. A Los Angeles gross negligence attorney from KJT Law Group can review your case and explain your legal options for free today. Call (818) 507-8525 or contact us online to get started.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider engages in professional negligence, and the patient suffers harm as a result. Physicians and other health care providers must provide a standard of care that ensures every patient receives an accurate diagnosis and treatment. While everyone makes mistakes, there is no excuse for deviating from the acceptable standard of care, which includes following all safety protocols and best practices. 

Medical malpractice injuries generally occur in one of four ways:

  • Diagnosis errors, including misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis
  • Preventable birth injuries
  • Medication or dosage errors
  • Surgical errors

A victim of any of these errors may have an opportunity to pursue compensation for their injuries, but it is often a complex process. Our gross negligence attorneys can review your options with you today for free. 

Notifying of Our Intent to Sue for Medical Malpractice

Under California Code of Civil Procedure § 364, we need to notify the potential defendants in these cases about our intent to sue at least 90 days before we file. We must then develop a strong case to show they acted in a way that clearly breached their duty to provide a proper standard of care.

What Is Gross Negligence?

Gross negligence is a factor in some personal injury cases, including medical malpractice cases. While someone who is grossly negligent may not act recklessly or intentionally, their negligence is severe. As explained by CACI No. 425, gross negligence occurs when there is a “lack of any care or an extreme departure” from how a reasonable person would react. When applied to healthcare providers, this relates to how others with similar training, knowledge, and experience might act. This is especially important to understand in medical malpractice cases because Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code, § 2396 and other laws provide some level of immunity for healthcare providers in certain situations, unless our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers can prove gross negligence.

An Example of Gross Negligence

Consider the example below: 

  • A nurse attends to an unconscious patient
  • The patient does not have a pulse, so the nurse begins CPR and other resuscitation efforts
  • The patient survives but suffers several broken ribs 
  • The nurse is immune to malpractice claims because they followed proper protocol, and the law protects their efforts

Now imagine this scenario:

  • A nurse attends to an unconscious patient
  • The nurse fails to check for a pulse or document if the patient is breathing
  • Another healthcare provider resuscitates the patient several minutes later, but they suffer a hypoxic brain injury
  • The nurse may be guilty of gross negligence for failing to check basic vitals and act as other providers would with an unconscious patient

Who Is Liable When Gross Negligence Occurs?

In a claim based on gross negligence, the negligent party and/or their employer are generally liable. When someone is on the clock and acts negligently or intentionally, their employer may also be vicariously liable because of the doctrine of respondeat superior, as explained in CACI No. 3701. For example, if a nurse’s actions qualify as gross negligence, the clinic where they work may be legally liable as well – especially if they were an employee of the clinic and on the clock when the incident occurred. Gross negligence also sometimes applies to liable parties who might not be liable for ordinary negligence, such as those that require liability waivers. It may not be possible to hold them accountable for minor mistakes, but a gross negligence lawyer in Los Angeles may be able to show they acted with gross negligence. A liability waiver does not cover gross negligence or reckless acts.

Proving Gross Negligence in a Los Angeles Injury Case

The difference between gross negligence and ordinary negligence lies in the severity of the party’s actions (or inaction) and their intent. Many people who commit gross negligence fail to make any attempt to do things properly or intentionally disregard safety protocols. Proving gross negligence begins with the same four elements as ordinary negligence. Our attorneys will need to show by a preponderance of evidence that:
  • The accused party had a certain duty of care
  • They breached this duty of care
  • This breach caused our client’s injuries
  • These injuries resulted in financial damages, pain and suffering, and more
Beyond that, the decision by the Court of Appeal of California, Fourth District, Division Two in Rosencrans v. Dover Images, Ltd states that we must show the accused party’s conduct was “extreme.” This includes “either a want of even scant care or an extreme departure from the ordinary standard of conduct.”

Another Example of Gross Negligence

For example, imagine a doctor prescribed medication to a patient. Protocols require the doctor to check their records to look for any contraindications and check the patient’s blood pressure and other vital statistics first. The doctor decided this was a waste of time and chose not to do so. The patient had an allergy to the medication clearly outlined in their chart and suffered a severe reaction. This might be an example of gross negligence. 

Gross Negligence and Insurance

Many parties who could face gross negligence accusations have special insurance used when they stand accused of causing injuries. One example is the malpractice insurance carried by doctors, hospitals, and clinics. Our attorneys can file claims based on this insurance, present evidence of gross negligence, and demand fair compensation. If we cannot reach a negotiated settlement on your behalf, we may sue the negligent party in a Los Angeles County civil court. 

Our Los Angeles Gross Negligence Attorneys Are Ready to Help

At KJT Law Group, our team fights for justice on behalf of clients hurt by gross negligence. We pursue damages in personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases caused by another party’s gross negligence. We know how to show that gross negligence occurred and gather strong support for an out-of-court settlement or a trial verdict. We investigate what happened and confirm the circumstances of the incident, including gross negligence, with evidence. We then approach the liable party’s insurance provider or legal team and demand fair compensation. If they refuse or there is another reason why we need to sue, we can prepare and file a lawsuit and take the case to trial.

Gross Negligence Victims Have a Limited Time to Act

Because gross negligence can occur in several ways, the timeline for suing the liable parties may differ. In general, you have:
  • Two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death action under CCP § 335.1
  • Three years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit under CCP § 340.5
It is important to note there are many other deadlines and rules that apply in certain types of cases, including medical malpractice. The best way to protect your rights is to enlist the help of our team as soon as you become aware that medical malpractice may be a factor in your injury or illness.

Speak to a Los Angeles Gross Negligence Attorney for Free

You can discuss your case with a Los Angeles gross negligence lawyer from KJT Law Group for free today. We provide complimentary consultations for those who suffered injuries because of someone else’s careless, reckless, or intentional behavior. We can explain your legal rights and how we may be able to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. To get started, call (818) 507-8525 or contact us online now.
If you or someone you love was injured due to another person’s negligence, contact KJT Law Group at (818) 507-8525 for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.

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