A lawsuit for medical neglect can be filed if you work within the statute of limitations. In California, this is three years after the date of the injury or one year after discovering or should have discovered the injury. Medical malpractice lawsuits have many challenges, including the powerful insurance companies and law firms that doctors and hospitals work with. Lawsuits involving neglect often focus on nursing homes as well.
Any medical lawsuit can take time to resolve. In the meantime, there may be many expenses to cover if you or a loved one has experienced medical neglect. Without legal funding, you’ll be buried by medical bills, legal fees, and daily expenses when you’re strapped for cash.
Fortunately, if you have a case of medical negligence, you can qualify for legal funding that covers your bills and financial necessities until your case settles.
Will My Settlement Be Enough to Cover Everything?
With settlement funding, you pay nothing out of pocket. The amount borrowed is paid back with the proceeds you receive. In California, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) was enacted in 1975 and puts a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits, such as physical impairment, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life. In 2023, the cap will increase to $350,000 for non-fatal malpractice injuries and $500,000 for cases involving wrongful death; starting in 2024, incremental yearly increases will eventually raise these caps to $750,000/$1 million.
How Much Will I Get?
In California, there’s also a cap on how much your attorney can charge. Per California Business & Professions Code section 6146, a lawyer can charge 40% of the first $50,000 recovered, 33 1/3% of the next $50,000, and 25% of the next $500,000. They are permitted to charge 15% of any amount over $600,000.
There are a lot of factors that affect how big your settlement may be. If you’re in part liable for causing your injuries, damages awarded can be reduced by a proportionate amount. California’s “pure comparative negligence” rule enforces this, meaning if you’re found to be 20% at fault for an injury, illness, or condition and are awarded $100,000, you’ll receive $80,000 instead.
How Long Will It Take?
Medical malpractice and neglect cases can take time, which is a luxury many victims cannot afford. The first step is to bring the lawsuit within the statute of limitations. The clock starts ticking when you’re injured or become aware of such and doesn’t stop except for rare circumstances. The statute of limitations is tolled, or the clock stops running temporarily if a minor child is a victim of fraud, a medical mistake is hidden by a health care provider, or a foreign object, such as a medical instrument, is unintentionally left in a patient.
The main advantage of legal funding is that it gives you leeway during a pending case. Every lawsuit is different, but some of the steps in the timeline include:
- Notice of Intent to Sue: Notifies the health care provider of the plaintiff’s intention to file a lawsuit and establishes the legal basis for the claim; this must be issued at least 90 days before the lawsuit is filed.
- Medical Malpractice Review Panel: The patient must submit the claim to a review panel, in which experts will review evidence, hear arguments, and be presented testimony. The panel decides whether malpractice has occurred and presents its findings to the court.
- Expert Testimony: If your case goes to trial, you’ll likely require an expert’s testimony by a qualified professional. This is usually someone with experience or knowledge related to the issue. Expert witnesses must be obtained in accordance with state rules.
Does Legal Funding Apply to Nursing Home Neglect?
Nursing home neglect is far too common and often results in serious harm to residents (the subject of many lawsuits where legal funding can benefit plaintiffs). It can entail failing to address or prevent medical concerns, neglecting basic needs, or not helping with personal hygiene. Even ignoring a resident’s social or emotional needs can be considered neglect. Oftentimes, medical neglect in a nursing home setting is due to understaffing. Being overworked or improperly trained increases the risk of mistakes.
Negligence can result in a lack of mobility, poor hygiene, depression and other psychological issues, and malnutrition. Unsanitary living conditions and unexplained injuries like cuts, scrapes, and broken bones can result. A wide range of circumstances can be neglected in a nursing home, but a doctor can be negligent as well by failing to diagnose an illness, providing the wrong diagnosis, selecting the wrong treatment, or improperly administering the appropriate one. A failure to warn a patient of known risks is another form of neglect.
Apply for Legal Funding Today
Medical malpractice cases are often complex. If you or a loved one has experienced medical neglect and been injured as a result, FCA Legal Funding can provide a pre-settlement loan, post-settlement funding, or a lawsuit cash advance. If a settlement is reached but you’re waiting for financial relief, we offer a settlement acceleration program.
Our online application process is fast and simple. Just submit your information and our staff will contact you. We’ll then make an offer within 24 hours. Learn more about the types of legal funding we offer, submit your application, or call 855-870-2274 for more information.