I am focusing first on the Medical Malpractice claim. You definitely have a cause of action against the hospital and the doctors. You have to get a Medical Malpractice attorney with a proven track record of settlements and verdicts. What I mean is that your attorney has brought cases against medical providers and has won substantial settlements or court cases. With your son’s injuries, any attorney will take this case. Don’t settle for any attorney. You need to interview a number of attorneys until you are satisfied that they have the experience to take care of this case. They need to know the law, procedures and time limits. The hospital will have good lawyers. They have a lot of money to combat cases.
Here is a link to the State Bar Association of California Lawyer Referral Service:
I recommend this because they certify that all of the attorneys referred are certified this means they meet standards set by the California Supreme Court. You need to ask the referral service for a Medical Malpractice attorney with substantial experience in hospital cases. The attorneys will usually charge a $30 consultation fee. They may waive it in your son’s case because they will be interested in taking it because of his injuries. Don’t settle for the first lawyer you speak with. Ask for at least 3 referrals and interview all 3. If you are not satisfied, ask for more referrals.
Interview the attorneys carefully. Ask the following questions:
1) How long have you been admitted to practice law in California? The longer the better – it could mean experience.
2) How long have you been a medical malpractice attorney?
3) How many medical malpractice cases have you handled against hospitals?
4) How many medical malpractice cases handled by you involved Emergency Room malpractice?
5) What money amounts have you collected in settlements against hospitals?
6) How many trials have you conducted in medical malpractice cases? The more the better.
7) In filing a medical malpractice claim, what is the first procedural thing you have to make before you commence a medical malpractice action in court? This is really important. If a lawyer does not know this, that lawyer is not the lawyer for you. Here is the answer: 364. (a) No action based upon the health care provider's
professional negligence may be commenced unless the defendant has
been given at least 90 days' prior notice of the intention to
commence the action.
8) The lawyer also needs to know the statute of limitations for filing in such a case. Here is what the law says: 340.5. In an action for injury or death against a health care provider based upon such person's alleged professional negligence,the time for the commencement of action shall be three years after the date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, theinjury, whichever occurs first.
9)The initial consultation may be free or may be a nominal fee (about $30). Then you pay nothing unless there is a settlement. Your son will be asked to sign a “Contingency Fee” agreement. This means that the attorney will get a portion of the amount awarded by the court or settled for with the hospital. There are limits set by the California Courts on the contingency fee asked for by the attorney.
Here is the law as to what they can collect. When they give you a contract to sign make sure the fees do not exceed what it says in this law. You can also question them about the fees in your interview. If they are charging more than the law says they can, you may not want them as an attorney. Here is the law:
6146. (a) An attorney shall not contract for or collect a
contingency fee for representing any person seeking damages in
connection with an action for injury or damage against a health care
provider based upon such person's alleged professional negligence in
excess of the following limits:
(1) Forty percent of the first fifty thousand dollars ($50,000)
(2) Thirty-three and one-third percent of the next fifty thousand
dollars ($50,000) recovered.
(3) Twenty-five percent of the next five hundred thousand dollars
(4) Fifteen percent of any amount on which the recovery exceeds
six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000).
The limitations shall apply regardless of whether the recovery is
by settlement, arbitration, or judgment, or whether the person for
whom the recovery is made is a responsible adult, an infant, or a
person of unsound mind.
(b) If periodic payments are awarded to the plaintiff pursuant to
Section 667.7 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the court shall place a
total value on these payments based upon the projected life
expectancy of the plaintiff and include this amount in computing the
total award from which attorney's fees are calculated under this
(c) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Recovered" means the net sum recovered after deducting any
disbursements or costs incurred in connection with prosecution or
settlement of the claim. Costs of medical care incurred by the
plaintiff and the attorney's office-overhead costs or charges are not
deductible disbursements or costs for such purpose.
(2) "Health care provider" means any person licensed or certified
pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 500), or licensed
pursuant to the Osteopathic Initiative Act, or the Chiropractic
Initiative Act, or licensed pursuant to Chapter 2.5 (commencing with
Section 1440) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code; and any
clinic, health dispensary, or health facility, licensed pursuant to
Division 2 (commencing with Section 1200) of the Health and Safety
Code. "Health care provider" includes the legal representatives of a
health care provider.
(3) "Professional negligence" is a negligent act or omission to
act by a health care provider in the rendering of professional
services, which act or omission is the proximate cause of a personal
injury or wrongful death, provided that the services are within the
scope of services for which the provider is licensed and which are
not within any restriction imposed by the licensing agency or
6147. (a) An attorney who contracts to represent a client on a
contingency fee basis shall, at the time the contract is entered
into, provide a duplicate copy of the contract, signed by both the
attorney and the client, or the client's guardian or representative,
to the plaintiff, or to the client's guardian or representative. The
contract shall be in writing and shall include, but is not limited
to, all of the following:
(1) A statement of the contingency fee rate that the client and
attorney have agreed upon.
(2) A statement as to how disbursements and costs incurred in
connection with the prosecution or settlement of the claim will
affect the contingency fee and the client's recovery.
(3) A statement as to what extent, if any, the client could be
required to pay any compensation to the attorney for related matters
that arise out of their relationship not covered by their contingency
fee contract. This may include any amounts collected for the
plaintiff by the attorney.
(4) Unless the claim is subject to the provisions of Section 6146,
a statement that the fee is not set by law but is negotiable between
attorney and client.
(5) If the claim is subject to the provisions of Section 6146, a
statement that the rates set forth in that section are the maximum
limits for the contingency fee agreement, and that the attorney and
client may negotiate a lower rate.
(b) Failure to comply with any provision of this section renders
the agreement voidable at the option of the plaintiff, and the
attorney shall thereupon be entitled to collect a reasonable fee.
(c) This section shall not apply to contingency fee contracts for
the recovery of workers' compensation benefits.
(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2000.
Here is a link to more information to be aware of when you are trying to get the right lawyer: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/Pamphlets/HiringaLawyer.aspx
Please send me information on the name of the police department so I can help more with that. I want to also help you to file a misconduct complaint against the officers.
I will be happy to help you more. Once you are satisfied with my help and answer to all your questions, I ask that you rate my service.