The California Law provides that it is a physician’s duty to disclose information material to a patient’s decision to undergo treatment is imposed by law. The minimum required disclosure—i.e., the potential of death or serious harm inherent in a given procedure and an explanation in lay terms of the significant potential complications— is not governed by the standard practice of the physician’s community and thus is not a proper subject of expert testimony [Cobbs v. Grant (1972]. A patient’s death or deterioration of an existing condition may be the result of concurrent causes: the existing illness or condition and alleged medical malpractice such as the physician’s failure to properly diagnose or treat the condition. The malpractice is not actionable unless it—and not the existing condition—was the probable cause (greater-than–50% likelihood) of the injury or death. [See Simmons v. West Covina Med. Clinic (1989)].

Furthermore, a tortfeasor is liable for any subsequent economic damages attributable to negligent medical care or treatment that aggravates plaintiff’s original injury. The theory is that the aggravated damages are within the chain of legal causation traceable back to the original tortfeasor: i.e., medical treatment—whether properly or negligently administered—is a direct and foreseeable consequence of the injury caused by the original wrongdoer. [Ash v. Mortensen (1944)]. The same principle applies in a medical malpractice action where plaintiff’s initial injury at the hands of one treating physician is compounded by the subsequent negligence of other medical practitioners. [See Maxwell v. Powers (1994)]. It would be best to seek personal assistance from a lawyer in order to help you with your personal injury claim.

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