Medical errors can be devastating, forever changing your life and that of your family.
According to a 2016 Johns Hopkins report, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, ranking just below cancer but right before the chronic respiratory illness. A 2019 Johns Hopkins study reports that diagnostic errors were among the “most common, most deadly, and most expensive” medical errors.
Those experiencing injuries due to their Texas health care provider’s negligence should contact Hartley Law Firm. We can help make sure you do not miss the filing deadlines and help set you up for success.
What Is a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Medical malpractice is when a medical professional makes a medical error that causes an injury or death. Medical malpractice claims are a type of personal injury claim specifically involving medical professionals. Texas’s medical liability law calls medical malpractice claims “health care liability claims” or “medical liability” claims.
What Do I Need to Prove to Win a Medical Malpractice Case?
To have a valid medical negligence claim, you need to show the following:
- A health care provider or physician;
- Did not follow accepted standards of care; and
- Their actions or failure to act caused an injury or death.
In Texas, the definition of “health care provider” includes employees, independent contractors, and affiliates. This could include hospice workers or a physician’s assistant who comes to your house to administer medications.
Not Following Appropriate Standard of Medical Care
Generally, all health care providers must follow an accepted standard of care. This standard requires that they act reasonably under the circumstances given their special knowledge and position.
When determining if your health care provider met the standard of care, courts might ask whether a reasonable health care worker would have made the same decision. Typically, health care workers commit medical malpractice if they fail to act as another physician with similar experience and education would have acted in similar circumstances. For example, if a patient complains of severe chest pain and their doctor fails to run standard diagnostic tests, they may have breached their standard of care.
Proving That Medical Negligence Caused the Injury
To successfully bring a medical malpractice claim, you need to prove that the health care provider caused your injury. But how do you prove it?
You need to show a connection between the health care worker’s actions (or inaction) and your injury. To achieve this, keep accurate, complete records of the sequence of events leading to your injury. This includes records of doctor’s appointments, recommendations, prescriptions, treatment plans, and so on. Gaps in this sequence may create an uphill battle for you in proving your case, especially if you try to do it alone. Dallas medical malpractice attorneys, like those at Hartley Law Firm, can help you find key evidence you need to prove your case.
What Kinds of Medical Errors Are Medical Malpractice?
Common examples of medical errors that may be medical negligence include:
- Failure to diagnose,
- Leaving a foreign objects in body after surgery,
- Preventable sepsis,
- Bedsores or other hospital-acquired conditions,
- Surgical mistakes, and
- Birth injuries.
These medical errors can result in severe injuries, infection, or even death. While the above list includes common medical errors that may be medical malpractice, there are numerous types of medical errors that medical professionals can make. If you suspect that a health care provider committed a medical error, call the Hartley Law Firm today.
How Long Do I Have to File My Claim?
You typically have two years to file your claim. The clock “starts” when (1) the doctor performs the action causing your injury, or (2) the day that you complete that doctor’s treatment plan. In either case, Texas requires plaintiffs to file a medical negligence claim within 10 years of the action or inaction giving rise to the claim. Special rules apply if the injured person is under the age of 12.
For example, let’s say that Doctor prescribes a risky medication to a Patient for her minor symptoms. A doctor doesn’t tell the patient that the medication is risky, nor does he warn her of the risks. Following Doctor’s recommendations, the Patient continues taking the six-month course of the treatment. A patient develops a rare, severe condition because of the medication. A patient must file a medical negligence claim within two years from the date that she completed the treatment.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
If you win your medical negligence case, you may receive economic, non-economic, and, in some cases, punitive damages.
Economic damages compensate victims for the financial cost of their injuries. These financial costs include things like lost wages and medical expenses.
Noneconomic damages seek to compensate you for the human cost of medical negligence. These include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other intangible, yet very real harms to you. Note that, in Texas, there is a per-plaintiff cap on the amount of an award for noneconomic damages. With this in mind, hiring a Dallas medical malpractice lawyer is in your best interest to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Punitive damages serve to punish the wrongdoer and deter potential wrongdoers from committing similar acts or causing similar harms. Punitive damages (also called “exemplary damages”) are appropriate where the conduct is intentional or egregious.
You Need Dallas Medical Malpractice Attorneys by Your Side
Here at Hartley Law Firm, we leverage large law firm experience to bring you small firm attention and commitment. Our clients appreciate our diligence, efficiency, and attention to detail, knowing that it’s not just a case to us. We will fight for our clients to achieve a just and fair outcome. Call us today.
The Hartley Law Firm handles other types of cases as well, including:
- Personal Injury
- Wrongful Death
- Bike Accidents
- Head and Brain Injury
- Burn Accident Injury
- Bus Crash Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Construction Site Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Uber & Lyft Accidents
- Car Accidents
- Trucking Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Worksite Accident Injury
- Dog Attack
- Sexual Abuse
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Oil Field Accidents
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Commercial Litigation