Dressed in starched white coats and hushed tones in a bedeviling blither of medical Latin, the medical profession projects confidence and inspires trust. However, lurking behind this illusion, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Against this background, Texas tort reform can shield a doctor from paying out for medical errors.
Enter the Hartley Law Firm—your Lewisville medical malpractice lawyers. The Hartley Law Firm is devoted to the representation of injured victims. Armed with significant trial experience and a record of favorable verdicts, the Hartley Law Firm will compassionately represent your interests.
What Does Medical Malpractice Mean?
A doctor owes you a duty of care. Duty of care means that a doctor must follow well-established rules and procedures. Doctors commit medical negligence when they breach their duty of care. Doctors can breach their duty of care when their treatment falls behind that of another doctor with similar training and expertise. If you suffer an injury because of a doctor’s medical negligence, you may have a malpractice case.
What Are Examples of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice can come about in many ways. Generally, medical malpractice occurs when a doctor commits a medical error that results in injury to you.
Examples of medical errors can include:
- Premature discharge,
- Failure to respond to a medical emergency,
- Improper use of equipment,
- Failure to diagnose,
- Medicine errors,
- Surgical errors,
- Adverse drug interactions,
- Injuries from falls, and
- Unnecessary treatments.
Nevertheless, mere medical errors do not necessarily rise to the level of malpractice. The medical error must have been a breach of the standard of care and have caused an injury for a successful malpractice claim. Injuries are economic (tangible) and non-economic (intangible).
How Do Medical Errors Cause Injury?
Medical malpractice in Texas turns on liability and damages. If a doctor breaches their duty of care, they may be liable to you. However, you must have suffered an injury to have a viable medical malpractice claim.
Examples of injuries can include:
- Lost income,
- Pain and suffering,
- Wrongful death,
- Loss of quality of life,
- Rehabilitation, and
- Medical costs (past and present).
To collect damages from a medical error, you must have proof of damages. Therefore, it is vital to take notes, keep records, and document costs.
What Should You Do If You Are a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
In Texas, time is of the essence. If you suspect that a doctor committed a medical error that caused you injury, you must document what happened. Medical malpractice claims live and die by evidence. Therefore, when you talk to your doctors and their staff, take notes, get names, and take pictures.
Is It Hard to Prove Medical Malpractice in Texas?
In 2003, Texas passed sweeping tort reform that greatly benefits doctors. The laws are so beneficial to doctors that they now flock to Texas to shield themselves from liability. Nevertheless, there are still avenues to collect damages caused by a doctor’s medical negligence. Lewisville medical malpractice lawyers may be able to wrangle the Texas medical malpractice laws in your favor. However, time is critical.
Texas has some of the shortest time limits to file a claim. Under Texas law, you must file your medical malpractice claim within two years of the medical error or completion of the treatment associated with it. However, if two years have passed, you may still be able to file a medical malpractice claim if you meet certain requirements. A seasoned medical negligence attorney can guide you through the processes.
How Much Can You Collect in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Texas tort reform did limit some damages. For example, tort reform placed a cap on non-economic damages. The law limits non-economic damages to $250,000 per hospital. However, if there are two or more hospitals involved, you may be able to collect $500,000. Also, the law limits non-economic damages against health care providers to $250,000—regardless of how many were involved. Nevertheless, there is no cap on economic damages. Therefore, you can collect for all economic losses caused by a doctor’s medical error.
Do You Need a Lewisville Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Texas makes collecting damages from medical malpractice very difficult. Texas’s tort reform created stringent guidelines with short time limits that a lawyer must follow. Failure to adhere to the guidelines and time requirements established by Texas tort reform can result in an outright dismissal of your claim.
Lewisville medical malpractice attorneys at the Hartley Law Firm are experienced attorneys trained in Texas medical practice. We pride ourselves on being accessible to our clients and exceeding their expectations. Time is of the essence in medical negligence. Therefore, contact us today.