Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers see us at the most vulnerable times in our lives. Because of the immense trust involved in a doctor-patient relationship, medical providers must act with the utmost care when examining, treating, and diagnosing patients. When they fail to meet this standard and patients are injured, patients or surviving family members might be able to file a claim against the at-fault providers.
The Arlington medical malpractice lawyers at Hartley Law Firm are here to fight for you during this difficult time.
What Are Common Sources of Medical Malpractice Claims?
When a healthcare provider makes a serious mistake and injures a patient, that patient might be able to bring a medical malpractice claim to recover compensation. Examples of medical malpractice include:
- Surgical errors,
- Medication mistakes,
- Anesthesia errors,
- Failure to diagnose,
- Improper treatment,
- Sexual assault,
- Improper use of restraints,
- Faulty medical devices,
- Nursing home abuse or neglect,
- Failure to treat, and
- Birth injuries.
A medical malpractice lawyer on our team can talk to you about what happened and help you identify potential claims you might have against a nurse, doctor, or hospital.
How Do I Know If I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
Most medical malpractice claims are based on the law of negligence. Under this legal principle, injured parties must prove four essential elements to succeed in a claim brought against a doctor, dentist, hospital, or other medical providers:
- The hospital or provider owed you a duty of care;
- The hospital or provider breached their duty of care;
- The hospital’s or provider’s breach of duty caused your injury; and
- You suffered damages you can be compensated for.
You must prove all four elements to win your medical malpractice case. Hartley Law Firm has years of experience helping injured victims meet their burden of proof. We can take care of all your legal matters so that you have the time and energy you need to heal.
The Hospital or Provider Owed You a Duty of Care
Most people owe others a duty to act with ordinary care and prudence under the circumstances. Because of their unique relationship with patients and their families, medical providers and institutions owe an enhanced duty to patients and, in some cases, their families. The provider must follow generally accepted standards of care and skill when examining, diagnosing, and treating patients.
The Hospital or Provider Breached Their Duty of Care
The second part of a medical malpractice claim is to prove the medical provider breached their duty of care. That means you have to show the provider’s conduct was not in line with the applicable standard of care. You can accomplish this by presenting testimony from a qualified medical professional explaining how the provider’s conduct deviated from what a reasonable provider would have done in that situation. For example, if a patient is in extreme pain and can barely walk, it would be unusual for a doctor to ignore this and discharge the patient without performing any tests or prescribing any medications.
The Hospital or Provider’s Conduct Caused Your Injury or Damages
One of the critical components of a medical malpractice claim is proving the provider’s action or inaction caused your injuries. One way to approach this is to show that you wouldn’t have been injured in this way if the provider had acted appropriately.
Proving this element can be challenging because patients are already ill or experiencing symptoms when they visit the doctor in the first place. It often takes a trained eye to distinguish between the pre-malpractice injury and what would have happened had the doctor or hospital acted appropriately. Hartley Law Firm has years of experience sifting through medical records to uncover key details that can help you prove your claim.
You Suffered an Injury or Damages
You also need to show that you suffered damages because of your injury. This is usually achieved by presenting medical records and medical bills to establish the severity of your injury and to prove how much money you’ve spent because of your injury.
How Long Do I Have to Bring a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Most Texas medical malpractice claims must be brought within two years of when the provider committed the error or the erroneous treatment was completed. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. Texas law imposes a 10-year time bar on bringing all claims. If you are filing a lawsuit on behalf of a child who was under 12 when they were injured, you must do so before that child’s 14th birthday.
However, there are exceptions that can shorten or lengthen the amount of time you have to file.
The statute of limitations is nuanced, so it is best to speak with a medical malpractice attorney about your case to help you understand and meet your filing deadlines.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Texas law allows eligible victims of medical malpractice to receive the following types of compensation for their injuries:
- Economic damages—these include reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, and other injury-related costs;
- Noneconomic damages—this category compensates you for the pain and suffering and other types of non-monetary losses associated with an injury; and
- Exemplary damages—also known as punitive damages, this type of financial award punishes the at-fault party, but it is only awarded in rare cases where the provider acted fraudulently, maliciously, or intentionally.
Calculating your damages in medical malpractice cases can be complex, but Hartley Law Firm can help you make sure you’re pursuing all of the compensation you’re eligible to receive.
Hartley Law Firm: Arlington Medical Malpractice Lawyers Serving Texas
Hartley Law Firm provides aggressive and knowledgeable representation to Texans injured by hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers. Austin Hartley leverages his award-winning litigation skills and large law firm experience to provide top-tier legal services to his clients. If you or your loved one were the victims of medical malpractice, call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.