We trust medical care professionals to perform modern miracles. Usually, that trust is well placed. But unfortunately, medical professionals can also make careless mistakes that cost lives. If a negligent medical provider or hospital injured you or a loved one, you might wonder what caused those injuries and what you can do about them. At the Hartley Law Firm, our Frisco and Little Elm medical malpractice lawyers understand the emotional and physical devastation medical malpractice causes and the questions it raises.
Our clients are more than case numbers or paychecks. We care deeply for everyone who walks through our door and will aggressively pursue meaningful compensation for your losses. With significant trial experience under our belts, our experienced Little Elm and Frisco medical malpractice lawyers offer dedicated advocacy and the know-how needed to handle your case, no matter how big or small. Contact us today.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Under Texas law, medical malpractice is a “health care liability claim,” defined as “a cause of action against a health care provider or physician for treatment, lack of treatment, or other claimed departure from standards of medical care, or health care, or safety or professional or administrative services directly related to health care, which proximately results in injury to or death of a claimant.” For the purpose of medical malpractice, “negligence” simply means that the healthcare provider violated Texas’ accepted standard of medical care, which is to act as a healthcare provider of reasonable and ordinary discretion would act under the same or similar circumstances.
To establish negligence, a victim must prove four elements. They are:
- Duty—the negligent party is a healthcare provider who owed the victim a legal duty of care;
- Breach—the negligent party’s actions violated the required standard of care;
- Causation—the negligent party’s violation proximately caused or contributed to causing injury to the patient; and
- Damages—the victim suffered damages because of the injuries.
You must also have a doctor-patient relationship with the medical provider who officially gave you medical advice or treatment to file a medical malpractice claim.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Common types of medical malpractice include:
- Surgical errors— for example, operating on the wrong person or body part, anesthesia errors, leaving surgical equipment inside a patient, scalpel errors, and catheter errors;
- Failure to diagnose and misdiagnoses—when a doctor fails to diagnose an existing medical condition or diagnoses a medical condition that the patient does not have;
- Hospital negligence—when medical complexes, hospital administrators, nurses, and other medical professionals fail to abide by rules and regulations, properly monitor patients, or provide proper sanitary conditions;
- Failure to warn—when a doctor fails to warn of a procedure’s known medical risks or fails to obtain the patient’s consent to a course of treatment after warning the patient of known risks and the risk occurs;
- Medication errors—for example, failing to ask a patient about drug allergies, prescribing the wrong medication or dosage, giving the wrong medicine to the wrong patient, and giving a patient medication that reacts dangerously with other drugs;
- Birth Injuries—failing to monitor a baby before birth properly, improper use of forceps, and failing to perform an emergency C-section are all examples of potential negligence that can lead to birth injuries.
Because Texas has complex medical malpractice laws, it’s a good idea to consult with the experienced Frisco and Little Elm medical malpractice attorneys at the Hartley Law Firm as soon as possible. Our skilled advocates can guide you through the legal process and answer all your questions about your potential claim.
Medical Malpractice Settlement Amounts
Because every case differs, settlement awards for medical malpractice claims differ. Generally, though, a victim can ask for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover financial losses, including:
- Loss of past income and future earning capacity,
- Past and future medical expenses, and
- Any other financial losses associated with the injury.
Noneconomic damages cover the more indefinable losses a victim suffers, like pain and suffering and emotional anguish. However, because they are harder to measure than economic damages, they can be difficult to calculate. The Texas Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform Act also restricts the damages that medical malpractice victims can obtain for pain and suffering. The Act caps non-economic damages against all doctors and health care providers at $250,000 and non-economic damages against health care facilities at $500,000.
Contact the Hartley Law Firm
Medical malpractice claims are complex affairs requiring experienced, knowledgeable attorneys. If you need a medical malpractice advocate, the medical malpractice attorneys at the Hartley Law Firm can help you along the road toward recovery. We’ve handled numerous medical malpractice cases and know that your future and welfare hang in the balance. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll handle everything necessary to achieve your maximum compensation. And you don’t pay unless we win.
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