Patients have a right to expect all medical staff to provide a certain standard of healthcare. However, doctors, nurses, paraprofessionals, therapists, and technicians sometimes make mistakes. Some mistakes are minor, but some simple mistakes can cause injuries that disable, kill, or maim an unsuspecting patient. If you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice, discuss your case with an experienced and skilled lawyer at Trial Attorneys Texas to learn your options.
At Trial Attorneys Texas, we provide the skilled and compassionate legal assistance you need. We are a law firm devoted to representing people who are hurt or injured physically, emotionally, or financially. Since 1998, we have been representing the best interests of victims across Texas. Our lead attorney, Jay English, is board-certified in personal injury law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. All of our staff at Trial Attorneys Texas stand ready to help you.
Common Types Of Medical Malpractice
Physicians are bound by the Hippocratic Oath, “Do No Harm.” Most healthcare providers are very conscious of their duties, but sometimes even the best healthcare providers are in a hurry or do not take the time to fully understand medical problems. Not every bad outcome is the result of medical malpractice, and we all recognize that people who seek healthcare are already suffering from some type of injury or malady. However, some bad healthcare results are avoidable if the providers use proper medical judgment. Naive, inexperienced, and/or simply bad physicians, unfortunately, exist in all fields of medicine. Whether they’re a surgeon, psychologist, primary care physician, or therapist, malpractice can occur across any specialist role. The result can lead to permanent injury and even death. The consequences can be severe and victims often have no choice but to take legal action.
In the current healthcare environment, medical negligence occurs at an alarming rate. According to a study by Johns Hopkins University, more than 250,000people in the US die every year from medical errors and negligence. This makes medical malpractice the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Texas ranks in the top ten of total medical malpractice payouts among states, with almost a billion dollars paid out in settlements in the decade ending in 2018.JohnsHopkins estimates that 10% of all US deaths are due to medical error.
Even more disturbing are healthcare providers motivated by selfish reasons, often greed or the desire for sexual gratification. According to the American medical association, 5-10% of all physicians have had sexual contact with patients. Such healthcare providers may lie to investigators, falsify or spoliate records, and act in other ways to obscure the truth. You will need an attorney like those at Trial Attorneys Texas to obtain justice for you or your loved ones.
At Trial Attorneys Texas, we provide compassionate and experienced legal services for clients in medical malpractice cases involving:
- Sexual Abuse or Physical Abuse
- Improper long-term care including bedsores or falls
- Delay in Treatment
- Improper Surgical Technique
- Failure to properly follow up, including post-surgical conditions
- Improper administration of pharmaceuticals
- Unnecessary Procedures
- Failure to obtain adequate informed consent
- Improper supervision of nurses, aides, and technicians
- Failure to refer to a specialist
- Negligent Credentialing by healthcare institutions
The statistics are alarming:
- Roughly 12,000,000 American misdiagnoses happen each year
- Over more than 100,000 Americans die or are permanently disabled each year due to medical diagnoses that initially miss conditions or are wrong or delayed.
- According to a Johns Hopkins University study, nearly ¾ of all serious harms from diagnostic errors occur around vascular events, infections and cancers.
- 37.8% are cancers
- 22.8% are vascular events
- 13.5% are infections
- According to a Mayo Clinic study,21% of patients receive an outright wrong diagnosis on their first visit to a doctor.
- 66% of patients get a diagnosis that may be on the right track but isn’t quite accurate or complete.
- 12% of all patients who seek second opinions end up with the same diagnosis they started with.
- 22% of malpractice claims filed by hospitalized patients were diagnosis-related according to the University of Michigan.
- 38% of malpractice claims against physicians involving the treatment of children involved a misdiagnosis.
- Around 5% of outpatients receive misdiagnosis.
Surgical Outcomes and Unnecessary Procedures
According to a study performed by “My Medical Score,”
- About 16.7% of 2000 physicians surveyed said that they performed unnecessary procedures for profit according to Johns Hopkins University
- A little more than 4,000 surgical errors occur each year
- 39 surgeries per weekend up with a surgical tool, like a sponge, left inside patients
- 20 operations per week occur on the wrong body part
- 20 wrong surgical procedures occur on a patient per week
- 59% of surgical errors only resulted in temporary injuries
- 40% of surgical errors resulted in permanent injuries or death if your case qualifies as medical malpractice, you can take action against the liable party, such as a nurse, doctor, therapist, or other members of the medical staff who failed to provide services according to the accepted standard of care. Medical institutions may also be liable for the performance of their staff.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
The statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases generally varies by state, and may include two separate deadlines:
As a general rule, the Statute of Limitations on most claims is two years in Texas, although shorter statutes exist for some claims, such as those against governmental entities, which may require action in as little as six months. Exceptions exist where minors and incompetents are involved. A statute may be extended by 75days upon receipt by the Defendant of a legally qualified notice letter. The standard deadline to file a claim starts from the moment the malpractice actually occurred. Texas (and other states) have a limited discovery exception deadline, in which the time limit starts when the patient discovers the malpractice–or reasonably should have discovered the malpractice.
Elements of a Medical Negligence Case
- Duty. The defendant had a duty to abide by the standard of care–a doctor-patient relationship, in other words.
- Breach of Duty. The defendant failed to abide by this duty of care.
- Causation. The failure of this duty caused harm or damage.
- Damages. This harm caused damages–physical, financial, psychological, etc.
The amount of your compensation may depend on the severity of your injuries, the length of time you are incapacitated from the injury, and the lasting effects of the incident on your life moving forward. In Texas, there may be applicable laws (called “damage caps”) that may limit the compensation you receive in a medical malpractice case. Each case is different, but generally, there is a $250,000 cap on recovery for non-economic damages. However, the analysis is not that simple, and you should contact a qualified malpractice lawyer like those at Trial Attorneys Texas for a thorough case review. In some cases, other co-defendants who are healthcare institutions like hospitals may have a separate damage cap, or caps may be extended for extenuating circumstances like intentional or criminal behavior, or elder abuse.
How We Can Help You
To support your case, Trial Attorneys Texas need to know the detailed facts and circumstances that led to your injury and damages. These can include, for example:
- Evidence that a health professional provided services that did not meet the standard of care
- Proof of the negligence or reckless actions of health professionals
- The resulting damages and injuries from the negligent actions
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions or medical malpractice. Let Trial Attorneys Texas discuss your case with you.