Texas boasts some of the most renowned medical centers in the country and, while the Lone Star State's field of medical professionals is generally considered top notch, poor patient outcomes are far from uncommon. Though not getting the desired result from a treatment or procedure can be difficult for anyone, finding out that the negative health outcome was caused by a mistake or inaction on the part of a doctor, nurse, or another healthcare provider can be particularly devastating.
Medical malpractice victims may be forced to grapple with additional or exacerbated injuries, unexpected medical debt, and a temporary or permanent inability to work. All of this can make an already stressful situation even worse. Fortunately, victims of medical malpractice can pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.
Are you a victim of medical malpractice? Here's what you need to know before taking legal action.
Understanding Medical Malpractice
Any poor health outcome can be tragic for the patient and their family, but not all poor health outcomes can be considered medical malpractice. In order for a patient to have an actionable medical malpractice claim, they must be able to prove the following:
- They had a doctor-patient relationship with the medical provider in question.
- The medical professional failed to provide the accepted standard of care (meaning they made mistakes that a similarly trained doctor would not have made in the same situation).
- The medical provider's negligence resulted in injury.
- The injuries in question led to damages.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
Though there are many different types of medical malpractice, most medical malpractice cases fall into one of the following three categories:
- Failure to diagnose. Failing to diagnose a condition may allow it to progress unchecked, causing unnecessary suffering for the patient.
- Failure to warn patient of known risks. Doctors have a responsibility to warn patients of known risks related to treatments and procedures. Withholding such information can interfere with a patient's ability to give informed consent.
- Improper treatment. This type of malpractice can occur if a medication or treatment was improperly administered or if a healthcare professional made a misdiagnosis, subjecting the patient to an unneeded and potentially harmful treatment.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Texas
Medical malpractice victims must act quickly, as the time to file a lawsuit is limited. In Texas, most victims of medical malpractice must file their lawsuit within two years or risk forfeiting their right to pursue a legal remedy.
Victims of medical malpractice who file personal injury lawsuits can seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages (though awards for non-economic damages may be capped). Potential damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more.
Building a Strong Medical Malpractice Case
Obtaining a fair financial award in a medical malpractice case can be difficult, as victims often find themselves going up against a team of polished corporate attorneys. Representation by a skilled trial lawyer can help level the playing field and ensure that victims are taken seriously and treated fairly.
In some cases, trial lawyers may rely on testimony from expert medical witnesses to help insurance company adjusters, judges, or juries better understand exactly what happened in that particular instance of medical malpractice.
Consult Our Knowledgeable Trial Lawyer About Your Medical Malpractice Case
When you're already struggling with an injury or illness, discovering you've been the victim of medical malpractice can be almost too much to bear. At Larrick Law Firm, we understand the devastating effects medical malpractice can have on victims, and we're committed to helping them fight for—and obtain—the compensation they need and deserve.
Trial lawyer Elizabeth Larrick represents medical malpractice victims throughout the state of Texas, including those in the Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas metro areas. Do you have questions about a medical malpractice case? Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.