As a patient in a hospital, one has already experienced trauma and expects to be well taken care of in the hands of medical professionals. Unfortunately, sometimes that care is substandard, and in those cases, the patient is left to not only navigate the recovery of his or her injury but also to recover from the damages incurred from the hospital or medical staff’s negligence.
While negative outcomes can be devastating, not all of these cases can be deemed medical malpractice. Navigating Texas medical injury law requires a personal injury law firm that is well versed in such litigation. You need an attorney who has experience helping patients who have found themselves in these unfortunate, and often complicated circumstances and takes effective and swift action.
Who Can Sue a Texas Hospital for Malpractice?
Generally, if you or a loved one was a victim of hospital malpractice, medical negligence, or wrongful death within the last 2 years, you can sue a hospital in Texas. There are some exceptions such as if the injured patient is a minor if the negligent medical professional is a government employee, if the negligence was discovered after the 2-year statute of limitations, or if the course of treatment is continuous.
The clock starts ticking on how long you will be able to file your case as soon as the injury occurs. It is always best to act quickly and enlist the help of a hospital negligence attorney as soon as possible to ensure that all deadlines are met and that all of the details of your unique situation are taken into account, recorded, and documented.
Common Hospital Mistakes that Lead to Malpractice Claims
A medical facility or medical staff failing to obtain informed consent is one of the most common hospital errors that can be considered negligent. This means that you as a patient must be fully aware of and consent to all of the possible risks and consequences of the procedure. If you were not fully informed or were unable to give your consent before the procedure as a result of mental illness, the patient is a minor, or some other condition, a doctor could be charged with negligence or malpractice.
Some other hospital errors and examples include the following:
- Misdiagnosis – Being diagnosed and treated for an incorrect illness
- Medication injuries – Prescribing the wrong medication, the wrong dosage of a medication, or medications that are expired or no longer valid.
- Anesthesia errors – Using an anesthetic that the patient disclosed an allergy to or failing to inform the patient of the risks involved.
- Childbirth injuries – In Texas, you cannot sue for the death of a baby in utero. You can only sue if the baby was born alive, and THEN something happened.
- Surgery errors – Not performing the correct treatment, or leaving a foreign object in the patient’s surgical site.
- Emergency room malpractice – You cannot sue for emergency room errors/injuries UNLESS they knew that their actions would cause you harm.
How Hard is it to Win a Hospital Malpractice Case in Texas?
Texas has passed very strict laws regarding medical malpractice in their Tort Reform Act of 2003. For example, in emergency medicine, the burden of proof changed to “willful and wanton” negligence which is a standard of proof beyond gross negligence.
It is VERY difficult to win a malpractice case and the following elements must exist:
- Duty – This is when a health care professional owes an individual a duty to act reasonably and appropriately.
- Breach – A healthcare provider violated the duty owed to the patient.
- Causation – The healthcare provider’s breach of the standard of care caused or contributed to causing harm to the patient.
- Damages – The patient sustained harm because of the doctor’s mistake.
Our attorneys are happy to meet with you for free to evaluate your case and help you ensure that all of the elements required are present and your case is solid.
The Costs to File a Hospital Malpractice Claim
Most attorneys offer an initial case evaluation completely free of charge. You can contact our firm and speak directly with some of the best medical malpractice attorneys in Texas. We handle most cases on a contingency basis, which means that you pay nothing until your case is won or settled.
Damages Available for Hospital Mistake Lawsuit
There are 3 types of damages one can receive in a personal injury or hospital negligence lawsuit. These include Economic, Non-economic, and Punitive damages.
Economic damages encompass any financial losses you or a loved one has incurred as a result of the hospital or medical staff mistake.
Non-economic damages refer to general pain and suffering, while punitive damages punish the defendant for any criminal conduct. The Texas Tort Reform Law of 2003 placed a cap on non-economic damages at $250,000 for each claim with a maximum potential recovery of $750,000. However economic damages remain uncapped which means you still have the potential of winning a multi-million dollar lawsuit.
You Need an Attorney Experienced with Hospital Malpractice Litigation
The Hastings Law Firm prides itself on being exceptional in the way of treating clients like family. We take a very personal approach and invest ourselves emotionally and empathetically to ensure that you get the very best possible outcome for your case. Our team of experts with decades of experience and knowledge will fight tirelessly for you and ensure that you feel supported and represented by a top-rated Texas medical malpractice law firm.