There are many steps to take in order to file a medical malpractice claim in Texas. It is already an immense amount of stress that you or a loved one has experienced some form of ongoing pain, disruption of health, or worse, death. To have to handle a case on top of that weight, creates an even greater burden. Hiring an attorney to handle a medical malpractice case is often advised simply due to the large amount of work and attention to detail required, especially in Texas.
To file a valid medical malpractice case in the state of Texas, an expert report and a notice requirement must be written and delivered. Below we outline the main points that must be included in each report in order for a claim to be accepted.
The expert report must, of course, be written by an expert. An expert is considered to be a practicing physician or professional in the healthcare sector of the claim at hand. This is to be a person who has extensive knowledge, education and training on the issue, and they must be able to speak specifically on each issue at hand in the context of the claim being filed. This report must be submitted within 120 days of filing and must contain the following details:
- How the standard of care failed to be met
- The specific pain, injury or death that occurred due to failure to receive standard of care
Within each state there are different standards of care, and within each state there are hospitals, healthcare providers, doctors and physicians who also have their own standard of care. Even with a general outline of standard of care, it may vary depending on the patient. Age, health history and current health are all factors in determining the standard of care that is to be delivered.
The expert must be able to identify the standard of care that should have been met for the specific patient at hand, plus, be exact in their description of how standard of care failed to be met. It is often understood, if not required, that the expert writing the report has a history of studying and/or conducting the procedure, diagnosis, surgery or treatment in question. The expert report must then also outline the ways in which the failed care caused the patient’s pain, injury or death. There needs to be an exact correlation between the procedure, diagnosis, surgery or treatment and the newfound pain, injury or death.
In addition to the expert report, a notice must be sent to each and every healthcare provider that is to be named in the claim at least 60 days prior to filing the claim. So, prior to a case being brought to trial, every doctor, hospital and healthcare provider included in the report must receive written notice of the claim.
As you can see, there are numerous details to be covered and included in filing for a medical malpractice claim. Without an expert report and appropriate notice, the case will not be valid and no damages, or compensation, will be awarded.
Without proper guidance and understanding of the law, a medical malpractice claim can easily be written off by the court or healthcare providers and slip through the cracks. Along with the specific deadlines that need to be met, it is in a patient’s best interest to hire a professional, experienced attorney or team of attorneys to handle their medical malpractice case. For the best representation for you and your family, contact Buckingham & Vega Law Firm today.