Doctors are human. They make mistakes. Unfortunately, their mistakes can have deadly consequences. Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States.
This staggering statistic may be a result of more than just human error. Exhaustion, improper judgment, and negligence on the part of doctors lead to unnecessary suffering and death for hundreds of thousands of patients every year. If you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice in Texas, keep reading to learn how to seek justice.
Texas Laws Governing Medical Malpractice
The main governing legislation over medical malpractice in our state is Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. This section of the law outlines standard procedures and requirements regarding Texas medical malpractice cases and will be what your Buckingham & Vega Law Firm attorney bases their advice on when advising you of your rights at your complimentary case evaluation in your Midland legal matter.
What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice in Texas?
The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code states that medical malpractice is when a health care provider administers “treatment, lack of treatment or other claimed departure from accepted standards of medical care” that results in injury or death to the patient.
Texas medical malpractice claims fall into at least one of three medical error categories. If a Midland, TX patient can show proof of an incident that falls under any of the following categories, they have a strong case for claiming medical malpractice occurred:
- Negligent treatment: Negligence occurs when a healthcare provider is “willful and wanton” in their medical care. Negligent treatment results from careless mistakes or omission of information that a well-trained and competent healthcare provider would not make. The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code defines negligence as a “conscious indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of others.”
- Failure to diagnose: Malpractice of this kind occurs in two primary instances. Either a doctor fails to diagnose a patient’s existing medical condition, or they diagnose a patient with a medical condition that he or she does not have.
- Failure to warn: Doctors have a responsibility to inform patients of known risks associated with procedures, treatments, and medications, and then obtain their patients’ informed consent before carrying out any of these treatments. If a doctor fails to do this and an adverse outcome occurs, this constitutes medical malpractice.
What To Do if You Are a Victim of Medical Malpractice
Sadly, hundreds of thousands of Americans fall victim to medical malpractice every year. In addition, thousands more cases don’t get reported. It’s a huge and tragic nationwide issue. If you believe you or a loved one may be a victim of medical malpractice, you should take steps to report it and seek justice. The hope is that the more negligent doctors are held accountable, the fewer people will suffer from medical malpractice in the future.
Here are some actionable steps you can take if you or a loved one are a victim of medical malpractice.
As with any legal case, you will need strong proof of the harm you suffered at your Midland doctor’s hands. Texas law requires victims to, at a minimum, prove the following three items to move forward in filing a medical malpractice case:
- A legitimate doctor-patient relationship existed (which establishes a duty of care)
- That you suffered some harm while under the care of a health care provider
- A medical provider’s treatment of you (negligence) resulted in your injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death
As a best practice, you should keep a record of any medical interactions you have. You never know when you may need to use it.
Meet With a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Texas
An experienced lawyer is essential when pursuing a health care provider for damages in a medical malpractice case in Midland. Not all errors equate to negligence. Your attorney will know if what happened to you constitutes negligence. Personal injury attorneys like ours at Buckingham & Vega Law Firm often consult with medical professionals to verify whether it does.
File a Lawsuit
The medical malpractice attorney that you work with in our Midland, TX law firm will help you build a case that commands the maximum compensation that you deserve before the typical two-year statute of limitations runs out. And, if necessary, we will take your case to trial and fight for your rights in a Midland County courtroom.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Medical Malpractice?
Doctors aren’t the only medical professionals that can be held liable in a medical malpractice case. According to Section 74.001(11,12) of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, a health care provider is “any person, partnership, professional association, corporation, facility, or institution duly licensed, certified, registered, or chartered by the State of Texas to provide health care.” As such, the following professionals and institutions may be held liable for medical malpractice here in Midland:
- An ambulatory surgical center
- An assisted living facility
- An emergency medical services provider
- A health services district
- A home and community support services agency
- A hospice
- A hospital
- A hospital system
- An intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded or a home and community-based services waiver program for persons with mental retardation
- A nursing home
- An end-stage renal disease facility
- A registered nurse
- A dentist
- A podiatrist
- A pharmacist
- A chiropractor
- An optometrist
- A healthcare institution
- A healthcare collaborative
What Is the Average Settlement for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Texas?
A medical malpractice lawsuit settlement can help a patient cover the costs associated with their unexpected injury or illness, such as medical expenses, loss of income, other financial losses, and non-economic ones. Texas law defines non-economic losses as “pain and suffering.”
The Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform Act of 2003 places caps on the financial compensation victims of medical malpractice can receive. The cap on non-economic damages against healthcare providers is $250,000. The cap on non-economic damages against healthcare facilities is $500,000. The maximum settlement victims can expect from a medical malpractice lawsuit ranges between $250,000 to $750,000.
Why Entrust Your Medical Malpractice Case to Our Midland, TX Law Firm?
One of the most challenging types of cases for attorneys to build and prove is medical malpractice. Fortunately, our team of competent lawyers has extensive experience handling these cases. We know how to build them and prove the liability necessary for you to secure a financial award. You’ve already been through a lot. Don’t add any additional stress to your plate. Let our team of Midland medical malpractice attorneys advocate for you.
Medical malpractice is a tragic occurrence. It not only can derail your life but also cause you to incur significant, unexpected expenses. Texas law allows you to take legal action to pursue justice and recover financial compensation for your losses. A qualified licensed attorney can help you get the most out of a medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas. Reach out to us at Buckingham & Vega Law Firm to schedule a free consultation to discuss your Midland case today.