Every person who visits a health care professional anywhere in the Houston area should expect to receive competent care. While this does not necessarily mean that care will result in a positive outcome, this expectation does entitle a person to expect that a doctor, nurse, or dentist will perform their duties to the best of their abilities.
Unfortunately, health care provider errors are common. If that error is so egregious as to fall below the acceptable level of care, that provider may have committed medical malpractice. Any injury that results from this malpractice can be the subject of a claim for damages.
A Houston medical malpractice lawyer could help people who have suffered harm due to doctor errors. A hardworking attorney could help you evaluate how much compensation you are entitled to and inform you which strategies are most relevant to your case.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice
Every medical professional takes an oath to provide care to the best of their ability. This also includes a legal duty to provide competent care to all their patients. It is worth noting that a poor result or even death is not necessarily a violation of this duty. Instead, plaintiffs need to prove that an error was so egregious that it should never have occurred. Typical examples of medical malpractice include:
- Failure to quickly and accurately diagnose a condition
- Inability to properly interpret test results
- Premature release from care that results in further injury
- Improper administration of medication
- Surgical error
A medical provider who commits these errors may be liable to a patient for all resulting damages. These can include the necessity for more medical care, any lost earnings, and emotional trauma.
Caps for Non-Economic Damages
According to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §74.301, the maximum available non-economic compensation package against a single defendant is $250,000. However, this does not include payments for the costs of any necessary additional medical care.
Special Provisions in Medical Malpractice Claims
Medical malpractice claims are always complicated from both a legal and scientific perspective. This is because these claims are difficult for non-medical professionals to understand and because the law provides robust protections to physicians.
The first and most important step to any medical malpractice claim is to work with a qualified expert. Under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §74.401, this expert must be actively practicing medicine, have knowledge about the standard of medical care in question in the case, and have the necessary training or experience in the field to render an opinion.
This expert is the only person who can testify in court as to whether malpractice occurred. In addition, that expert’s testimony is necessary to even begin a Houston medical malpractice case. According to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §74.351, a plaintiff or their attorney must serve an expert’s report concerning the case on the defendant no more than 120 days following the defendant’s answer to the initial complaint. This gives a defendant a chance to review the evidence in the case to properly form their defense.
Call a Houston Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
Every medical provider in Houston has the same duty to provide competent medical care. However, failures in proper diagnoses, misinterpretations of test results, or botched surgeries often result in catastrophic injuries. If you have suffered an injury because of doctor error, you may be entitled to substantial payments.
A Houston medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help you. They can work to perform an initial case evaluation to compare a doctor’s actions to applicable state law. They can then help to locate and hire an expert who can prove your case in court. Contact an attorney today to see how they could fight for you.