Every year in the United States, more than 100,000 patients are killed owing to the negligence or errors caused by their healthcare providers. Indeed, one study that was tightly focused on a two year period between 2000 and 2002, over a million safety infractions related to patient care was recorded. While not all of these incidents resulted in fatalities, they did result in increased health risks. Additionally, this negligence accounts for hundreds of thousands of dollars in increased costs annually for patients.
Actions like these prompt more than 15,000 medical malpractice suits each year. Filing a malpractice claim in Texas can be difficult, but with qualified legal representation by your side, you can seek redress against any injuries sustained while in the care of your doctor or dentist. Generally speaking, to file and win a medical malpractice suit in the Lone Star State, your legal team will need to prove four important elements in court.
Medical malpractice rarely results from malfeasance, but rather an overstretched healthcare system, staffed with tired and overworked medical professionals. Regardless, if you or a loved one are the victims of medical malpractice actions, you have rights that can be defended in court for financial redress.
Who can be Held Responsible for Medical Malpractice?
When considering a medical malpractice case, your attorney will look at the actions of an array of actors responsible for your care. As such, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technicians, and hospital employees might all be subject to a valid medical malpractice case in Texas.
Moreover, organizations, such as hospitals or nursing homes might be listed as a defendant in a medical malpractice case should their actions be found to be culpable in a patient’s injuries as the result of a medical practitioner’s negligence.
In some cases, a joint suit might be filed. As an example, your attorney may file a suit against your doctor for a botched surgical procedure as well as the hospital where the procedure takes place. As mentioned, an overtaxed healthcare system can lead to mistakes. If you are the victim of these mistakes, your legal team will investigate the causes and guilty parties to determine who is responsible for the error.
Proving a Valid Medical Malpractice Case in Texas
If you have been a victim of a medical error, the State of Texas allows for legal redress in a court of law. Proving that you have a valid medical malpractice case can be difficult, however. Generally speaking, your legal team will need to prove four elements to move your complaint forward.
Documented Professional Relationship
The first legal hurdle is perhaps the easiest. To begin your legal complaint you must first prove that you have a documented doctor/patient relationship. In other words, a casual conversation with a friend, who also happens to be a doctor, leads to medical complications based on that advice, you would be unable to establish a valid medical malpractice claim.
Proving the Medical Professional was Negligent
Proving that your doctor was actually negligent is the next phase of proving that you have a valid medical malpractice claim. Doctors have the professional responsibility to be “reasonably skillful and careful.” To prove negligence, your legal team will need to prove that your physician deviated from the standards of medical care, which would have been avoided had a more skillful medical professional been employed for the procedure or care. In other words, patients upset by a botched nose job might not be pleased by the results; they would still need to prove that surgeon had strayed from standard medical practices.
Prove Negligence was the Actual Cause of Hurt
This may prove counterintuitive in the face of evidence of medical malpractice, but in addition to negligence, you will need to show that the patient was hurt due to that negligence. What does this mean? In short, patients go to doctors because they are sick or hurt in the first place. The goal in moving forward with a medical malpractice case means proving that, even in the face of medical negligence; the underlying medical condition was not the actual cause of the patient’s complaint.
Prove Negligence Led to Quantifiable Damages
Finally, your legal team will need to demonstrate that the medical practitioner’s negligent action has led to quantifiable damages. These damages can include additional medical bills, lost work opportunities, and a decline in earning potential as the result of the negligent medical action.
Contact a Qualified Legal Representative to Discuss Your Medical Malpractice Case
If you find yourself the victim of a negligent medical practitioner, we encourage you to call us at Terry Bryant Accident and Injury Lawyer in the greater Houston, Texas area. Medical practice can have a devastating effect on your life, and you have legal recourse to redress your grievances. Contact us today for a free consultation so we can assess whether or not you have a valid medical malpractice case in Texas.