HOUSTON MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYERS
What is Medical Malpractice?
We’ve all had experiences with doctors we don’t like and treatments that don’t work. These are not in themselves indicative of malpractice or negligence. In order for a situation to fit the legal definition of medical malpractice, a patient must be injured due to the failure of a health care provider to practice medicine within certain acceptable professional standards expected of any reasonable, prudent healthcare provider. All healthcare professionals are governed by this legal standard of care and may be sued for malpractice when they violate it.
Who Can Be Liable for Medical Malpractice?
The actions of doctors, dentists, technicians, nurses, pharmacists, hospital employees, hospitals themselves, as well as nursing homes and their employees can be held liable for medical malpractice. In some cases, more than one party (for example, a physician and affiliated hospital) may be held liable.
Statute of Limitations
In Texas, anyone injured by medical malpractice (or negligence) has two years to bring a civil lawsuit. The two-year clock usually begins on the date the injury was or – could reasonably have been – discovered, which in some cases is not necessarily the same day the patient was injured. If the medical error occurred during continuous medical treatment, the two-year statute of limitations “clock” starts the last day of treatment, or if the injury could have been discovered sooner.
COMMON EXAMPLES OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
By a Doctor, Surgeon, Nurse, or Hospital Can Include:
- Birth injuries – Birth injuries can occur before, during, or immediately following the birthing process. These injuries can lead to permanent, debilitating conditions that significantly impact a person’s quality of life.
- Delayed or ineffective treatments – Doctors and nurses are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of serious injuries. Once they see the potential for a health complication or medical condition, they must act quickly to provide adequate tests and treatments for patients.
- Misdiagnosis – One of the most common forms of medical malpractice is misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis can lead to expensive, unnecessary, and potentially harmful tests and treatments that worsen a patient’s condition or create new health problems.
- Prescription drug errors – Prescription drug errors can happen at any point in the drug distribution chain, from manufacturing to filling of a prescription. Adverse drug reactions are one of the most common forms of medical-related injuries.
- Surgical errors – Thousands of surgical errors occur every year in the United States. They include wrong side and wrong procedure errors, and leaving objects inside the bodies of patients.
Why Doctors Make Mistakes
here are several reasons why medical professionals make mistakes. Practicing medicine is a tough job that may include long, grueling hours and seeing large numbers of patients. Because of the demands of their jobs, healthcare professionals are often fatigued, and many experience burnout. This makes some doctors and nurses prone to error, and those errors can sometimes have a severe impact on a patient.
In some cases, medical errors are the result of miscommunication. A communication breakdown can occur between two doctors, between different departments within a hospital, or between two different facilities providing care to the same patient. For example, a doctor’s diagnosis might be misread by another doctor, a patient’s records can be misinterpreted or lost, or a doctor’s prescription can be wrongly filled by a pharmacist.
How A Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Houston Will Help
THE SKILLS, RESOURCES, AND EXPERIENCE THAT SET OUR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEYS APART
- We can handle medical malpractice claims related to a variety of medical errors.
- We combine a deep knowledge of the law, years of experience in negotiation and litigation, a compassionate approach to our clients, and the tenacity to go up against large medical institutions — and win.
- We patiently guide you through every step of the claims process—even if it means going to court.
- We answer your questions and address your concerns thoughtfully and thoroughly, so you have the information you need to feel confident you’re getting the quality legal representation you deserve.
- Due to the state’s statute of limitations, waiting to get help with your claim may put your rights to compensation at risk—so don’t delay. Our legal team is available 24/7.
OUR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEYS CONDUCT RIGOROUS RESEARCH AND METICULOUSLY BUILD YOUR CASE
Medical malpractice claims are often complex and can sometimes be difficult to prove. There are many factors that must be considered in these cases, such as:
- Did the medical provider meet the duty of care? All licensed doctors and healthcare professionals are employed to protect and treat patients with illnesses or injuries. They are responsible for providing your medical care to the best of their abilities at all times.
- Was there a breach of duty? If your doctor or hospital fails to provide you with the level of medical care and attention that’s required by the Texas Medical Board, it may be considered a breach of duty.
- Did the breach of duty lead to an injury? A breach of duty by a healthcare professional may cause you to suffer severe injuries or illness.
- Can the injury or illness be directly linked to the breach of duty? If your illness or injury can be directly linked to a breach of duty, you may have a case for medical malpractice.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU SUSPECT YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF NEGLIGENCE?
If you believe that you or your family member has been hurt because of a medical provider’s negligence or incompetence, contact the medical malpractice lawyers in Houston at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury law right away. You will tell us exactly what happened. Share every possible detail before and after you believe the negligence occurred. Include events surrounding any doctor visits regarding your treatment. You should also note all prescriptions and any other facts that may have led any doctor or nurse to recommend and/or prescribe certain medications; and share your recollection of any other events which may have contributed to the malpractice.
How to Cope WITH THE FALLOUT OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INJURIES
When you go into the hospital or visit a doctor, you expect them to make you better, not worse. If you’ve been subjected to a medical error, not only are you in worse shape than you were before, but you may have even more medical bills, be unable to work, and require future doctor visits and procedures to “fix” the incompetent provider’s mistakes.
The potential of living with unanticipated life events, such as suffering from medical malpractice, can take a toll on the victim’s emotional state, as well as that of their family and friends. At times it can feel overwhelming because of the additional stress of more doctor visits, possible surgical corrections, financial distress, and the sometimes “snail’s pace” progression of a civil malpractice claim and/or possible lawsuit.
Reach out to those who can help you strengthen your coping skills. Allow others to “do for you,” including your attorney who has plenty of good suggestions on how to take the “edge” off this experience as you work your way toward a positive conclusion to your malpractice case.
The Importance of Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
When a patient suffers serious injuries because of medical error, they might encounter several problems. They may be in a great deal of pain and suffering. They might require extensive medical treatment. A patient might also lose the ability to earn an income and encounter financial difficulties because of a doctor’s mistakes.
Medical malpractice claims are a way for an injured patient to seek compensation for the harm they have suffered. They also ensure that a negligent doctor is held accountable, potentially sparing another patient from a similar type of error in the future. These claims can be difficult, and it is vital to hire an experienced Houston medical malpractice attorney who knows how to build a successful claim. Call Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law to speak with an attorney about your case. Initial consultations are free, and we are happy to answer any questions you might have.
Medical Malpractice Infographic
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Common Injuries and Statistics
Medical malpractice and medical error are terms that cover a wide range of mistakes. Their one commonality, of course, is that they are avoidable and the result of a medical provider’s negligence.
Common Injuries From Medical Malpractice
Studies by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and other respected organizations generally agree on the top five common results of medical malpractice, though not in identical order. They include:
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose an illness
- Surgical errors
- “Failure to treat” – When a doctor correctly diagnoses a condition, but then fails to treat it via acceptable standards of care
- Birth injuries – Against OBGYNs and birthing team members for childbirth-related medical mistakes to newborns and, on occasion, mothers
- Prescription drug errors.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
In 2016, there were 8,500 medical malpractice claims filed in the U.S., according to the truecostofhealthcare.org. In 2017, truecostofhealthcare.org reported that the number of paid medical malpractice claims settled for at least $500,000 was:
- A little over 2,500 cases against healthcare practitioners in general
- And a little under 2,500 cases against specific doctors and dentists.
Medical errors are surprisingly common. If you are suffering the consequences of a provider’s incompetence, you deserve the money you need to get your life back on track — and the opportunity to hold the doctor or institution accountable.
Laws Related to Medical Malpractice
When to Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Houston
If you believe your injury is a result of medical malpractice, talk to a medical malpractice lawyer at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law. Our skilled attorneys will examine your case and discuss your next steps. We offer a No Fee Guarantee, so don’t hesitate to call us at (713) 973-8888. You can also chat with us for immediate help, or use our online form.