All medical professionals in the Houston area must provide care that gives their patients the best chance at making a full recovery or at least getting a positive outcome. This applies to doctors, dentists, nurses, and all other medical practitioners. However, adverse outcomes after visiting a medical professional do not always mean that malpractice has occurred. A healthcare provider’s care must fall below the medically accepted standard to constitute malpractice.
A Houston medical malpractice lawyer at our firm may be able to help you prove this concept. Let one of our personal injury attorneys explain the laws that govern medical malpractice cases and fully investigate your case to determine whether you have a valid claim for damages.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in Houston?
Texas law does not have an explicit definition for what activities constitute medical negligence. In every case, the objective is to prove that a healthcare provider did not act appropriately given the circumstances. That being said, common examples of medical negligence in our area include:
- Surgical errors
- Prescription errors
- Premature release from care
- Misinterpretation of test results
- Misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose a condition
Each of these examples can lead to significant injuries and losses for patients. A Houston lawyer could provide an initial case evaluation to determine whether a medical malpractice lawsuit is likely to succeed.
Recovering Damages from a Negligent Healthcare Provider
Successful medical negligence claims may compensate an individual for additional medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and reduced quality of life. While a plaintiff can recover the full extent of their economic losses (i.e., damages with a definitive value), Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §74.301 caps non-economic losses (i.e., subjective damages) at $250,000. An attorney could help pursue a medical negligence case for all available compensation.
Role of Expert Testimony in Medical Negligence Claims
While healthcare providers have an obligation under the law to provide the best possible care for their patients, the fact that a visit to a hospital or doctor’s office results in an adverse outcome does not necessarily mean that the medical professional is liable for the subsequent losses.
Instead, medical malpractice cases must be substantiated by the analysis and testimony of expert witnesses. A medical expert who practices in the same or similar field as the defendant practitioner can examine the medical records in the case and provide their opinion as to whether the defendant acted appropriately or violated the medically accepted standard of care.
TX Civil Prac. & Rem. Code §74.351 gives plaintiffs only 120 days after the defendant answers the initial complaint to submit an expert’s opinion on the case. An attorney in Houston could help individuals understand the laws that govern medical malpractice cases and locate experts who may be able to support their claims in court.
Contact a Houston Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
Anyone who suffers harm because of a doctor, dentist, or nurse’s error deserves compensation to set things right. This may include payments to cover the costs of additional medical care, as well as the trauma associated with the event.
Let a Houston medical malpractice lawyer help you pursue compensation from a negligent healthcare provider. This includes explaining the impact of applicable state laws, hiring experts necessary to assert your claim, and measuring your losses to demand fair payments. Reach out today to learn more.