Any case where a medical professional or facility causes harm to a patient due to a negligent act or omission qualifies as medical malpractice. Though this definition is broad, medical malpractice cases can be challenging to prove as the plaintiff must prove the medical professional or facility made decisions or errors that their peers in the same field would not reasonably make.
If you are unsure about whether your case can be classified as medical malpractice, you can consult a law firm that handles these types of cases and have them review and/or investigate your situation to determine where your case stands.
Medical Malpractice Cases Generally Involve Negligence
The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA) notes some common examples of which cases may be considered medical malpractice, such as:
- Diagnosis errors, such as misdiagnosing a patient or failing to diagnose them of an illness or injury
- Surgical errors, such as leaving a foreign object in the body or operating on the wrong area of the body
- Performing or prescribing unnecessary medical procedures, such as surgeries or treatments
- Prescribing the wrong or unnecessary medication or prescribing the wrong dosage
- Incorrectly reading a patient’s medical report or lab test results, or ignoring them altogether
- Neglecting to review a patient’s medical history before administering diagnoses, treatment, and prescriptions
- Medical incompetence in general, such as not recognizing symptoms, failing to take proper tests, or performing poor follow-up exams
Other examples not listed above may also qualify as medical malpractice.
In most medical malpractice cases, a medical professional (e.g., a doctor or nurse) or facility (e.g., clinic or hospital) either behaved negligently or neglected to uphold their medical duties to keep patients from harm. However, proving this negligence occurred often requires getting medical expert testimony to verify that other professionals in the same field would not have acted in the same manner or made the same errors.
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You Must File Your Medical Malpractice on Time if You Want to Fight for Compensation
If you are eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must do so within two years of the date of the medical injury, per the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §74.251. However, if you discovered you developed an injury or illness because of a medical error, there is also a statute of repose that allows plaintiffs to file their health liability claim within 10 years of the act or omission that led to their injury or illness.
Your lawyer can review your case to determine how long you have to file your medical malpractice lawsuit and whether you are still within the statute of limitations.
You May Receive Compensation if Your Case Qualifies as Medical Malpractice
The burden of proof in medical malpractice cases falls on plaintiffs, meaning you must gather evidence that establishes the incompetence or negligence of the medical professional or facility. If you and your lawyer can assert that your injuries or illness was caused by medical malpractice, you may collect compensation to recover some or all of your damages.
This compensation may cover you for medical expenses, such as:
- Costs for doctor’s appointments
- Costs for surgeries
- Costs for emergency care services, such as ER visits, hospital stays, and ambulance travel
- Costs for imaging exams, such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans
- Costs for lab tests and other blood work
- Costs for medical devices or implants
- Mileage costs to get to and from medical appointments
You may also be able to receive compensation for other damages that occurred because of your injuries or illness, such as:
- Loss of income due to your injuries or illness
- Reduced earning capacity
- Permanent disability, illness, or loss of bodily function
- Permanent changes in your appearance, such as an amputation, scarring, or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
With medical malpractice cases, there is a cap on non-economic damages. According to the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §74.301, plaintiffs shall not exceed $250,000 in compensation.
However, if your case involves multiple vicariously liable parties, you may be able to receive compensation up to $500,000. Vicarious liability may apply in medical malpractice cases where multiple medical parties may be held liable for a patient’s injury or illness. For example, the surgeon, their surgical team, and the hospital they work for may all be held liable for a surgical error.
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Let Underwood Law Office Review Your Medical Malpractice Case
Because medical malpractice cases can be difficult to prove, you might want to consult a law firm to determine where your case might stand. At Underwood Law Office, we offer free case evaluations to everyone who calls our team at (972) 535-6377. During this call, one of our representatives can review your case and assess whether it qualifies as medical malpractice.
From there, we can assign you a lawyer serving McKinney to take over your case and act as your legal representative during negotiations or at a court trial. Start the litigation process today and call our law firm.