Medical professionals are expected to provide reasonably competent medical treatment and care. When a medical professional or a medical facility acts negligently, patients can be severely harmed or even killed.
If you or a loved one was a victim of medical malpractice, you may have a case and be entitled to compensation for your additional medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Defining Negligent Medical Care
Like most legal concepts, defining exactly when medical malpractice occurs is not easy. Typically, a person brings a medical malpractice case when poor medical care causes or worsens a medical condition. Medical malpractice cases may involve:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Birth injuries
- Medication mistakes
- Pharmacy mistakes
- Misuse of medical equipment
- Flawed medical techniques
- Administrative errors
- Misinterpretation of laboratory results
- Lack of follow-up care
- Premature discharge from the hospital
- Unnecessary procedures and surgery
- Wrongful death
There are four main elements involved in a successful medical malpractice case. To recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit, you and your attorney will need to show that:
- You were owed a duty of care: whenever there is a doctor-patient relationship established, the medical professional or medical facility is legally obligated to provide medical care of reasonable quality.
- The medical professional or facility breached the duty of care: typically, a medical professional breaches this duty by failing to meet the accepted medical standard of care. The medical standard of care is a hypothetical standard described as the type of care that a reasonably competent medical professional of the same training and expertise would have provided in the same situation.
- You suffered some type of injury because of the breach of care: the negligent care may have caused a new medical problem, such as an infection, or it may have aggravated an existing medical condition.
- You sustained damages as a result of your injury: damages are the financial losses you experienced because of negligent care, such as medical bills and lost income from missed work.
Determining whether or not a medical professional’s conduct breaches the medical standard of care is often the most complicated part of a medical malpractice case. A Plano medical malpractice lawyer from Underwood Law Office may consult medical experts and other professionals when determining if a doctor’s actions violated the medical standard of care.
These experts may offer testimony to the court regarding a doctor or other medical professional’s negligent actions. We may also use your medical records and other types of evidence to build your case. For example, a medical economist may be able to help the court understand the medical expenses you will encounter because of negligent care.
If you suspect that you or a loved one was the victim of negligent medical care, the team at Underwood Law Office can investigate your case and help you determine if you have a valid medical malpractice case.
Compensation for Damages Caused by Medical Negligence
When a healthcare provider harms a patient, the patient may be left with considerable financial losses. See the list below for the different damages they may be able to recover. Note that it is not an exhaustive list.
The costs associated with medical testing, treatments, and procedures are often staggering. If medical negligence caused or worsened your medical condition, the additional medical treatment you need to recover from the negligent care might be recoverable. You may be compensated for past and future medical treatments, including doctor’s visits, hospital care, specialized care, and rehabilitative care like physical therapy or mental health counseling.
Lost Income from Your Missed Work
Recovering from a serious injury or illness takes time. You may be unable to work while you are healing from a medical mistake. A medical malpractice claim or lawsuit may enable you to recover compensation for your past and future lost wages.
Lost Earning Capacity
A major injury or illness can leave a person disabled for the rest of his or her life. If your injury or illness has damaged your income-earning ability, you may be compensated for your lost earning capacity. Lost income and lost earning capacity typically also take into account the value of lost employment benefits.
Damages that compensate a person for non-financial losses are called general damages, and they are often hard to calculate because they are so subjective. Still, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-economic damages. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §74.301, non-economic damages are typically capped at $250,000.
Wrongful Death Damages
If your loved one passed away because of medical malpractice, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against the healthcare provider. You may be compensated for your loved one’s medical bills, funeral and burial costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. You may also be compensated for your own economic and non-economic losses resulting from the death.
Seek Medical Care After Medical Malpractice
It’s important to put your health first and begin your road to recovery. After suffering injuries due to medical malpractice, see a different doctor and start treatment. You could worsen your injuries by delaying or forgoing necessary medical care.
Medical records from your diagnosis and treatment can also help our Plano medical malpractice attorneys assess your losses and seek fair compensation. You don’t want to give an insurer a chance to undervalue or deny your claim. Protect your health and your right to compensation by getting the medical attention you need.
A Plano Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help
If you have reason to believe that you or a loved one was the victim of medical negligence, hire a Plano medical malpractice lawyer from Underwood Law. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §74.251, there is a two-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits in Texas, so it is important to get started right away.
Call us for a free consultation today.