Dallas Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice is a frightening reality for many patients. Although we trust our physicians and surgeons to do what is in a patient’s best interest, they do not always follow the appropriate standards of care. When a negligent, preoccupied, or reckless health care professional causes injury or wrongful death, the victim or family of the victim has the right to pursue compensation in Texas.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is a broad field of law that encompasses a variety of personal injuries. Every medical malpractice case looks different and will affect the victim in different ways. Victims can suffer physical, mental, and emotional injuries at the hands of negligent health care professionals. There are several types of medical malpractice:
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. When a doctor fails to diagnose a serious illness in a reasonably timely manner (or misdiagnoses the illness completely) it can lead to severe injury or complications. The patient could miss life-saving treatment opportunities. While no doctor is perfect, misdiagnoses or delayed diagnoses often results from negligence.
- Medication errors. Prescription or dosage errors are a common type of medical malpractice. If a doctor prescribes the wrong medication, fails to realize the medication will react with something the patient is already taking, or prescribes the wrong amount, it can severely injure or kill the patient.
- Surgical errors. Surgery errors are mistakes made in the operating room. If a negligent surgeon operates on the wrong patient, operates on the wrong part of the body, punctures organs, or leaves surgical instruments inside the body cavity, it is medical malpractice.
- Anesthesia errors. If an anesthesiologist makes even a small miscalculation or mistake, it can lead to permanent brain damage, injury, and death. A negligent anesthesiologist may fail to review a patient’s history, administer too much anesthesia during surgery, or fail to monitor a patient’s vital signs.
- Childbirth injuries. Negligence on the part of a physician or obstetrician before, during, and after childbirth can result in serious infant injuries. This includes negligent prenatal care, such as failure to diagnose a mother’s medical condition, as well as errors during the birth. Childbirth errors include failure to respond to signs of fetal distress, order a C-section when appropriate, or use birthing tools competently.
Medical Malpractice Cases in Texas
Texas abides by state-specific laws during jurisdiction for medical malpractice cases. Like every state, Texas has a statute of limitations to file a medical malpractice claim. Statutes of limitations serve to limit the length of time that can pass between an injury and legal proceedings. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Texas is two years from the occurrence of the breach. If injuries occurred as part of ongoing treatment, the plaintiff has two years from the time that treatment concluded. If more than 10 years has passed since the alleged medical malpractice occurred, you lose your right to file a claim.
Texas has a compensation cap in place for medical malpractice claims. This cap only applies to non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost quality of life. Compensation for medical care and lost income (economic damages) do not have a cap in Texas. The compensation cap is $250,000 per claimant, except when the plaintiff files a claim against multiple health care institutions (in which case the cap increases to $500,000).
Contact Our Office Today
Stephen W. Shoultz and his staff have 35 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including medical malpractice. If you or a loved one suffered damages because of a negligent doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or hospital employee, contact us today for a free consultation about your case. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.