When we see our doctors for a routine procedure or a serious medical treatment, we expect to be treated with the highest standard of care by the people we entrust with our health and wellbeing. But sometimes, the hospitals, doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals we see for medical treatment violate our trust and breach that duty of care through negligent and reckless acts.
If you or your loved one were hurt during a medical procedure, you may have a valid personal injury claim for medical negligence. Our Austin medical malpractice lawyers are experienced in fighting for the compensation that victims of healthcare provider negligence deserve from the professionals who caused more harm than good. En Español
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Austin Lawyers Litigating Cases of Medical Negligence
Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim
Not every medical error warrants civil litigation in Austin. To recover damages for an injury or illness caused by a healthcare provider, a plaintiff must establish that another, reasonable doctor would not have made the same mistake under those particular circumstances. One of our competent Austin attorneys can work with other medical professionals to gather expert testimony on whether the defendant doctor in a medical malpractice case deviated from the medically accepted standard of care for their field of practice.
Medical malpractice can involve actions taken by a doctor as well as actions not taken. Doctors and nurses can commit malpractice in various ways, including:
- Misdiagnosis – diagnosing a patient incorrectly and subsequently failing to recognize symptoms, order medical testing, or refer the patient to a specialist.
- Failure to treat – neglecting to order medical tests, failing to provide follow up care, or releasing a patient from care too soon.
- Surgical or procedural errors – performing the wrong surgery or leaving a foreign object, such as surgical tools, inside the patient.
- Failure to warn: failing to disclose associated risks to patients undergoing medical treatments or procedures.
Compensation for Medical Negligence
Compensation for Austin medical malpractice cases can include economic and non-economic damages for the injuries inflicted by a healthcare professional. Economic damage includes current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and the loss of future income and
benefits. Non-economic damages cover pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, disability, and the loss of enjoyment of life. It is important to note that Texas courts do have a cap on damages in medical malpractice cases for non-economic damages. The rule is a limit of $250,000 in non-economic damages per claimant per bad actor, with an overall cap of $500,000 total for multiple claimants. There’s no cap on economic damages incurred.
Time Limits on Medical Negligence Cases in Austin
Texas law allows for a person to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for damages within two years of the discovery of the injury or from the date that the injury should have been discovered, known as the statute of limitations. If the injury was caused during the course of treatment, then the clock begins ticking on the last day of treatment, unless the injury could have been discovered earlier. State law also recognizes a statute of repose, which means that all medical malpractice cases must be filed within 10 years of the date that the injury occurred, or else risk being thrown out by the court.
Claimants in medical malpractice lawsuits must also give notice to each healthcare provider named in the lawsuit at least 60 days prior to filing the case. In addition, the victim of medical negligence must serve an expert report on each person named in the lawsuit within 120 days of filing that summarizes the opinion of the expert as to the standard of care for the victim, how the medical professional breached that standard, and the relationship between the breach and the injuries caused. An experienced attorney understands the requirements of a medical malpractice case and can ensure that all necessary documentation is filed with the proper people, at the proper time.
If you or a loved one were injured by the negligent or reckless acts of a medical professional in the Austin area, you may have a claim for compensation. Our team understands how to present medical negligence cases to increase their chances of success. Let an experienced attorney from our firm help you. Call us today at DC Law to schedule a free consultation with an Austin medical malpractice lawyer.