Houston Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Legally Reviewed By: Jud Waltman
No one should have to experience medical malpractice. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know if medical negligence occurred during your treatment. Our Houston medical malpractice lawyers at The Lanier Law Firm can help you determine whether you have a medical malpractice claim and advise you on the next steps.
The Lanier Law Firm’s experienced team of Houston medical negligence lawyers is dedicated to helping clients get the compensation they deserve. When you’re looking for a medical malpractice lawyer in Houston, Texas, our team of highly skilled legal professionals is standing by to help.
What qualifies as medical malpractice in Texas?
Medical malpractice is a term used to describe professional negligence by health care providers. It is a type of civil claim that can be brought against any health care provider, including doctors, nurses, dentists, technicians, and therapists.
For a medical malpractice claim in Texas to be successful, you must prove that the doctor or other health care provider failed to provide proper treatment or diagnosis of an illness or injury. You must also show that this negligent treatment caused you harm.
Texas malpractice cases’ standard of care requires the level of professional conduct and performance that other reasonably prudent medical professionals would exhibit under similar circumstances.
Common Causes of Medical Malpractice
If a doctor misdiagnoses a patient or fails to diagnose them when they should have, then this may be cause for a malpractice lawsuit. A medical error can also happen if the doctor specifies the wrong treatment or fails to perform tests that could have provided a correct diagnosis.
Sometimes medical malpractice is due to a surgical error. The doctor may leave something inside the patient or cut an organ or nerve by mistake. Some doctors have performed surgery on the wrong body part or even on the wrong person. Surgery is one of the leading causes of malpractice cases in Texas.
Errors with prescriptions and medications can also lead to malpractice cases in Texas. When a doctor prescribes medication, they have to make sure they do not prescribe anything that interacts badly with other medications or causes an allergic reaction. If there’s an oversight, you may have a case against your doctor.
Who can I sue for medical malpractice in Houston?
In some cases, it’s clear who is liable for a patient’s injury. For example, if you’re hurt during surgery or at the hospital, a doctor or nurse may be responsible for your injury. If you’re injured at an outpatient center during treatment or rehabilitation, that facility might be responsible for your injury.
However, there are many other people and entities that might be liable for your injuries. The following are all parties that could be held responsible.
Under Texas medical malpractice law, anyone who causes an injury to a patient can be held liable for the damages. While a doctor is usually the potentially liable party in a malpractice case, many other parties can also be sued.
The person or entity that caused your injury may not be the only one held liable. Multiple parties might be held responsible for causing your injuries.
What do I need to prove in a medical malpractice lawsuit?
Medical malpractice is among the most complicated practice areas. These cases take a lot of time, effort, and resources to win. The most important factor in winning cases is the evidence — specifically, proof that a medical provider was negligent and that this negligence caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Texas law imposes very strict requirements for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. You must follow several steps to prove your case and recover compensation from the health care provider who harmed you.
In other words, to win a medical malpractice lawsuit, you’ll have to prove all four of these elements:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
Together, these four elements make up what’s called “medical negligence.” If you can prove each element with evidence, you have a good chance of winning your case.
In medical malpractice claims, doctors seldom admit their mistakes in court. Plaintiffs must build their case almost entirely through expert testimony. They need a medical expert to testify that their doctor deviated from the appropriate standard of care — meaning they did something another reasonable doctor would not have done.
What type of compensation can I recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit?
An experienced attorney can help you understand the different types of damages that may be available in your medical malpractice lawsuit.
The amount of compensation you recover will depend on several factors, including:
- The nature of your injuries
- The cost of any treatment you needed for your injuries
- Your lost earnings as a result of your injuries or treatment
- Whether you’ll need additional medical care or treatment for your injuries in the future
Compensation for malpractice victims is meant to make them “whole” again. This means putting them in the position they would have been in if not for the doctor’s negligence. Medical malpractice damages typically fall into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include lost income, medical bills, and ongoing care expenses. They’re usually easy to calculate because these items have a specific dollar amount attached.
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and disfigurement. They can be more difficult to prove in some cases.
Every case is different; therefore, the value of each case can vary significantly based on factors such as the extent of the injury and the amount of negligence or wrongdoing by the health care professional.
There are no caps on economic damages in medical malpractice cases in Texas. This is true for both future and past damages. The only cap that exists is on non-economic damages, which are limited to $250,000 — or a maximum of $500,000 for those suing two hospitals.
How long do I have to sue for medical malpractice in Houston?
If you or someone you love has been injured due to medical malpractice, you should be aware of the statute of limitations that applies to your case.
In Texas, the time frame for filing a suit in a medical malpractice case is very strict. As a general rule, you must bring your claim within two years of the malpractice, regardless of when you discover it. Therefore, if you think you have been the victim of malpractice, it is imperative that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
What if a family member died because of medical malpractice?
If a family member dies because of medical malpractice, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
It is not always easy to know if malpractice was the cause of death. Texas law requires that a wrongful death lawsuit be filed within two years of the person’s death, so it is important to begin investigating right away.
A wrongful death claim is brought by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate on behalf of certain surviving family members and other beneficiaries. In Texas, the parents, spouse or children of the deceased person are entitled to recover damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Should I hire a Houston medical malpractice lawyer from The Lanier Law Firm?
When you’re looking for a Houston medical malpractice attorney to represent you, it is important to choose someone with the knowledge and resources required to win your case. Since medical malpractice cases are so complex, you must find an attorney who specializes in this area of law.
Our attorneys have more than 25 years of experience advocating for injury victims throughout Texas. We have successfully litigated numerous cases involving negligence by doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers. We understand how to build a strong case on your behalf.
Contact us today to speak to a medical malpractice attorney at The Lanier Law Firm and learn how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.