We all have gut feelings. Some of us have a very strong intuition and know when to
follow it. Most often, though, we ignore it, especially when it comes to pain, and worse, when it
comes to surgeries or medical treatment. Instead of brushing off what could be a big issue, give
your gut some credit and dig a little deeper. In some cases, you may have a medical
malpractice case on your hands.
Medical malpractice is defined as occurring when a hospital, doctor or other healthcare
professional or provider, through a negligent act or omission, is the cause of death or an injury
to a patient. Negligence can be the result of many errors such as diagnosis, treatment, aftercare
or health management. Just as we are brought up to trust the word of our teachers, it is
assumed that we can trust medical professionals to execute a job correctly and honestly.
Unfortunately, it is not always the case.
Whether it is due to a purposefully overlooked protocol or a completely accidental
mishap, you are deserving of correcting the issue and compensation where it’s due – especially
when your health or life is at risk. Medical negligence and malpractice can range from miniscule
to life-threatening circumstances, and sometimes they are only differentiated by a very fine line.
To file a medical malpractice lawsuit one of three standards must be met:
● Violating standard of care
● Injury was caused by negligence
● Said injury resulted in significant consequences
While the cause of a medical malpractice case is pretty standard, the validity and way in
which medical malpractice cases are carried out differ state to state. In Texas, according to the
statute of limitations for a medical malpractice, the case must be “filed within two years from the
occurrence of the breach or tort or from the date the medical or health care treatment that is the
subject of the claim or the hospitalization for which the claim is made is completed.” In other
words, a patient has two years upon suffering or learning of the injury due to malpractice to file.
If the injury or harm is part of an ongoing treatment, the two year time-clock begins upon
conclusion of the treatment.
Two years is not a long period of time, so this timeline does not always seem fair. If you
were wrongly injured, there should be just compensation no matter the timeline. Unfortunately,
there are laws in place to urge people to act in a timely manner and pay close attention to their
overall health leading up to surgeries and operations, as well as the days and months following.
It is a best practice to take note of all inconsistencies or discomfort when dealing with any
medical treatment – whether it be a high-risk operation or simply being prescribed medicine. This
can be done via a daily log measuring pain-levels the days after surgery or treatment or simply
checking in with your doctor on a daily or weekly basis. There are numerous ways to keep track
of your recovery, and it should not be an overlooked part of your treatment.
As a medical professional, there are specific standards of care that are to be met
consistently throughout treatment. If you receive any treatment from a medical professional that
does not, or you believe does not, meet these standards, you may have a case. The standards
also change with different procedures and treatments. Be sure to know what the standard of
care is prior to completing your medical procedure so that you know what to be weary of.
Even further, an injury due to negligence must be significant enough to pursue. Since
medical malpractice lawsuits are very expensive to litigate, there must be a certain amount of
damages in order to follow through with the case. If the injury resulted in unusual pain, loss of
income, a disability, suffering and hardship, or remarkable medical bills, then a case may be
deemed viable. Medical malpractice and negligence lawsuit are so much more tedious to the
court because they require speculation from numerous medical professionals, a thorough look
at the procedure or treatment, and countless deposition from witnesses. No matter how much
work it may seem to complete your case, don’t let that stop you from caring for yourself or
family. With the right representation, filing a Medical Malpractice will not be a burden.
If and only if you can prove that your injury was incurred from medical negligence, then
you may file a lawsuit. Even if negligence occurred, but there was no proven or evident injury,
there is no case. Texas law requires ‘Expert Reports’. Expert Reports are defined as “a written
report regarding applicable standards of care, the manner in which the care rendered by the
physician or health care provider failed to meet the standards and the causal relationship
between the failure and the injury, harm, or damages claimed.” In short, an Expert Report is to
be filed by a qualified physician with specific qualities that ensure knowledge of the specific
procedure. Sometimes this is a doctor of the same hospital or care group, sometimes it is a
third-party Expert who has enough understanding and insight to make a decision on whether the
case is valid as a Medical Malpractice case.
While all of these requirements may seem daunting, medical malpractice or negligence
is not something to be overlooked. If you believe standard of care was not met during your
medical treatment or care, even if any injuries or side-effects are not immediately noticeable, it
is worth taking a look at. In the case of any long-term ailments or slow festering diseases that
may occur over time, it is best to seek treatment or guidance right away. Medical malpractice
and negligence should not be taken lightly.
If you believe you have a case, seek an attorney immediately. The Attorneys of
Buckingham-Barrera are experienced and professional representation you can rely on. We will
settle your case to ensure the security and recoverability you and your family deserve. Call
today for a free consultation.