Proving medical malpractice requires several important steps that are best left to an experienced attorney. In short, a lawyer must demonstrate that the patient agreed to be treated, the doctor owed a duty of care to the patient, and that the doctor failed to uphold the duty of care, which led to physical injury and subsequent damages.
At the Buzbee Law Firm, we believe that learning how attorneys prove medical malpractice can help you understand the legal process behind holding negligent doctors and nurses liable for their wrongdoing. It can also help you make sound legal decisions and choose a medical malpractice lawyer who’s right for you.
The Steps Involved in Proving Medical Malpractice
Gaining a thorough understanding of the steps involved in proving medical malpractice can give you insight into the legal process and help you understand your own medical malpractice case.
In order to prove that a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional has committed medical malpractice, one must:
- Provide evidence of the doctor-patient relationship: An attorney must establish that the offending medical professional was in charge of the victim’s care.
- Demonstrate duty of care: Your lawyer must also establish that the doctor or nurse had an obligation to provide a level of care that is expected of medical professionals.
- Prove the duty of care was breached: Next, an attorney needs to provide evidence that shows the medical professional failed to uphold the duty of care they owed the patient.
- Show that the breach of care resulted in injury: Once a lawyer has proven that the duty of care was breached, they’ll need to prove that the breach caused the patient to sustain physical injury.
- Demonstrate that the breach led to damages: Finally, a lawyer must prove that the injuries suffered caused the patient to incur damages, such as medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, etc.
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Identifying Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs when the actions of a medical professional cause harm to a patient. Although it might sound like a simple concept, identifying instances of medical malpractice can be extremely difficult.
An attorney must thoroughly review and analyze a patient’s medical history, the events that led to their injury, and the laws that surround medical malpractice in order to identify when a patient has been mistreated. While some instances of medical malpractice might be obvious, others are more subtle and harder to identify.
For example, if a patient doesn’t develop symptoms of an injury until weeks or months after the treatment that caused it, there’s a chance that they won’t connect it to medical negligence. Learning more about malpractice and hiring a seasoned lawyer can help you identify when malpractice has occurred and take legal action against the party responsible for wrongdoing.
Medical Malpractice Comes in Many Forms
There are a number of different types of medical malpractice that patients might experience. We suggest speaking to an attorney if you’ve experienced one of the following forms of medical malpractice:
- Failure to diagnose
- Wrong-site or unnecessary surgery
- Medication error
- Dosage error
- Improper aftercare
- Hospital infection
- Anesthesia error
The steps involved in proving malpractice are slightly different for each type of case. If you’ve sustained an injury or illness from medical negligence, it’s important that you hire an attorney who has experience litigating claims similar to yours. Doing so will ensure that they have the skills and legal knowledge required to prove that you’ve suffered from medical malpractice.
Damages You’ll Receive if Your Attorney Proves Medical Malpractice
If your attorney successfully proves that you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, you might receive a variety of different financial remedies. Depending on the nature of your injuries and the losses you’ve incurred, you may receive one or more of the following damages:
Future Medical Care Expenses
If your injury requires future medical treatment, you shouldn’t have to pay for it. Your attorney will make sure you get the compensation you need to afford quality medical care, so you can effectively cope with and treat your injury.
If you’ve missed work to attend doctor’s appointments related to your injury or if your condition has made it impossible for you to perform workplace duties, you deserve compensation. These damages can replace a portion of the wages you’ve lost during your recovery period.
Pain and Suffering
Living with a painful injury can be incredibly frustrating. If your medical malpractice injury has caused you to endure a significant amount of physical suffering, you deserve to receive compensation.
If you’ve sustained a disability from your medical malpractice incident, you may need assistive devices, support services, and other types of care to manage your condition. These damages will allow you to get the help you need to live comfortably with your disability.
Suffering painful injuries and permanent disabilities at the hand of a doctor that you trust can lead one to develop mental health problems. If you’ve been experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression caused by your medical malpractice injury, your attorney can add these damages to your claim
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Deadline for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Texas
Hiring an attorney who is able to prove medical malpractice is useless if your lawsuit isn’t filed before Texas’ deadline. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 74.251 gives medical malpractice victims two years from the date of their injury to file a lawsuit. Knowing how long you have to sue a doctor can help you avoid having your lawsuit denied by a judge.
Taking legal action before the two-year due date has passed will ensure that your lawsuit has the best chance possible at yielding ample compensation. If you’ve been putting off filing a lawsuit and your deadline has come and gone, you might still have a chance to pursue damages.
Texas law includes several exceptions to the statute of limitations for medical negligence. For example, if you don’t realize that you’ve become a victim of medical negligence until your deadline has already passed, you will be permitted to pursue a lawsuit as long as it’s filed in a “reasonable amount of time.”
Our Firm Can Help You Prove Medical Malpractice and Obtain Compensation
Proving medical malpractice is a difficult and nuanced process that requires the expertise of a seasoned attorney. If you’ve sustained an injury or illness due to the negligence or error of a medical professional, our firm can help you pursue damages via an insurance claim or lawsuit.
To get the compensation you’re owed, contact the Buzbee Law Firm today. Our attorneys have litigated countless different medical malpractice cases and know what it takes to prove medical negligence. They’ll make sure you get the payment you need to cover future medical expenses, make up for lost wages, and cope with the effects of your condition.