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Information Page about Medicul Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a professional negligence action that can be brought against healthcare provider for acts or omissions that has deviated from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to you. If you or a loved one has been injured because of a doctor or hospital negligence, you then need a lawyer with experience, settlement negotiating skills, and medical science knowledge. We, at MAS Law Firm, offer you a free case review and consultation. So, do not wait, time is not on your side, give us a call today.

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Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice takes place when a patient is injured because a doctor (health care provider) has wrongfully, improperly, and negligently diagnosed or improperly treated that patient's medical condition. For example, malpractice might have occurred if a doctor failed to prescribe a certain type of medication or a hospital's staff neglected to perform a specific tests in order to make a complete evaluation of a patient. In certain instances, the medical error is apparent, however in most cases there are complicated medical issues that need to be completely evaluated before determining whether medical malpractice has actually occurred.

Failure to Warn a Patient of known Risks
In order to succeed on failure to warn claims, you must prove that a reasonable person would not have consented to the treatment had he or she the “reasonable person” been properly and adequately informed of the potential risks. If a reasonable person would have carried on with the treatment after receiving the notice, then your claim fails.

Improper treatment
Doctors, nurses, and all other medical providers are expected to be educated and up to date on the latest practices in their area of expertise. When a healthcare provider does not act reasonably or carefully, or does not stay up to date on the best practices, he can be held liable if an injury results from the provider’s ignorance. Improper treatment could be a procedure performed by the doctor which was known to lead to complications that did not justify the treatment.

Failure to Diagnose
Doctors and other medical providers are held to a standard which makes them responsible for detecting a condition when any reasonable, adequately trained, and careful doctor would detect the condition.

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Psychologist Malpractice

Psychiatrist and Psychologist Malpractice

Failure to observer proper boundaries often creates a malpractice claim against psychiatrist, psychologist, and mental health professionals (counselors). Although more complicated than the injuries associated with medical malpractice cases, mental health malpractice is a quickly growing field of malpractice law. Most of mental malpractice cases is due to the lack of experience, training, supervision, or checks-and-balances. Simply put, the majority of mental malpractice cases do not stem from unforeseeable problems, but rather from situations that could have been avoided if only the counselors, mental health specialists, psychiatrists, or psychologists recognized and treated their patient’s condition properly. The most commonly associated claims in successful mental health malpractice cases:
  • Sexual Impropriety
  • Incorrect Treatment
  • Over Medication
  • Breach of Confidentiality or Privacy
  • Fee Collection
  • Failure to Observe
  • Improper Diagnosis of Mental Health Problem;
  • Defamation or Slander
  • Suicide of Patient;
  • Improper Administration of Prescription Drugs;

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Types of Medical Malpractice Cases

  • Wrongful Death
  • Nursing Home Neglect
  • Pharmacy Errors
  • Orthopedic Injuries
  • Anesthesia Injuries
  • Retinal Detachment or other Eye Problems
  • Failure to Timely Diagnose a Key Illness
  • Birth-related Injuries
  • Foreign Object Left in During Surgery (Sponge, Surgical Instrument)
  • Surgical Errors
  • Failure to Diagnose
  • Paralysis
  • Heart Attacks

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Medical Malpractice

Texas Medical Malpractice

Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim
While there are various types of medical malpractice claims, generally speaking, a claimant must usually show the following:
  • The health care provider owed a duty to the patient;
  • The health care provider breached that duty;
  • The patient suffered an injury; and
  • The patient's injury was a proximate cause of the health care provider's breach.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice, sometimes referred to as medical negligence, occurs when a health care provider violates the governing standard of care when providing treatment to a patient, causing the patient to suffer an injury. Medical malpractice can result from an action taken by the medical practitioner, or by the failure to take a medically appropriate action. Examples of medical malpractice include:
  • Misdiagnosis of, or failure to diagnose, a disease or medical condition
  • Failure to provide appropriate treatment for a medical condition
  • Unreasonable delay in treating a diagnosed medical condition
Medical malpractice actions can be brought by the injured patient against any responsible licensed health care provider, including doctors, counselors, psychologists and psychotherapists.

Limits on Malpractice Damages
Texas limits noneconomic damages for all doctors and health care practitioners to $250,000.00. Total liability for any one health care facility may not exceed $250,000.00, and total liability for all defendant health care facilities may not exceed $500,000.00. This creates an effective overall damages cap of $750,000.00.

Medical Mal Practice Assistance
Medical Malpractice

Rules for Expert Witnesses
A medical expert witness must be a licensed physician who is practicing medicine and/or has knowledge of the standards of practice relevant to the claims against the defendant.

Collateral Source Rule
Under the collateral source rule, a defendant may not seek to reduce its liability by introducing evidence that the plaintiff has received compensation from other sources, such as the plaintiff's own insurance coverage.

Joint and Several Liability
Under a traditional rule of joint and several liability, where more than one defendant is found liable for the injury suffered by a plaintiff, each defendant is individually liable for the entire amount of the judgment, such that if one defendant is unable to pay the other defendant or defendants are liable for the entire amount of the judgment. Texas has abolished joint liability for defendants found to be less than 51% at fault for the plaintiff's injury.

Statute of Limitations
Medical malpractice actions must be commenced within two years of the act or omission giving rise to the injury, but not more than ten years after that date. For injuries to minors below the age of twelve, a malpractice suit must be commenced by the date of the minor's fourteenth birthday.

Additional Rules
At the commencement of litigation a plaintiff must file a $5,000 cost bond, place $5,000 in an escrow account, or file an expert report for each physician or health care provider listed in the complaint attesting to the merits of the claim against that physician or health care provider.

Expert reports are to be submitted by the plaintiff to the defendant and to defense counsel within 120 days of the filing of the complaint.

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