Medical Malpractice Frequent-Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a Medical Malpractice claim?
When a medical professional, such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, technician, hospital, or hospital employee, fails to provide the standard of care that would be expected of someone with their level of training and experience, putting the patient’s health at risk, the patient may file a claim for medical malpractice.
Can I sue for medical negligence if I’m unhappy with the outcome?
No matter how careful a doctor is, there is no way to guarantee a particular outcome, and a negative outcome does not always point to negligence. In order to win a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must provide evidence that they suffered harm as a direct result of the defendant doctor’s breach of the accepted level of medical practice surrounding the treatment at issue.
How do I start my medical malpractice claim?
You need to consult with a lawyer who focuses on cases like yours as soon as possible. Describe in detail to the lawyer your interactions with your medical providers, beginning with your initial consultation and ending with your discharge. Gather your medical records and bring them with you to your initial consultation with the lawyer. Time is of the essence in medical malpractice cases because of statutes of limitations.
When do you think my case will go to trial, if at all?
It all comes down to how much you’re willing to settle for and how much the insurance company for the defendant is willing to “offer” as a “deal.” It’s possible that the insurance company will increase its settlement offer if you hire a lawyer who has a history of winning medical malpractice cases at trial. If the parties are unable to settle their differences, the case will most likely go to trial.
When I win, will the amount of my award be reduced if my insurance company pays for some of my expenses?
An award of damages may not be diminished by a court because you have received some compensation from a person or organization that was not a party to the suit (known as the “collateral source rule”).
How much can I be compensated for in my medical malpractice case?
You will be entitled to damages if a medical malpractice lawsuit goes in your favour. When you’ve been hurt, you deserve to be compensated monetarily. The economic damages you may be entitled to include compensation for medical expenses and time away from work. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering payments. Punitive damages can be awarded in some cases to punish a healthcare provider for intentionally causing harm to a patient. The amount of compensation an injured patient can seek from a negligent healthcare provider is capped by Texas law (the medical provider being sued). All medical professionals in Texas are subject to a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages. Each hospital has a $250,000 limit on non-economic damages. There is a limit of $500,000 for all non-economic damages across all healthcare facilities. This means that the most you can seek in non-economic damages from a single hospital are $250,000, and the most you can seek from a single doctor is $250,000.