Medical malpractice often happens when a health care professional harms a patient while treating him or her. For example, if a doctor fails to catch Stage 1 cancer, and as a result it progresses to Stage 4, killing the patient, this might be malpractice. Similarly, if a doctor’s failure to perform a C-section when appropriate results in loss of oxygen and brain damage to a baby, this might be malpractice. Not all injuries that arise out of a medical mishap are actionable, however. For the harm to offer a sound basis for a legal claim, the conduct must be negligent. If you have been hurt by the carelessness of a Dallas doctor, you can seek guidance from the injury lawyers at Feizy Law Office.Pursuing Compensation from a Negligent Health Care Professional
Medical negligence happens when a health care professional breaches the standard of care that a similar professional in the same circumstances would exercise. Generally, the standard of care is determined based on what other doctors and health care professionals in the same specialty would do for a similar patient with a similar condition. Moreover, standards can vary from state to state, which means that in some cases the right thing to do to diagnose an illness or treat a patient in another state may be different from what it would be in Texas.
In Texas, you must bring a medical malpractice lawsuit within the statute of limitations. If you are hurt due to a doctor's negligent treatment, you would need to file a lawsuit within two years after the incident that you believe was malpractice. It is critical to consult an attorney as soon as possible after you realize you may have the basis for a suit because the attorney may need time to review records and consult an expert before filing the complaint.
If you are successful in a medical malpractice action, you may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. In some cases, punitive damages may be appropriate too. However, Texas places multiple caps on damages. If a defendant is a health care provider, such as a doctor or a single health care institution, you are limited to recovering $250,000 in non-economic damages, such as loss of enjoyment and pain and suffering. When a judgment is rendered against multiple health care institutions, you will be limited to $250,000 in non-economic damages from each defendant and a total of $500,000.
Due to tort reform, there is also a cap for wrongful death or survival actions against health care providers. Each claimant in a wrongful death or survival action is limited to $500,000 in total damages, adjusted for inflation. This does not apply, however, to necessary medical or hospital care that was received before the judgment or that is expected to be required in the future.
Punitive damages are also limited. These types of damages are intended to penalize a defendant for truly egregious or malicious conduct and deter similar future conduct. In Texas, a plaintiff can receive the greater of $200,000 or twice the amount of economic and noneconomic damages, up to $750,000.
It is important to note that there is no cap for economic damages, which are objective and more easily quantifiable costs and losses arising from the malpractice. These often include the costs of future medical care as well as lost wages and lost earning capacity.Seek Legal Guidance in Dallas for a Medical Malpractice Claim
Pursing a medical malpractice claim will likely require the assistance of knowledgeable experts. It may be crucial to find an experienced personal injury or wrongful death attorney who can assert your rights in the Dallas area. Call Feizy Law Office at (214) 651-8686 or contact us via our online form for a free consultation. We also represent injured residents of other Texas cities, including Fort Worth, Irving, Arlington, Garland, and Plano.