When a medical procedure doesn’t go as planned, it’s only natural to assume you were the victim of malpractice. Since medicine isn’t an exact science, however, unanticipated complications don’t always constitute malpractice.
Whether your provider did make a mistake—and, consequently, you have grounds for a claim—will depend on the circumstances. Generally speaking, you’re probably entitled to compensation if you can prove the following four elements:
1. A Duty of Care
In most cases, malpractice can only occur in a clinical setting. That means you must have visited the provider as an actual patient. Doing so establishes a duty of care.
Put another way, if your friend happens to be a doctor and you asked them about a skin rash in passing, you probably wouldn’t have grounds for a claim if their assessment turned out to be incorrect.
2. A Breach of Duty
After confirming the provider owed you a duty of care, you’re going to have to demonstrate how they violated it. In other words, how did they deviate from the most widely accepted standards of care?
Naturally, the strongest evidence of the breach will come down to the facts of the case; however, it will likely include the following:
- Your medical records,
- Eyewitness testimony from other members of your medical team,
- The facility’s hiring practices and training requirements, and
- Testimony from relevant medical specialists.
Causation is one of the hardest elements to prove in any malpractice claim because virtually every plaintiff has a preexisting condition. Unless their doctor made a mistake during their annual wellness exam, they were inevitably seeking care for a reason.
Under tort law, it’s not enough to prove that malpractice occurred. To be eligible for compensation, you must also convince the insurance adjuster that the complications you suffered we a direct result of your provider’s mistake. Put another way, your condition wouldn’t have worsened had your doctor administered adequate care.
If your medical team realized their mistake right away and took the steps needed to reverse it, you probably won’t be able to build a strong claim. Damages are the fourth and final element of every successful malpractice action, which means you must have incurred actual losses because of the breach.
In Texas, recoverable damages include:
- Medical bills,
- Pain and suffering,
- Physical impairment,
- Lost wages,
- Mental anguish,
- Reasonable and necessary replacement services,
- Lost earning capacity,
- Disfigurement, and
- Diminished quality of life.
Texas also allows spouses to seek funds for loss of consortium. This refers to the loss of love, society, affection, and companionship that their marriage suffers because of their husband or wife’s injuries.
Call 713-893-8808 to Discuss Your Case with a Houston Medical Malpractice Attorney
To see if you might have grounds for a medical malpractice claim, turn to Chelsie King Garza, P.C. For more than 18 years, attorney Chelsie has been helping injured parties put their lives back together. Call 713-893-8808 or complete the Contact Form on her website to schedule a free initial consultation with a medical malpractice lawyerin Houston.