In the pursuit of quality healthcare, we place immense trust in medical professionals, and we ultimately expect them to provide us with the best possible treatment. Unfortunately, medical errors can—and do—occur, leaving patients and their families grappling with the devastating consequences.
If you believe you were the victim of a medical mistake, it is essential to know your rights. It’s also important to take the right steps in the aftermath, so you can seek the compensation you deserve.
This blog post aims to provide compassionate guidance on what to do if you think you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim in the Lone Star State.
Understanding Medical Malpractice in Texas
Before taking action, it's crucial to grasp the fundamentals of medical malpractice in Texas. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional or institution breaches their duty of care, leading to injury, illness, or worsened condition for the patient.
In Texas, like in other states, the burden of proving medical malpractice lies with the plaintiff (the injured party). To have a valid claim, you must demonstrate the following elements:
- Duty of Care: Show that the healthcare provider owed you a duty of care. This duty arises from the doctor-patient relationship.
- Breach of Duty: Establish that the healthcare provider failed to meet the acceptable standard of care, deviating from what a reasonable and competent medical professional would have done under similar circumstances.
- Causation: Prove that the breach of duty was the direct cause of your injuries, and it was not an outcome of an underlying medical condition or unrelated factors.
- Damages: Provide evidence of the physical, emotional, and financial damages you suffered due to the medical negligence.
Steps to Take If You Suspect Medical Malpractice
1. Prioritize Your Health and Safety
If you suspect medical malpractice, your first step should be to prioritize your health and safety. Seek immediate medical attention from a different healthcare provider to address any ongoing health concerns or to correct any errors made during your previous treatment.
2. Preserve Relevant Evidence
Preserving evidence is vital to build a strong case. Keep all medical records, prescriptions, test results, and any documents related to your treatment. If possible, take pictures of visible injuries and collect contact information from any witnesses who can attest to the medical negligence.
3. Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Navigating the complexities of medical malpractice claims requires the expertise of a skilled personal injury attorney with experience in handling medical negligence cases in Texas. They can evaluate the situation to determine if you have grounds for a claim, and then guide you through the rest of the proceedings.
4. Be Mindful of Time Limits
In Texas, there is a statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims. Generally, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. There are exceptions to this rule, such as cases involving minors or instances where the injury was not immediately apparent. Consulting an attorney promptly will ensure you don't miss any important deadlines.
5. Consider Mediation
In some cases, mediation or arbitration can be an effective way to resolve medical malpractice disputes without going to court. Your attorney can help you decide if this is a suitable option for your situation.
Call 713-893-8808 to Discuss Your Case with a Houston Medical Malpractice Attorney
Facing the aftermath of potential medical malpractice can be overwhelming, but you don't have to go through it alone. If you believe you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim in Texas, take action to protect your rights and seek justice for the harm you've endured.
Consult Chelsie King Garza, P.C., who can guide you through the legal process with empathy and professionalism. Remember, your health and well-being should always be the top priority, and seeking legal assistance can help you focus on your healing while pursuing the compensation you deserve.