Medical professionals have an obligation to use their best judgment when diagnosing health conditions and determining how to treat them. If a physician fails to exercise reasonable skill when working with a patient, they might have to assume liability for any injuries they cause.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are more complicated than standard cases involving a personal injury attorney and require several extra steps. However, they are a worthwhile undertaking if a healthcare professional’s carelessness or recklessness harmed you. A Fort Hood Medical malpractice lawyer can assess your case and outline your options moving forward.
State laws impose certain procedural requirements on filing a medical malpractice lawsuits that do not apply to standard personal injury cases. These include special notice guidelines, the need to present an expert opinion early in the process, and a limitation on certain damages.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §74.051 requires an injured patient to officially notify of intent to sue to the medical providers who wounded them. The claimant must send this notice by certified mail, return receipt requested. An authorization for access to the plaintiff’s medical records must accompany this notice. The defendant must receive the notice and authorization at least 60 days before the plaintiff files the lawsuit.
A plaintiff initiates a malpractice lawsuit by filing a document called a petition and presenting a copy to the defendant. The doctor who is being sued then has time to file an answer with the court and give the plaintiff a copy of their response. The plaintiff then must submit an expert opinion regarding the accident to the court, within 120 days of the defendant’s response.
The expert who writes this opinion must have the proper qualifications, such as being Board-Certified in the medical field that is relevant to the plaintiff’s injury. Their opinion must identify specific ways that the claimant’s treatment was inadequate and establish that the negligent care directly caused the patients injuries.
In a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, a wounded patient could collect reimbursement for their current expenses and predicted future setbacks. They also could receive funds to compensate for more subjective losses without an established financial value, such as mental anguish, disability, physical pain, and reduced enjoyment of life. These reimbursements are called non-economic damages.
State laws limit the non-economic damages that wounded patients can collect in medical malpractice claims. For instance, each defendant in these lawsuits can pay an injured plaintiff a maximum of $250,000 for non-economic suffering. A claimant suing multiple defendants cannot collect more than $500,000.
A dedicated attorney in Fort Hood can help an injured patient avoid common complications associated with medical malpractice claims, to collect adequate compensation.
A patient must file a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice within two years of the treatment error. If the patient received treatment over multiple sessions, they must submit their claim within two years of the last session. However, in many cases, patients do not notice that their doctor made mistakes until years after their treatment concludes.
When it is not immediately obvious that a physician acted negligently, a patient must file their lawsuit within two years from the date they should have discovered the malpractice. For example, if a surgeon left a sponge in a patient’s body during an operation, this mistake might not produce symptoms for at least a couple years. Once the individual starts to feel discomfort and discovers the injury, they have two years to submit their claim.
If a patient took no action or ignored symptoms for an extended period before seeking an expert opinion, a court might decide they were not reasonably diligent in responding to their health problems. This could disqualify or lessen the strength of a case. Fortunately, a proactive lawyer in Fort Hood can help a patient file their claim on time or seek help when they discover evidence of medical malpractice.
If you experienced an instance of medical negligence, you might be battling severe health problems and combatting the psychological impact of the accident. It might be difficult for you to fight to protect your integrity, but legal representation can help.
Your best chance of success against the powerful healthcare industry is retaining a knowledgeable Fort Hood medical malpractice lawyer. As soon as you learn that you were harmed by negligent treatment, call the office to get started on your case.