September 23, 2019

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Texas Medical Malpractice

Houston Law Firms

According to a study published in Health Affairs, in 2011, one of every three patients is harmed in U.S. hospitals with seven percent incurring permanent or fatal injuries. Medical malpractice is a leading cause of death, and it is completely unnecessary.

Medical Malpractice in Texas

Texas law is unfavorable toward medical malpractice victims, and there is some financial risk involved in pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit in the state.

It is vital that you work with an experienced Texas medical malpractice attorney who can advise you on whether or not it is appropriate to move forward with your case and who works with the medical experts necessary to fulfill the procedural requirements set out in Texas law.

Types of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can be committed by any type of medical professional or institution. Types of medical malpractice include:

  • Surgical error

  • Anesthesia error

  • Pharmacist error

  • Emergency room malpractice, including patient dumping

  • Medication error

  • Failure to diagnose a serious medical condition or event, such as cancer or stroke

  • Birth injury

  • Nosocomial infection

  • Failure to inform patient of available treatments

  • Inappropriate treatment for the condition

  • Continuing an ineffective treatment

  • Patient abandonment

  • Dental malpractice

  • Psychiatric malpractice

Emergency Room Malpractice

Texas malpractice law protects emergency room doctors from lawsuits, unless they acted willfully and wantonly, meaning they were aware of the error, grossly reckless, or intentionally caused harm.

Patient dumping is the practice of refusing to examine or treat an emergency room patient, because they do not have insurance or cannot prove their ability to pay for care. Patient dumping is not something that can happen without the wrongdoer’s knowledge, and it is in violation of a federal law called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (“EMTALA”).

Caps on Texas Medical Malpractice Damages

Texas has placed a cap on the amount you can receive in noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. You can receive no more than $250,000 in total from all individual doctors and healthcare professionals. You can receive no more than $250,000 from a hospital or institution and a total of no more than $500,000 from all institutions combined.

Notice Requirements and Expert Reports

You must notify all defendants at least 60 days before filing your Texas medical malpractice lawsuit.

Within 120 days (four months) of filing your lawsuit, you must serve each defendant with one or more expert report including the expert’s curriculum vitae. Each export report must include the standard of care, ho the defendant failed to live up to the standard of care, and how that failure caused your injuries.