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What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in Texas?

When a Healthcare Provider Can Be Held Liable for Injury

Medical malpractice laws in the state of Texas are complex. It can be challenging to hold a healthcare provider accountable without the help of an experienced attorney. Since not all injuries resulting from a mistake or error will amount to malpractice, it is essential to discuss your case with an attorney as early in the process as possible.

At Bailey Cowan Heckaman, our lawyers have decades of experience helping individuals who have been injured as a result of medical malpractice. We have secured over $2 billion on behalf of our clients and will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. If you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, contact our office to schedule a free consultation. 

What is Medical Malpractice?

Under the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, a healthcare liability claim may include any legal action against a provider for “treatment, lack of treatment, or other claimed departure from accepted standards of medical care” that results in the injury or death of a patient. 

Medical malpractice cases may be brought against any healthcare provider, including but not limited to a:

  • Hospital or hospital system
  • Health care institution
  • Assisted living facility
  • Hospice
  • Surgical center
  • Nursing home
  • Registered nurse
  • Dentist
  • Optometrist
  • Pharmacist
  • Podiatrist
  • Doctor or physician

It is important to note that an incidence of negligence or a medical mistake does not automatically result in a valid claim for medical malpractice. It must be shown that the treatment or lack of treatment deviated from the accepted standard of care, resulting in harm to the patient.

Common Examples of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice encompasses a wide range of cases. If you sustain any injury as a result of a healthcare provider's care or lack thereof, you should consult with an attorney to determine your legal options.

Common examples of medical malpractice include:

  • Birth injuries
  • Misdiagnoses
  • Failure to treat
  • Surgical errors
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Medication errors
  • Lack of informed consent and failure to inform

These are only a few of the many kinds of medical mistakes that happen every day. Medical errors kill a large number of people each year and injure substantially more. Tragically, all of these fatalities are preventable. If you are injured as a result of a medical mistake or your child suffers a birth injury, you may be able to file a lawsuit based on medical malpractice.

Standards of Care in Texas

In Texas, medical providers must provide an acceptable standard of care. Deviation from that standard of care that results in injury or death to a patient can result in liability. It is not enough, however, that the healthcare provider was negligent. The negligence must have been the proximate cause of the injuries in order to establish liability.

There are four basic elements of negligence that must be proven:

  • Duty - It must be shown that the medical provider owed the injured party a duty of care. This is usually proven if you were receiving treatment from the provider.
  • Breach - The medical provider must breach the duty of care they owe to you. In most cases, this is achieved when the provider fails to provide an acceptable standard of care.
  • Causation - The provider’s breach of duty must be the proximate cause of the injuries.
  • Damages - The injured party must suffer actual damages as a result of their injuries.

In medical malpractice cases, it is generally a healthcare provider that can be held liable for resulting injuries. However, it is not unusual for there to be multiple parties that can share responsibility, such as when a defective medical device is implanted. The manufacturer and provider may share a portion of responsibility for the resulting harm.

Establishing Liability 

Establishing liability in a medical malpractice case can be difficult without the help of an experienced attorney. It is essential to keep detailed records of everything related to your injuries, including when you first discovered the harm and any treatment that you received. The more evidence you can provide, the stronger your case will be. 

Statute of Limitations in Texas

Pursuant to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 74.25, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim in Texas is two years. The statute begins to run from the date of the injury or the date when the continuing treatment ends. 

There are limited exceptions, including if the injured party was under 12 at the time of the injury. For minors under the age of 12, they have until their 14th birthday to file a cause of action. Under Texas law, no claim based on healthcare liability may be brought later than 10 years after the date of the act or omission that caused the injury. 

Importance of Proper Legal Representation

Given the complexities of medical malpractice claims, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel if you or a loved one has been injured by medical malpractice in Texas. Without the help of an attorney, you could end up settling your case for less than it is worth or for nothing at all. There are strict legal guidelines for filing medical malpractice claims. 

A simple error in the paperwork could result in costly delays. Costing you both time and money. A lawyer can help ensure that your claim is filed correctly and within all statutes of limitations. It is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney as soon as you discover any injury or harm related to medical malpractice. 

Bailey Cowan Heckaman Law Office

At Bailey Cowan Heckaman, our attorneys have a long record of success, having secured multiple multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. There are no fees unless we win. 
Get the strength of experience on your side. You should never have to settle for less than your case is worth. Our lawyers have extensive experience helping injured parties throughout Texas secure the financial recovery they deserve after an incidence of medical malpractice. Do not wait until it is too late. You only have a limited amount of time to file. Get the legal help you need now. 

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