Medical malpractice lawsuits are surprisingly relatively few in number in the United States given the number of medical malpractice-related deaths that occur in the country. The difficulty with assessing accurate numbers for such cases arises because so many medical malpractice cases are either unreported or simply go unnoticed.
However it has been reported by the American Medical Association that as many as 225,000 people die each year from this factor alone, which relates to everything from unnecessary surgery (12,000) to infections, adverse medical events and non-error issues (106,000). However, total medical ‘injuries’ can be as much as one million each year, while the average lawsuits filed for medical malpractice is around 85,000 – meaning there is an eight-to-one ratio of those injured to those filing lawsuits.
Further, only about half those who file lawsuits for medical malpractice receive any compensation.
Further, there are different rules in different states as to what can be reimbursed and what the scale of recovery might be. In Texas for instance, there is no limit on what can be reimbursed for a medical malpractice lawsuit, including not just medical costs but also lost wages through the injury, accident or malpractice. If the sole earning member of the family passes away due to a medical error, the family will be affected due to financial insecurity and compensation can be ordered as a result of such economic loss.
The average payout for compensation in Texas averages around $200,000.
Check The Malpractice Requirements
A law firm will be able to guide prospective plaintiffs in the requirements for proving a medical malpractice lawsuit and – again – different states will have different rules.
The rules in Texas, for instance, provide for a malpractice lawsuit for “treatment, lack of treatment or other claimed departure from accepted standards of medical care” that result in injury or death to the patient.” Negligence is always the key ingredient in establishing a successful claim for medical malpractice.
Before bringing a claim it is also important to ensure that you are within the appropriate time limits. In Texas, for instance, there is a statute of limitations that includes various time limits for the filing of medical malpractice claims, which must be filed within two years of the incident, or for two years after the end of any hospitalization when the alleged malpractice occurred.
Those who are involved are entitled to obtain the medical records of the claimant bringing the claim, which must legally be supplied to them within 45 days of their request under Texas law. There is also a need to respond to interrogatories (questions) relating to the alleged malpractice.
Texas joins 21 other states which have what is called the ’51 bar rule’, which involves the injured or damaged party being unable to recover damages if they are 51 per cent or more at fault for the injury or injuries they have sustained. There is different language used and there are different permutations of this rule in other states. However, in Texas at least, the “plaintiff may find his damages reduced by his portion of fault.”
You can get legal consultation and assistance on medical malpractice lawyer in sugar land Texas and you should ensure that any attorney representing you in these matters has appropriate experience and knowledge. Ensuring there is litigation of similar cases is important and particularly cases involving similar misadventures and possessing appropriate expertise in handling such claims, advising on the overall costs, time frames and the permutations involved in pushing such a claim with its various complexities, deadlines and other such factors.
The actual variety of claims is considerable, including matters like the following –
- Inappropriate treatment – Often hospitals make patients go through certain procedures that are not effective or irrelevant for their disease, and these treatments are expensive. Hospital administration of doctors might also continue expensive and unnecessary treatment to incur sizeable legal bills.
- Birth injuries – There can be a significant number of birth injuries, caused due to faulty childbirth procedures or mishandling the delivery on the part of the hospital. It can cause pregnancy issues, a stillborn child, brain death of the baby, Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy, and others.
- Negligence of the hospital staff – For critical care patients, after-care becomes one of the most important facts in treatment. Ward boys or nurses need to give the medication on time, check the oxygen level, and provide saline and others.
In case, the staff is negligent in carrying out their duties properly, it might lead to slow degradation of the patient’s condition leading up to death.
- Wrong medication – Providing wrong medication or wrong doses of medication can equally turn out to be deadly and is a regular cause of death or injury and a multitude of malpractice claims.
- Negligence on following up – Healthcare professionals often neglect patients’ complaints about certain pain or dysfunction. Tests are given, but they fail to act on the test results at an appropriate time. This might lead to paralysis, brain damage, or any other health issue.
- Unnecessary or faulty operations – Inefficient doctors have also been known to perform surgeries on the wrong part of the body and cause more damage than cure.
- Leaving outside objects inside patients’ bodies during surgeries – This is one of the outrageous cases of medical negligence. It causes more suffering to the patients which their bodies might not be able to take at that point.
Medical malpractice cases have increased in the past few years. In fact, in 2016, after heart issues and cancer, medical malpractice was listed as the third cause behind the death of patients. Thus, legal guidance at every step is necessary against medical malpractice or faults from lawyers.
However, it should also be noted that an unsatisfactory outcome from treatment is not considered as medical malpractice. If you have suffered due to medical negligence, consult a reputed lawyer firm in Texas and know what options are available to you.
The different rules applicable to different states for medical malpractice is vital to understand before launching a medical malpractice claim. In Texas, the time frame restrictions and deadlines are a key to these requirements. There are a variety of steps and guidelines that are involved to successfully prosecute such a case and failing to meet them can result in the end of any such claim.
Source: Abraham Watkins, Houston