Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Do You Need a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
If you suspect you or someone you loved was seriously injured due to medical negligence, you should consult a medical malpractice lawyer immediately. A study performed by researchers at John Hopkins University determined that 251,454 people die annually due to medical error. This makes medical malpractice the third leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease and cancer. Car accidents account for 136,053 deaths a year. That is almost twice as many people killed by medical malpractice than car accidents.
Sure everyone makes mistakes, but when a doctor makes one on you—well, you could face serious consequences. If you have been injured due to a preventable mistake on the part of your health care provider, call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., right now at (713) 932-0777. The clock is running out on your claim.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider fails to follow the accepted standards of care while treating a patient and causes a foreseeable injury. Some examples of specific medical malpractice claims include:
- Surgical Errors
- Childbirth Injuries
- Failure to Diagnose/Misdiagnosis Claims
- Failure to Monitor After Surgery
Do I Need to Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
It is absolutely critical that you hire a qualified medical malpractice attorney. Tort reform in the United States over the past 20 years has drastically changed the way medical malpractice law is handled in this country. There are many requirements that are time-sensitive. Failure to meet them can result in your claim being dismissed and forever barred.
In the State of Texas, these claims now file under the category of health care liability claims. In every jurisdiction the rules and requirements on how to file a medical malpractice claim are different. If you fail to file a report timely in some jurisdictions, like Texas, your case will be dismissed and forever barred, even if you don’t know the rules. Therefore it is critical that you have a medical malpractice lawyer on your side who knows the rules and knows how to protect your rights so that your valid claim does not become the next victim of tort reform.
Medical Malpractice Traps
In an effort to reduce and control the rising cost of medical care, many states have imposed substantial restrictions upon medical malpractice lawsuits. Because of this, there are many traps and pitfalls that an unwary victim and/or unskilled attorney may fall into when trying to bring a medical malpractice claim against a negligent doctor or hospital. Some of these pitfalls include:
- Expert Report. In many jurisdictions, like Texas, there is a certain time frame in which you are required to file a detailed report by a medical expert that clearly demonstrates the standard of care that was violated and how it was violated. In the State of Texas, you are required to obtain and file this report within 120 days after filing a lawsuit involving any healthcare liability claims, including medical malpractice. Your failure to file a report by a qualified expert that meets the minimum criteria, within 120 days, will result in your case being dismissed and your claim being forever barred. This is what is known as a Chapter 74 Report in Texas.
- Notice Requirements. There are very strict notice requirements imposed upon persons bringing health care liability claims against medical providers. Failure to give timely notice may result in your claim being delayed or barred.
- State Notice Requirements. If your negligent medical provider works for or is a state, city or county hospital or medical clinic then you must meet the strict notice requirements of the state tort claims act that apply to your cause of action.
- Damage Caps. Many states have passed legislation placing caps on the total amount of damages you can recover from any single medical provider as a result of a health care liability or medical malpractice claim. In the State of Texas, you may be capped at as little as $250,000 per negligent medical professional. While this may not seem like a small amount, the cost of bringing a medical malpractice claim can often run over $100,000, thereby making these claims unfeasible for attorneys and clients to invest the money and time into.
- County Hospital Caps. County hospitals often have lower damage caps under their respective state’s tort claims act. In the State of Texas, a county hospital’s maximum liability is $100,000.
- Statute of Limitations. Medical Malpractice Statute of limitations vary from state to state. Many states have created specific rules governing when a medical malpractice claim may be brought, further restricting the timing of filing these claims. This can be particularly troublesome when the negligence is such that you don’t discover the damage done, until years later. For example, a medical device left inside a patient or a medication that has long term effects.
Each of the pitfalls listed above can destroy an otherwise valid medical malpractice claim. It is important that you hire a medical malpractice lawyer who understands these pitfalls and can help you navigate them to the fullest extent possible under the law.
Take the First Step to Obtaining Restitution Today
If you have been injured due to medical negligence, you need a medical malpractice lawyer fighting for your rights as soon as possible. We offer free consultations on medical malpractice claims. Call (713) 932-0777 for your free consultation.
Depending upon the nature of the case, some cases are likely to be referred to another attorney for handling–with the client’s permission.
Review: 5/5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ” I had a great experience with Simmons and Fletcher. Sharon Simmons Cantrell did an exceptional job on my case. She was attentive and sweet and fought hard for me. I would recommend her and the entire firm to anyone. Thank you for all you did for me!”-Sandra W., actual client.
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