When we pay a visit to the doctor, we generally do not expect them to leave us worse off than before. Instead, we trust them to care for our health and wellbeing, surrendering to their better judgment. Unfortunately, not every health care provider deserves that trust and at times patients suffer severe injuries as a result of substandard care. If you suffered harm at the hands of a negligent medical professional, you have a right to pursue fair and just compensation. At Haines Law, P.C., our Pasadena medical malpractice attorneys are dedicated to fighting on behalf of the wrongfully injured and will do what is necessary to achieve the best results for your case. To get started or learn more about filing an injury claim, contact our Pasadena injury lawyers today.
Defining Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider causes harm to a patient during treatment. For a patient to have a valid medical malpractice claim, however, it must be proven that the health care provider’s actions were negligent.
Medical negligence is generally defined as:
- There was a duty to which the medical professional owed his or her patient
- There was a breach of duty
- The breach of duty caused harm to the patient
- The injury sustained resulted in damages
Texas Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims
A statute of limitations exists in every state, which designates a limited time frame in which an individual may file a claim due to negligence. In Texas, the statute of limitations is two years, starting on the date the injury was sustained. As a Pasadena medical malpractice lawyer will explain, if a claim is not filed within the set time frame, your case will not be heard.
Texas also has a statute of repose for medical malpractice lawsuits. According to this statute, no matter when the injury was discovered or should have been discovered, the case must be brought to court within ten years, beginning on the date the negligent act occurred. If a case is filed more than ten years after the date of the injury, it will likely be dismissed.
In some cases, it is not always easy to detect an injury. For example, if you underwent a surgical procedure and an instrument was accidentally left inside of your body, you could likely go on for some time without ever realizing an error was made. For cases such as this, the statute of limitations would begin on the date when the patient should have reasonably discovered the injury.
Texas Caps on Non-Economic Damages
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, one can recover both economic damages (which does not have a cap) and non-economic damages (which does have a cap). Economic damages cover one’s financial losses, such as medical bills and lost wages. Pain, suffering, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, and stress all fall under the non-economic damages umbrella that a Pasadena medical malpractice lawyer can take into account.
Notice of Requirements and Expert Reports
Before one can bring a medical malpractice lawsuit to court in Texas, the plaintiff must first provide written notice of the claim to all healthcare providers named in the lawsuit at least 60 days prior to filing the case. It must also be sent via certified mail, return receipt requested.
Additionally, Texas also requires that the injured patient provide an expert report, much like an affidavit of merit, within 120 days of filing the lawsuit. This expert report must summarize the following:
- The expert’s qualified opinion regarding the standard of care
- How the defendant failed to meet the standard of care
- The causal relationship between failing to meet the standard of care and the patient’s injuries
If the expert’s report is not filed within 120 days of the lawsuit’s commencement, it is possible that the court will dismiss the case.
Seek the Services of a Pasadena Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you suffered an injury at the hands of a negligent medical professional, it is imperative that you do not wait to bring your case to court. At Haines Law, P.C., our team of Pasadena medical malpractice attorneys is battle-tested and trial-ready. We will use our knowledge, experience, and insight to ensure you are able to obtain the compensation you need and deserve during this difficult time.