Houston Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical Malpractice & Negligence in Texas
Doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other healthcare providers have a responsibility to provide patients with an acceptable level of care. When they are negligent or engage in wrongful conduct, patients can suffer severe injuries, life-threatening complications, or death.
If you or someone you love was affected by medical negligence, Vaughan Legal Trial Team can help. Our Houston medical malpractice attorney, Jeffery Vaughan, has more than 20 years of trial experience and has recovered over $100 million for his clients. We represent individuals and families throughout Texas who have been affected by substandard medical care and professional negligence.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider, such as a doctor or an emergency room, fails to uphold the “accepted standard of care.” The accepted standard of care is the level of treatment one could expect from any qualified healthcare provider in the same or similar circumstances. If your medical provider did anything that a qualified provider would not have done, or failed to do something that another provider would have done in the same situation, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice case.
To prove your medical malpractice claim, you will need to establish the following elements:
- Duty of Care: You must prove that your doctor owed you a duty of care, meaning they had a legal responsibility to provide you with treatment that met the accepted standard of care. In most cases, establishing the existence of a doctor-patient relationship proves an implied duty of care.
- Breach: Next, you must prove that your healthcare provider breached the accepted standard of care, meaning they failed to provide the same level of care another qualified healthcare professional would have provided in the same or similar circumstances.
- Injury: You will also need to prove that you were injured and/or suffered measurable damages, such as additional medical expenses, lost income, or pain and suffering. Even if a doctor or another healthcare professional was clearly negligent, if you were not injured or did not sustain damages, you do not have a case.
- Causation: Lastly, you must prove that the healthcare provider’s failure to uphold the accepted standard of care was the direct or proximate cause of your injuries. This is often one of the most difficult elements to prove in a medical malpractice case.
Simply proving that you did not get better after being treated by a doctor—or even that your condition worsened—is not enough. Instead, you must prove that your provider was somehow negligent in order to have a medical malpractice claim.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice
There are many examples of medical malpractice, but some of the most common include:
- Failure to diagnose
- Delayed diagnosis
- Failure to treat
- Delayed treatment
- Surgical errors
- Medication mistakes
- Anesthesia errors
- Birth injuries
- Emergency room/hospital negligence
- Hospital-acquired infections
If you or someone you love has been affected by any type of medical negligence, reach out to our Houston medical malpractice attorney. At Vaughan Legal Trial Team, we can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Damages in Texas Medical Malpractice Cases
Like other types of personal injury claims, medical malpractice claims allow victims to seek both compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are meant to compensate victims for specific losses, whereas punitive damages focus on the defendant’s wrongdoing.
There are two types of compensatory damages:
- Economic: Economic damages, or “special damages,” are losses associated with a specific monetary value. Examples include medical expenses, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket costs associated with the victim’s injuries.
- Non-Economic: Non-economic damages, or “general damages,” are more intangible than economic damages. They include losses that do not have a definitive monetary value, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of life enjoyment.
Texas is one of several states to impose caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. For medical malpractice claims against a single healthcare provider, such as a physician, Texas has a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages per claimant. In cases involving multiple healthcare providers/institutions, Texas imposes a $500,000 total cap per claimant for non-economic damages. Additionally, state law prohibits any single medical provider or institution from paying more than $250,000 in non-economic damages per claimant.
You Have Limited Time to File a Texas Medical Malpractice Claim
In addition to a two-year statute of limitations on nearly all medical malpractice lawsuits, the state of Texas has a “statute of repose” that prohibits anyone from bringing a medical malpractice case more than 10 years after the date on which medical negligence occurred. While the two-year statute of limitations may be deferred from the date on which an injury was discovered (or reasonably could have been discovered), the date of repose requires you to file your lawsuit within 10 years, regardless of when you discovered the injury or sought treatment.
Additionally, there are many requirements involved in filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas. You must provide written notice (by certified mail) to each named defendant at least 60 days before filing your lawsuit. You must also provide authorization to release certain protected health information so that an investigation may begin. Additionally, Texas medical malpractice cases require you to serve an “expert report” on each medical provider named in the suit within 120 days of filing.
For all these reasons, and due to the complexity of these cases, it is critical that you work with an experienced attorney. At Vaughan Legal Trial Team, we can handle the legal details of your case so that you can focus on your physical recovery. Our Houston medical malpractice attorney is a dedicated advocate for the injured and is here to guide you through the legal process.
No Fees Unless We Win—Call Today
Vaughan Legal Trial Team offers all personal injury and medical malpractice services on a contingency fee basis. This means that you only pay attorney fees if/when we recover a settlement or verdict for you.
We are committed to being highly accessible to our clients, providing consistent and clear communication every step of the way. You will be directly connected with your attorney and receive personalized and compassionate support from our entire team.