When patients enter hospitals, they expect doctors and nurses to provide competent care. Unfortunately, mistakes can happen at any stage of the treatment process. Examples of medical malpractice include:
- Operating on the wrong patient;
- Operating on the wrong side of the patient;
- Removing the wrong organ;
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose;
- And misusing forceps or extraction vacuums during delivery.
Schedule a consultation with an Austin injury attorney by calling 512-518-4104. Until then, read on to learn about the prevalence of medical malpractice in Texas:
The Number of Medical Malpractice Claims in Texas Has Declined Since 2003
According to data on TrueCostOfHealthCare.net, there were 1,279 paid medical negligence claims in Texas in 2003. In 2014, the number had dropped below 700. Also, the payout per year had decreased by nearly $200,000,000.
How Can Patients Avoid Becoming the Victims of Medical Malpractice in Texas?
Medical malpractice takes many forms. Common causes include:
- Physician incompetence;
- Failure in communication among health-care staff;
- Poor handwriting on prescriptions;
- Drug and alcohol use by surgeons;
- And pharmacist fatigue, which can cause medication errors.
- Make sure your health-care team, which includes your primary care physician, nurses and surgeon, is communicating;
- Remind nurses and doctors to wash their hands;
- Choose a hospital or physician who specializes in treating your specific ailment;
- Read your prescription labels, paying special attention to your name, the drug name, and the expiration date;
- And appoint a primary care physician rather than seeing multiple doctors.
According to the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code section 74.251, our state has a two-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. The timeframe starts on the day that the malpractice occurred, but if you are undergoing long-term treatment, the timeframe begins when the treatment has completed. There is another “statute of repose” rule that states plaintiffs cannot file medical malpractice lawsuits after 10 years have passed since the medical negligence occurred. It may not be possible to make a claim after the statute of limitations has expired.
Making a successful medical malpractice claim is a legally complex process. It may require an independent medical examination, expert testimonies, and other evidence.
If you or a loved one sustained an injury or illness due to medical malpractice in Texas, contact the Luke Dow Law Firm. Mr. Dow is a medical malpractice attorney in Texas who can gather evidence, structure your claim, and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf.
If your case goes to trial, Mr. Dow has the litigation experience to represent your interests in court. Call 512-518-4104 to schedule a consultation.