Medical malpractice can leave you feeling like your health and your finances are out of control. Adequate compensation can help you get a sense of closure and provide the funds necessary to cover your damages. The law takes medical errors very seriously, and a personal injury lawyer in Houston, TX can potentially help you recover hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of your injuries.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Medical Malpractice Injury in Texas?
In Texas, medical professionals are held to a high standard of care with strict penalties imposed for negligence. The average settlement for a case involving a medical error is almost $200,000.
How Much Will Your Case Be Worth?
The value of your case will depend on how badly you were harmed and the skill of your attorney. In Texas, you can receive up to $250,000 for pain and suffering. The payout for medical expenses and lost wages does not have an upper limit.
What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?
If you feel you have been harmed by a medical professional, you might have grounds for a malpractice case. In the eyes of the law, your case must meet the following criteria:
There Was a Doctor-Patient Relationship
You can only hold a medical professional responsible for injuring you if he or she was providing services in a professional context at the time of the incident. In other words, if your friend is a doctor, you cannot sue him or her for casually giving you bad medical advice.
The Doctor Departed From the Standard of Care
The standard of care is an important concept in malpractice cases. It refers the treatments and protocols that people in the medical field usually apply to a given condition. In a practical sense, it outlines the most minimal level of care a doctor needs to provide for a specific illness or injury. Because every condition is handled differently, each one has its own standard of care.
There Was a Direct Causal Link Between the Doctor’s Negligence and Your Injury
When a doctor fails to treat an injury or diagnose an illness, the defense might argue that the condition was untreatable. Your lawyer needs to counter this argument by proving that your damages were the direct result of the doctor’s negligence.
You Experienced Damages
Your case needs to demonstrate exactly how your doctor’s negligent actions affected your health, finances, and other aspects of your life. The amount you receive in a settlement will be proportionate to the damages you can prove. Plaintiffs are allowed to claim:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost or reduced earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
How to Get the Most Money From a Malpractice Settlement
Suffering an injury at the hands of a medical professional is a difficult experience, and you deserve to get every penny you are entitled to receive. The costs of obtaining treatment to correct the error and address the original condition are high, as are the lost wages you might incur. Here is some advice from our legal professionals on what actions you can take to maximize your payout.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston, TX
The costly nature of malpractice claims means that doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies fight hard against paying them. When hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake, it is well worthwhile to have an experienced attorney on your team. Our firm works on a contingency basis, meaning that the legal fees you pay are contingent on the payout you receive. In other words, we get paid when you get paid.
Go to Another Doctor
As soon as you can, you should find a new doctor who can give you a second opinion and start treating your condition. Not only is proper treatment important for your health, but it will also strengthen your case by showing that you are doing everything in your power to heal your injury and get back to normal life. Additionally, the appointments, tests, and treatments will generate a body of evidence that can be used to back up your claim.
Request Your Medical Records As Soon as Possible
Your lawyer will encourage you to request your medical records at your first opportunity. Tampering with evidence is illegal, but it has been known to happen in malpractice cases. Requesting your medical records early reduces the chances that someone at the hospital will attempt to alter them.
Be Discreet About Your Case
Saying the wrong thing to the wrong person can jeopardize your claim by giving the defense words that can be spun against you. You should never openly confront the doctor who harmed you or let them know that you intend to press charges until you have spoken with a lawyer. Absolutely refrain from posting about your injuries on social media or speaking negatively about your experience in any public way.
Follow the Protocols Correctly
Medical malpractice is one of the most complex areas of the law, which is why working with a lawyer is so helpful. Any errors you commit can cause your case to be thrown out or delayed.
Seeking damages for malpractice is slightly different from submitting a regular personal injury claim. You will need to submit your case before a medical board to establish that you have adequate grounds. If you are allowed to proceed, you will need to secure the testimony of a medical expert who can speak on your behalf. Your lawyer will guide you through the legal process from start to finish, including the steps that are specific to malpractice.
The testimony of a doctor other than the one who harmed you is an essential piece of evidence, but there is more proof to be gathered. You will want to submit all records pertaining to your experience, including diagnostic tests and ongoing treatments. You will also want to show how much time you were forced to take off work and what the missed hours cost you. All of your evidence must conform to legally accepted standards.
Don’t Accept a Settlement Offer Too Quickly
A hospital might offer you a settlement very early on, before you have had the chance to talk to a lawyer. You should be aware that if you accept the offer, you will not be able to re-open the case or ask for more money, even if your treatments turn out to be more expensive than you thought. The settlement release you sign upon accepting an offer prevents you from holding the defendant liable for any future or additional damages.
Your lawyer can help you review your settlement offer and determine whether or not the amount is sufficient. If it is too low, you can negotiate for more. About 93% of the money paid to plaintiffs in malpractice cases is settled outside of court. If you are unable to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties, your lawyer can help you press charges in court.
Get a Payout That Is Proportionate to Your Damages
Compensation can never erase the wrong you experienced, but it can help you get a sense of justice as you recover. To speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Houston, TX, contact Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, today!