Medical Malpractice Lawyer Arlington, TX

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Medical malpractice can result in further injury, emotional trauma, lost time and compensation at work, and higher medical bills. If you think you or a loved one were the victim of malpractice, you should consult with an experienced Arlington, TX medical malpractice lawyer to understand what your legal options are. Call our staff at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC to set up a free consultation with our experienced team. Our firm has years of experience representing people  harmed by the negligent actions of medical professionals. We can assess whether your case is likely to be successful, and if so we will help you navigate the often complicated legal process. 

Are You the Victim of Medical Malpractice?

In order to determine whether you have been a victim, you first need to know the different types of medical practice. There are many different forms. A few common ones include:

Misdiagnosis | When a doctor incorrectly diagnoses a person or doesn’t provide them a diagnosis resulting in improper or no treatment, it is called a misdiagnosis. In this scenario, the provider did not provide the universal standard of care – the type of care a similarly trained provider would give in the same scenario. Some common conditions that are misdiagnosed include depression, stroke, heart attack, and cancer. 

Surgical Errors | Harm from a poorly executed surgery can result in long lasting consequences for the patient and may even lead to death.  If a surgeon operates on the wrong part of the body, performs the wrong procedure, uses unsanitary techniques or instruments, or doesn’t provide adequate patient care, they can be found guilty of malpractice. Speaking with a medical malpractice lawyer in Arlington, TX from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC can explain whether you should pursue damages. 

Medication Errors | Patients harmed by a medication prescribed by a provider or pharmacist can seek compensation. Examples include when a provider doesn’t factor in other medications a patient is already taking, a pharmacist issues the wrong dose, or a nurse uses the wrong kind of medication for treatment. 

Anesthesia Injuries | Anesthesia is used to keep patients safe during surgeries, but there are risks. If an anesthetist makes a mistake it can result in paralysis, brain damage, or other irreversible damage. Common mistakes include miscalculating the dose, not monitoring the patient’s vitals during the procedure, and not properly assessing the patient’s risk factors.

A Lawyer Can Support You

A skilled medical malpractice lawyer will review your case with you. If after this discussion you want to proceed, they will begin collecting evidence. They will gather and analyze your medical records, take depositions from medical professionals, find medical experts to testify on your behalf, and obtain objective, third-party review of your medical condition. They will then develop trial strategies and litigate on your behalf. 

How Long Will a Medical Malpractice Case Take? 

For starters, it’s important to know the statute of limitations when it comes to medical malpractice. In Texas, the victim has two years from the believed act of negligence to bring the lawsuit to court. Additionally, before the claim can be filed Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code section 74.051 requires that the plaintiff provide a written notice to every health care provider in the lawsuit. 

They must do so at least 60 days before the case is initially filed and this process must be done via mail with a return receipt request. Along with this, the patient (usually with help from their attorney) must also attach an “authorization form for release of protected health information” so that the healthcare provider is able to investigate their claims. 

Lastly, the patient/and/or attorney must also serve an expert report within a time span of 120 days of filing the lawsuit. The report will summarize the patient’s case and include details such as a qualified expert’s opinion. Failure to file this report within 120 days of the lawsuit beginning can result in the entire case being dismissed.  

Even when filing everything on time medical malpractice cases can be lengthy and can depend upon the severity of the negligence/injuries sustained. For example, cases with more severe damages are often lengthier. It’s not unusual for trials to be scheduled a year after cases are filed and while some medical providers will try to settle before the case reaches the court this isn’t always the reality. As such, a medical malpractice lawsuit may take anywhere from a year to two years before reaching a final settlement. 

Non-Economic Damages in Medical Malpractice 

Many states include a legislative cap on medical malpractice damages and this includes Texas. However, in Texas, this cap is for non-economic damages only. Non-economic compensation refers to subjective factors such as pain and suffering, anxiety and stress, losing fulfillment in life, etc. Conversely, economic damages would refer to medical bills and lost wages which have no specific limit in Texas. 

For non-economic damages, however, this limit is $250,000 against a single healthcare provider or physician. If the case is against a multitude of healthcare institutions then this number may shoot up to $500,000. 

How Much is a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Paid? 

Unlike other legal services, a medical malpractice lawyer usually isn’t paid by the hour but is whether paid based on a contingency fee. What this means is that the lawyer will initially pay for all the upfront costs, but will get a percentage of the final settlement/court award. The beauty behind this is that since medical malpractice lawsuits are complex and costly, the plaintiff can pursue a case that otherwise would be nearly impossible to afford. The lack of affordability can particularly be amplified if the plaintiff is already dealing with medical bills/treatment. 

Call Us Today!

The sooner you hire a medical malpractice lawyer in Arlington, TX, the better. You only have a 10 year period in which you can file a malpractice lawsuit. These cases can be complex and take time to build and waiting can lead to lost evidence, so the quicker you get a lawyer on the case, the better. Contact our staff at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC to learn what we can do to help you get the justice you deserve. 

Other Common Forms of Medical Malpractice

Contact a medical malpractice lawyer Arlington, TX residents trust from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC if you suspect your condition or injury was a result of malpractice or negligence. Medical malpractice is a general term used to describe a wide range of treatment errors that result in harm to the patient. In addition to misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication errors, and anesthesia errors as stated above, there are several other examples to be aware of that can potentially constitute a valid medical malpractice lawsuit. If you believe your injury, condition, physical, or emotional harm can be attributed to negligence on behalf of a doctor or care provider, you may be eligible to receive compensation for damages.

  • Delayed Diagnosis: When it comes to serious conditions or ailments, early detection can impact treatment outcomes. When a doctor or care provider fails to diagnose a condition, the condition may then have the opportunity to progress, or otherwise worsen. Delays in diagnosis of serious conditions, such as cancer or heart failure, means that valuable time is being wasted that could have been dedicated to treating the condition. 
  • Childbirth Injury: Preventable injuries sustained by a baby during birth are a particularly devastating form of medical malpractice. Although some childbirth injuries may be minor and easily treatable, others can have life-long ramifications and be cause for much pain and hardship for the family. 

Medical errors that are commonly associated with negligence or medical malpractice during childbirth:

  • Misuse of forceps during childbirth
  • Cesarean section errors or mistakes
  • Placental abruption or other abnormalities
  • nerve damage
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Hemorrhage of the mother (pregnancy or labor) 
  • Hospital Infections: A great deal of effort is made in reducing the risk of infection in hospitals. Unfortunately, serious infections can occur as a result of hospitalization, even with extensive infection reduction protocols. There are a few general guidelines used to qualify an infection as hospital-associated:

    • Infection identified up to 48 hours following admission to a hospital
    • Infection occurrence up to three days after discharge
    • Infection up to 30 days after surgery
    • Patient hospital admission for reasons other than infection 
  • Cancer Misdiagnosis: In some forms of cancer, early detection is essential for being able to treat it, and can contribute to a higher rate of survival. Unfortunately, when cancer is undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, the condition may progress to a point where treatment is no longer feasible. The consequences of cancer misdiagnosis can be devastating. 
  • Failure to Diagnose: Widely considered as one of the most common forms of medical malpractice, an instance of failing to diagnose a serious condition may result in serious consequences that may be life-threatening. 
  • Bedsores: When a patient who is immobile or otherwise confined to one place, such as a hospital bed, is left in one position for extended periods of time, bedsores can develop. Also referred to as pressure ulcers, bedsores can easily become infected and lead to further complications. Bedsores can also indicate other less apparent patterns of abuse and neglect in a care setting.
  • Dental malpractice: Dental malpractice is also considered to be a form of medical malpractice. Dental patients may also be vulnerable to significant harm if a dentist misdiagnoses a condition or fails to administer anesthesia correctly.

As an Arlington, TX medical malpractice lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC can empathize with, when you or a family member have been a victim of malpractice it can be a distressing, painful, and expensive experience. You may already be recovering from surgery or a serious medical condition when the injury happened. Many instances of medical malpractice don’t produce obvious symptoms right away, making it even harder to connect symptoms to some medical mistake. These common problems are why many states have generous limits on when an injured person may file a lawsuit.

Time Limits on Medical Malpractice Suits

Medical malpractice can take place in a variety of ways. Surgical mistakes and unnecessary surgeries are two common examples. Misdiagnosis of an illness, administering a drug overdose by accident, and lack of follow-up care are additional examples. Two general rules apply to medical malpractice cases. First, the clock starts running when the injury occurs. Second, almost all states allow certain exceptions to that first rule. However, all states include the simple idea that you have finite time from when you knew about the injury or reasonably would have known.

As an Arlington medical malpractice lawyer can explain to clients, the time limit on filing a claim varies by state but is usually a year or longer. Be sure to check your state’s law as soon as possible. One year can seem like a generous limit, but it isn’t always. Sometimes it takes time, even many months, to realize medical malpractice took place. Surgical instruments left inside a patient and other issues may not produce obvious symptoms at all.

Exceptions to the Time Limit Rule

Many states include one or more exceptions to their standard limit on filing a malpractice suit. Some states have a “discovery rule” which starts the clock from the time an individual discovers their injury. The logic behind this is simple – some instances of malpractice cause obvious harm and some do not. If the injury occurred while the patient was a minor, a special rule may apply. The clock may only start to run when the patient turns 18, even though their injury happened a few years ago.

Some states impose a time limit beyond which no medical malpractice claim can be made. This limit, defined by a so-called “statute of repose” may be as long as 10 years from when the injury happened or when the claimant should have known about the injury.

Discuss Your Case with a Lawyer

In cases of medical malpractice, you can’t afford to wait before discussing your case with a medical malpractice attorney. Make an appointment as soon as possible. We can imagine the stress and confusion you or your loved one may be going through at this moment. Just know that you do not have to go about this alone. If you are in need of assistance, we urge you to contact an Arlington medical malpractice lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC now.