Everybody makes mistakes. It’s okay – humans are not expected to be perfect. However, when we put our lives in the hands of healthcare professions we do expect that they adhere to a reasonable standard of care (that of a reasonably prudent healthcare professional).
When our health is at risk we are forced to put our trust in medical professionals. When you or a loved one is sick, there’s an understanding that the person in charge will fulfill their responsibilities and avoid unnecessary risk.
When injuries to patients occur because of hospital negligence, hospitals or medical professionals may be held liable. If you suspect this has happened with you or your family, consider these four facts about hospital negligence.
1. There are different areas of hospital neglect.
Hospital negligence is a comprehensive term for any kind of medical malpractice that was caused by a hospital staff member. It can stem from an injury caused by a physician, midlevel provider, nurse, medical assistant, technician, or any other staff member including a few of the following instances:
- Failure to monitor
- Failure to follow up the chain of command
- Failure to carry out a doctor’s orders
- Failure to document accurate care
- Mistakes in procedure or medication
- Failure to provide the basic care required to maintain or improve a patient’s health condition
- Neglect and/or physical abuse
Systemic negligence by the hospital includes failure to maintain sufficient policies and procedures to their staff, failure to provide an adequate number of functioning equipment, and failure to provide adequate staffing, training and supervision. Potential claims may include advertising for services the hospital/ facility is unable to render.
2. Doctors are not typically hospital employees.
Hospitals are usually not liable for the medical malpractice of doctors -- most doctors are independent contractors. However, exceptions do occur where a doctor may be considered a hospital employee. If the doctor is not a hospital employee, you may need to bring your medical malpractice claim directly against the doctor rather than the facility. That it is why it’s important for you to choose a law firm with the experience and know-how to investigate what potential parties may need to be included as part of the potential claims.
3. The medical malpractice law in Texas makes medical malpractice claims extremely onerous, expensive, and time consuming
Medical malpractice cases face numerous obstacles, such as:
- Meeting a wide number of procedural requirements, such as notice letters and preliminary expert reports
- Retaining a preliminary expert can be costly
- Wide-varying statute of limitation exceptions, depending on what faulty party may be to blame
- Wrongful death caps on damages
- Discovery limitations
- Non-economic caps on damage--- this particularly hurts those who commonly are without much in the way of economic damages (lost wages), like minors and the elderly.
Few healthcare professionals will acknowledge they made a mistake, and if they do document such an accident/incident, the accident/incident report will be withheld from the family.
Medical malpractice is a specialized area, and it’s critical you find a qualified lawyer to handle the…
- Vast case law and statutes dictating the course of medical malpractice litigation
- Complicated medical evidence
- Insurance company pressure
- Necessity of medical experts
- High cost of litigation
4. There’s a time limit to file a claim.
Texas imposes strict statutory time limits in filing lawsuits. In most medical malpractice suits the suit must be filed within two years of the date of the negligent act with very few exceptions. However, in certain instances, the statute may be even shorter because certain entities require notice of a potential lawsuit within six months. It is important to choose an attorney with an understanding of how to figure out which parties may be to blame and which statutes of limitation may apply in order to preserve your rights.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of hospital negligence, contact a lawyer that will help you navigate a hospital negligence case . Consultation service from the Maloney Attorneys is free.