MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

Medical Malpractice: Did it Happen to You?

Submitted by jrlaw on Dec 27th, 2011

Texas has limitations on how long you have to decide whether or not you want to pursue a medical malpractice suit against a physician. This means that it's imperative for you to speak with an attorney about pursuing one of these lawsuits so that you don't run out of time. Most of the time, patients who have been the victims of medical negligence hesitate because they're not sure whether or not what happened to them actually constitutes something that can be sued over.

Physician Negligence Claims and Legal Reforms

Submitted by jrlaw on Dec 27th, 2011

One of the most consistent parts of the debate over the cost of healthcare has to do with the cost of medical malpractice insurance. Insurance companies and doctors, in some cases, claim that the threat of being sued causes them to raise their rates and that capping the amount of damages that a person can receive due to a medical malpractice claim is a way to remedy the skyrocketing costs of healthcare. Attempts to change the law to accommodate this have been tried in Texas and other states. Results have not panned out the way advocates claimed they would, in most cases.

Malpractice and Nurses

Submitted by jrlaw on Dec 27th, 2011

If you're in the hospital for any length of time, nurses will likely provide the majority of your care. Doctors come in and out to make certain that you're doing okay but, by and large, you will see a nurse more than you will see any other staff member at the hospital, in all likelihood. In some cases, these nurses are negligent in ways that make them vulnerable to being sued for medical malpractice. There's a big difference, however, between suing a doctor and going after a nurse who was negligent in their duties.

What Is Malpractice Law About?

Submitted by jrlaw on Nov 21st, 2011

Malpractice law exists to make sure that patients who have been wronged by a medical professional have a means of getting compensated. There are certain obligations that a doctor has to their patients that make the doctor/patient relationship different than the relationship between any other professional and the person that they serve. Physician malpractice can have consequences such as missed time at work, increased medical expenses and disfigurement. It can also sometimes kill people.

What Malpractice Attorneys Handle

Medical malpractice attorneys handle cases where people have been the victims of a breach of duty on the part of their doctors. Some of these cases are filed in the pursuit of very large rewards and others are smaller, simply being attempts to get compensated for unnecessary medical expenses. Depending upon what happened in your case, your attorney will recommend an amount you should seek in damages. One of the services that attorneys provide, in fact, is helping you to determine what would be just compensation for what you’ve been put through.

A malpractice lawsuit will have to prove that the doctor was negligent, so the attorney will have to investigate the circumstances that caused you to seek them out thoroughly. Your attorney will have the resources required to get this work done.

Is Failure to Diagnose Considered Malpractice?

Submitted by jrlaw on Nov 21st, 2011

When they deliver care, a doctor is expected to maintain a certain level of competence. When they fail in this regard, they can sometimes be held liable for being negligent and there may be a chance that you could win a lawsuit that could help you recover damages.

Failing to diagnose a condition is sometimes considered an act of medical malpractice. If you go to the doctor with a specific complaint and that complaint doesn't trigger an appropriate investigation on the part of the doctors, you might find yourself in a situation where their failure to diagnose your condition ends up causing you further suffering. This is the basis for suing doctors for this type of negligence.

Here is an example that most people will easily understand. If you went into a doctor complaining of a cough, fever, difficulty breathing and a feeling of congestion in your chest, the doctor could be expected to take certain actions. They might check your breathing for rattles, for instance, or they might take a chest x-ray if they were particularly worried about something. In any case, such complaints merit investigation.

If the doctor simply told you to go home, drink liquids and sleep it off without taking a look at your respiratory health, you could get sicker in such a situation. You might have pneumonia or bronchitis, either of which can be very serious, even life-threatening illnesses. If the doctor didn't make an effort, you got sick and were seriously injured because of it, you might have a case.

Should You File a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Submitted by jrlaw on Oct 28th, 2011

To get the most accurate answer to the question of whether or not to sue for medical malpractice, you have to talk to an attorney. There are some things you can think about yourself, however, and you may find that some of the answers you have lead you to an attorney's office.

Did My Doctor Do Something Wrong and Did I Suffer from It?

Medical malpractice means that the doctor did something or didn't do something and, because of that, you suffered some sort of injury. The injury could have been financial, such as lost wages from missing work during your convalescence. Pain and suffering are usually a part of a medical malpractice lawsuit. These are legitimate grounds to sue, so you may want to consider them in your claim.

Did My Doctor Miss Something and Did I Suffer from That?

Failure to diagnose is a very common reason that people sue for malpractice. Not every condition can be found before it becomes a serious problem, or even a threat to a patient's life. Some conditions, however, are missed when they definitely should have been caught. When this happens, the patient may suffer worsening health, or even more catastrophic issues because of having not been diagnosed in a timely or accurate fashion.

Was the Healthcare Facility to Blame?

You can also sue healthcare facilities for negligent healthcare. This works a bit differently. Your attorney will guide you through the process if it seems more likely that the healthcare facility was negligent than it does that the doctor was negligent.

Time Limits on Medical Malpractice

Submitted by jrlaw on Oct 28th, 2011

Texas has a statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. You generally cannot sue any later than two years after the doctor breached their duties to you. This means that it's always best to act fast if you believe that you have been the victim of malpractice. To determine if you have been victimized by a negligent doctor, you need to talk to an attorney.

Texas Malpractice Lawsuits

Any medical malpractice claim filed in Texas has to meet certain criteria. It's one of the states where malpractice lawyers have to be very good at what they do to get results. For that reason, you'll want to make sure that you hire lawyers who have a lot of experience in winning lawsuits against doctors and hospitals.

Lawyers with experience dealing with Texas medical malpractice laws will be able to determine why you have a claim better than will those who lack that experience. You'll want not only experience, however. You'll want to make sure that the experience translates to case that the lawyer has actually won. If they've brought a lot of cases but haven't won a lot of claims, it might be best to look elsewhere.

Intimidation and Medical Malpractice Claims

Submitted by jrlaw on Oct 28th, 2011

One of the things that sometimes make people forego filing a medical malpractice claim is intimidation. After all, most people really have very little knowledge of medicine. This can make it seem like you might just be off base when you suspect that a doctor or a hospital treated you improperly and, therefore, was somehow responsible for some of the suffering you went through. Speaking to an attorney is a good way to resolve any questions that you have in your head, but here are some other answers that you might find useful.

Do I Have to Study a Condition to Know if Malpractice Happened?

No. You do not have to be an expert in back injuries, for example, to talk with an attorney about a surgery that you believe gave you a back injury. The attorney won't be interested in your medical expertise. The attorney will want to know the circumstances of your story. They'll determine whether there's a medical malpractice claim there based on what you have to say, no matter how much you know about medicine.

Has it Been too Long to File?

If it's still within 2 years of the date that you believe that the malpractice occurred, you can still sue. There are other circumstances where this date may be extended a bit, as well, so be sure to speak with an attorney. If you believed that a doctor caused you injury long ago, however, you may well not be able to sue them in Texas.

Doctor With Medical Malpractice History Practicing in Texas

Submitted by jrlaw on Aug 31st, 2011
A doctor in Corpus Christi has been brought to trial on a charge that involves malpractice. According to KRISTV.com, this doctor already had a history of these claims in Minnesota before he came to practice medicine in Texas
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The doctor, Stefan Konasiewicz had already been sanctioned by the medical board in Minnesota. In 2007, he was sanctioned by that board for unethical and unprofessional conduct, KRISTV.com reports, drawing from a story in the Duluth News Tribune. The doctor was working at the South Texas Brain and Spine Center.
 
The Texas Medical Board, however, doesn't report that they have anything on Konasiewicz. The article reports that the doctor was ordered by the Minnesota board to be supervised by a mentor but that the requirement doesn't apply in Texas.
 
Differences in States
 
States all have their own regulatory agencies for doctors and the requirements do change from state to state. Texas, since 2003, has had a “damage cap” on medical malpractice lawsuits. This “damage cap” limits the rights of patients to receive compensation and was created as a way to reduce the cost of healthcare; even though that has not been the case in many years.
 

Medical Malpractice: Answers to Your Questions

Submitted by jrlaw on Aug 31st, 2011
If you're considering filing a medical malpractice claim, you'll want to learn a bit about the process and how the law works to protect you against doctors that don’t discharge their duties properly. This starts with learning about what a doctor owes you when they take you on as a patient.
 
Doctor's Duties
 
A doctor has an obligation to provide you with competent medical care at every step. They also have an obligation to diagnose disorders that you suffer with competently so that you have access to the proper treatments. There are cases where treatments don't work and there are some conditions that cannot be treated effectively, of course, but unless this is the case the doctor does owe you good care.
 
Medical malpractice suits allege that the doctor breached this duty to you in some way. Your lawyer will argue your case and try to establish to the jury that your doctor was negligent in some regard. If the jury agrees with your claim, they can opt to award you a sum of money. It may not be the total amount you're seeking, or the jury may deny your claim altogether but it all depends on how they view the situation.
 
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