Common Types of Doctor and Hospital Negligence Cases

Houston Medical Malpractice Lawyer on Patient Injury and Wrongful Death

When your dry cleaner makes a mistake, you may be frustrated that your favorite outfit is ruined, but more often than not, it is a temporary issue that can be fixed. However, when doctors, nurses and hospitals make mistakes, patients and their families do not have that luxury. Instead, patients are often left to struggle with lifelong injuries, or in some cases, they lose their lives and families are left to pick up the pieces. These are not situations that can just be fixed.

Houston medical malpractice lawyer Phillip Brantley has seen the results of substandard medical care. He knows that not all medical professionals and healthcare facilities are created equal, which leads to patients suffering due to preventable mistakes. When this happens, victims and their families must fight back, both for themselves and so that the doctor, nurse or hospital responsible for their pain and suffering cannot hurt others in the same way in the future. A medical malpractice lawsuit is the best way for victims to hold negligent medical professionals and healthcare facilities accountable for their mistakes.

Differences Between Doctor and Hospital Negligence

For the most part, a healthcare facility can only be held accountable for acts of medical negligence that its employees commit, which is generally limited to hospital staff, such as nurses, medical technicians and in some cases, paramedics. However, in many instances, doctors do not actually work for the hospitals where they practice. Instead, many physicians are independent contractors, which in some cases, prevents the hospital from being held responsible for acts of doctor malpractice. However, not all doctors are independent contractors. To determine the employment status of a physician, several factors may have to be examined, including:

  • Does the hospital have a say in what rates the doctor charges his or her patients for medical services?
  • Is the hospital in charge of the hours that a physician works as well as his or her vacation time?

If the physician is found to be an employee of the hospital, then the hospital can be potentially responsible for his or her medical errors. There are also instances where a hospital can be held accountable for medical malpractice committed by a doctor who is found to be an independent contractor. In some cases, if the hospital treated the physician like an employee, then it could possibly be held responsible for his or her negligent acts.

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in Texas?

In Texas, the statute of limitation, which is the time limit for victims to pursue a medical malpractice claim, is generally two years. However, in medical malpractice cases, the date the statute starts to run may be when the person first became aware of the injury. No matter what, once you suspect something is wrong, you must speak to a lawyer as soon as you are physically able.

There are also damage caps in place in Texas regarding medical malpractice lawsuits. Damage caps limit the amount of non-economic compensation that a victim can be awarded as the result of medical malpractice suit. Non-economic compensation includes money for subjective factors, such as pain and suffering, stress, loss of enjoyment of life and anxiety. Non-economic damages in Texas are limited to $250,000 for medical malpractice judgments. In addition, in Texas, courts are required to allow defendants to pay damages of $100,000 or more in installments (also known as periodic payments).

Free Consultation with an Experienced Houston Medical Malpractice Lawyer. Se Habla Español!

For more information about doctor malpractice and hospital negligence and how we can help you, call us or fill out our online contact form to set up a free consultation with experienced Houston medical malpractice lawyer Phillip Brantley today. Se habla español.