Pearland Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When you go to a doctor for treatment, you expect to receive appropriate care for your condition. Of course, doctors are still human, which means they can and will make mistakes. If such mistakes make your condition worse or lead to further injury, however, you may have a claim for medical malpractice.
Negligence by health care providers are governed by a number of specific laws in Texas that can easily frustrate someone who does not understand the rules. An experienced Pearland medical malpractice lawyer can help you bridge this gap. Attorney Keith B. French is an experienced litigator who has represented many clients in seeking damages against negligent doctors and other health care providers whose actions have harmed their patients.
Understanding Texas Laws Governing Malpractice Claims
As previously mentioned, medical malpractice claims need to follow a number of specific laws. The first such law is the statute of limitations. Texas imposes a two-year time limit to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. This clock usually starts running on the date of the act of malpractice itself. In cases where a doctor provided a course of treatment over a period of time, the date of the final treatment is generally treated as the start of the two-year limitations period.
A prospective medical malpractice plaintiff must also provide written notice of their claim to the health provider in advance of any lawsuit. This notice must be sent by certified mail at least 60 days before a case is filed. This notice is designed to give the health care provider an opportunity to investigate the malpractice allegations and potentially negotiate a settlement.
Another requirement is the need for the plaintiff to obtain an “expert report” with respect to each medical malpractice defendant. Basically, a qualified expert must provide a written opinion explaining how the defendant failed to meet the applicable standard of care for their profession–and how that failure harmed the plaintiff. The Texas legislature recently amended the law in this area to enable plaintiffs to seek a “preliminary determination” from a judge as to whether an expert report is actually necessary for their particular claims.
Finally, even if a medical malpractice case goes to trial and results in a jury verdict for the plaintiff, Texas law limits the recovery of “non-economic damages,” which are meant to provide compensation for pain and suffering and other difficult to measure losses. The current cap is $250,000 per claimant against a single health care provider or $500,000 per claimant if there are multiple defendants. A single institution’s liability–i.e., a hospital–is also limited to $250,000. These limits do not apply, however, to economic damages, which include measurable losses like medical bills and lost income.
Contact Keith B. French Law Today
As you can see, medical malpractice claims are quite complex in terms of the laws involved. So it is in your best interest to work with a skilled Pearland medical malpractice lawyer if you are thinking about taking legal action against a doctor or other health care provider. Contact Keith B. French Law, PLLC, today to schedule a free consultation.