Every year, thousands of deaths are caused by medical errors and negligence. It is important to hold healthcare providers and medical facilities to high standards of care. If there are no consequences for neglect or mistakes in healthcare, future patients could be injured by the same mistakes. Assert your legal right to be compensated for injuries caused by medical malpractice, by utilizing the expertise of medical malpractice attorneys. An experienced Dallas medical malpractice lawyer can help protect your legal rights and the safety of other potential innocent victims.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Personal injuries are usually the result of negligence. Negligence can cause many different types of accidents: car crashes, workplace accidents, and construction accidents are some of the most common. When negligence is committed by a professional healthcare provider, this is known as medical malpractice. Medical malpractice can be committed by a dentist, surgeon, physical therapist, nurse, physician’s assistant, nursing assistant, or any other healthcare provider.
So how do you know if a medical provider was negligent? Providers must meet a standard of care, and failure to meet this standard is negligence. The standard of care that must be met is that of the “reasonably prudent healthcare provider of similar education and experience.” So if, for example, you were injured by a new nurse’s aide who didn’t know how to properly take a blood pressure reading, the standard of care would only be the level of care that a newly certified nurse’s aide should render. But if you are injured during a complex operation performed by a world-renowned surgeon, the standard of care is much higher. The surgeon will be held to the same standard of care that another highly skilled, highly qualified surgeon would render if he or she were reasonably prudent.
The question of negligence is extremely complicated when it comes to medical malpractice cases. Your attorney will almost certainly have to consult with medical expert witnesses to determine whether your provider’s care met the hypothetical “standard of care.” These medical opinions can vary. In most cases, the plaintiff will present an expert who says the standard of care was not met, while the defense will present an equally qualified expert whose opinion is that the standard of care was met. In these situations, it is left to a jury to determine whether the provider’s care was negligent. The few cases in which there is little room for argument – for example, if the wrong arm is taken off during an amputation procedure – almost always settle out of court without the need for expert witness testimony.
What Compensation is Available in a Malpractice Claim?
In any personal injury claim – including medical malpractice – you will have tangible losses and intangible losses. Your tangible losses are those that can be proven with receipts and documentation. This includes your medical bills (and any related costs, such as over the counter medications, or assistive devices like a walker or a cane). Your lost wages are also a tangible loss that can be proven with documentation from your employer. Often, this is a simple calculation of your missed hours times your hourly rate. It can be more complicated in situations where you are unable to return to work, or can only return to work at reduced hours or in a reduced capacity. In these cases, your attorney may need to hire an expert witness to testify about the projected decrease in your future earning potential.
In addition to these tangible losses, you will also have intangible losses related to your injuries. These are often broadly referred to as your “pain and suffering.” While your physical pain and suffering are included, there are many other losses that are covered, too. What about the emotional suffering of being unable to pick up your child? What if you are unable to return to work and lose the pride and sense of identity that come with a satisfying career? What about the loss of enjoyment of life that comes with being unable to enjoy a hobby or sport? All of these are very real losses that impact your quality of life. They are subject to compensation in any type of personal injury claim – including a medical malpractice case.
Call Us Today to Speak with Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Dallas, TX
Medical malpractice can be a complicated legal issue. You don’t have to face the situation alone: with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer on your side, you can be sure that someone is protecting your legal rights. The Dallas personal injury attorneys at the Jackman Personal Injury have extensive experience with medical malpractice cases. They can help you assert your legal right to compensation and protect other future patients from being harmed. Call (972) 961-2707 to schedule your consultation today.