Houston Medical Malpractice Lawyer
The Houston medical malpractice attorneys at AK Law Firm believe in holding negligent healthcare providers accountable for the harm they cause. We help injured Texans make the best legal decisions possible to rebuild their lives after medical malpractice injuries.
Thousands of people every year suffer a personal injury because their healthcare provider acted improperly. When treatment falls below the accepted standard of medical care, medical professionals may cause their patients unnecessary, serious harm.
If you suspect that a preventable medical error harmed you or your loved one, call AK Law Firm. Our Houston medical malpractice lawyers are:
We will fight aggressively for the maximum compensation available to you by law. Your consultation is free, and we never charge you unless we win.
How a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Houston Can Help
You should never bear the cost of a preventable medical error. The responsible doctor, nurse, hospital, or other medical provider acted improperly and harmed you. Texas law allows patients to file a lawsuit demanding full compensation for their expenses and losses related to the injury.
Our Houston medical malpractice attorneys at AK Law Firm will:
- Work with independent medical experts to analyze your medical records and any hospital records to determine what happened, the nature of the harm, and who was responsible
- Establish the full amount of your medical damages
- File a medical malpractice lawsuit against the careless medical provider or hospital
- Negotiate aggressively on your behalf for a fair settlement
- Take your medical malpractice case to trial if there are no acceptable settlement offers
Let a personal injury lawyer from AK Law Firm help you while you recover from your medical injury. Our medical malpractice attorneys are compassionate listeners and want to help you meet your individual recovery goals. Call our Houston trial lawyers today.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical doctor, hospital, or any medical professional deviates from what is considered the accepted standard or level of care when providing care to patients. Proving medical malpractice requires an attorney to show that the provider’s care was negligent, and their medical negligence resulted in harm or wrongful death to the patient.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
Common medical malpractice claims include the following:
- Delay or failure to diagnose a medical condition
- Delay or failure to properly treat a medical condition, such as cancer
- Errors in blood tests or other laboratory errors
- Failure to diagnose
- Nursing home abuse
- Hospital errors
- Prescribing or administering the wrong medication (medication errors)
- Improper administration or use of anesthesia
- Surgical infections
- Surgical errors
- Birth injuries
- Brain injuries or brain damage
- Failure to obtain patient consent
Compensation for Medical Malpractice
Compensation in a medical malpractice claim depends on the extent of a victim’s injuries. Medical malpractice awards may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future lost earnings
- Lost wages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Medical bills
- Accommodations for disability
- Mental and emotional trauma
There are exceptional medical malpractice cases where a doctor or healthcare provider acted so recklessly or so egregiously that the court awards punitive damages. Punitive damages are a rare form of damages meant to punish or deter future conduct.
Medical malpractice is rarely intentional. Sometimes, personal judgments lead to mistakes. However, it is unacceptable for any patient to pay for the error of a medical provider.
How Much is My Medical Malpractice Claim Worth?
After suffering from an injury due to a medical error, you may wonder how much compensation you can expect to secure from your lawsuit. The truth is that every medical malpractice claim is different, and your case value will depend on the specific losses and harm you suffered.
There are certain factors that can increase your potential settlement. If you suffer severe injuries, for example, your award will likely be higher due to the need for longer, more intensive medical care and longer periods of time off work. If the at-fault professional in your case exhibited malice or gross negligence, you may qualify for punitive damages on top of your economic and non-economic losses.
Calculating your potential award is an important step in the medical malpractice claims process. Your medical malpractice attorney will help you to evaluate your case’s potential value and enlist the help of experts who can determine your long-term needs, such as life care planners and economic specialists. These steps will ensure that you do not accept an insufficient settlement offer and that your attorney advocates for the amount you need to recover.
How Much Does a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Charge?
Suffering an injury due to a medical error can cause significant financial hardship, leading to thousands in unpaid medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. Many medical malpractice victims refrain from filing lawsuits against the professionals responsible for their injuries because of this instability.
The truth is that many medical malpractice lawyers are aware of these barriers to justice. To make medical malpractice litigation more accessible, AK Law Firm accepts all cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you only pay for our attorneys’ services unless we secure compensation on your behalf. If we do not win, you do not have to pay legal fees.
Under this arrangement, our firm assumes the risk for your case. Contingency fees also reduce your out-of-pocket costs; instead of paying for legal services outright, our Houston medical malpractice lawyers will retain an agreed-upon percentage of your final settlement as payment. The typical contingency fee is around 33%, and your attorney will inform you of the details of this arrangement beforehand.
Proving Medical Malpractice in Texas
To secure compensation in a medical malpractice claim, you must establish that the at-fault professional in your lawsuit committed negligence that led to your injuries and damages. Negligence refers to a medical professional’s failure to uphold the standard of care expected by the medical industry when treating a patient.
To establish an at-fault physician’s liability for your injuries, you will need to gather clear and sufficient evidence to establish four important elements.
The medical professional you are holding liable in your claim must owe you a duty of care at the time of the malpractice. This means that you must have received treatment from the professional at his or her office, hospital, or other medical facility. You cannot file a claim against a doctor friend who provides medical advice at a party, for example, but you could hold him or her liable if you visit his or her office and receive a misdiagnosis.
Breach of Duty
After establishing duty of care, you must prove that the at-fault party was negligent in connection with the care you received. You must show that the medical professional caused harm to you in a manner that a similarly trained and competent professional would not have done under the same circumstances.
Next, you will need to prove that the breach of care caused your injuries. Many malpractice claims involve pre-existing illnesses or injuries, so it is important to show that the at-fault party did cause the harm you suffered.
Finally, you will need to prove that your injury resulted in damages you can claim in your lawsuit. These damages can include economic losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, disability accommodations, and property damage, if applicable. You can also claim non-economic damages for physical and emotional pain and suffering.
For example, say that you visit a doctor after experiencing blood in your stool and sudden weight loss. The doctor diagnoses you with a gastrointestinal condition without running the necessary tests to check for colon cancer. When your condition worsens, you visit another doctor who diagnoses you with stage II colon cancer.
In this situation, you can use your medical records to establish that you visited the first physician at his office and saw him in a professional capacity. The misdiagnosis would be the breach of care since your symptoms are indicative of colon cancer. Your attorney can bring an expert medical witness to testify on the at-fault doctor’s actions and how an earlier diagnosis from a competent professional could have prevented your condition from progressing to its current stage. When establishing damages, your attorney can help you gather necessary records such as medical bills, pay stubs, and evaluations from life care experts and medical professionals.
How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Case in Texas?
If you plan on filing a medical malpractice claim, it is important to know the statute of limitations. This law sets a deadline for filing a civil lawsuit in Texas court, and if you fail to file by the specified deadline, the court will dismiss your claim.
Texas medical malpractice victims have two years from the date of their injury to file a lawsuit against a negligent healthcare worker. If you experienced this harm due to an ongoing course of treatment, you have two years from the date that your treatment concludes to file your lawsuit. If you were a child under the age of 12 at the time of the malpractice, you must file the lawsuit by your 14th birthday.
In addition to the statute of limitations, Texas enforces a rule known as the statute of repose. According to this law, you have no more than 10 years from the date of the alleged medical error to file your claim. A statute of repose acts as a catch-all deadline for civil lawsuits, so if you file more than 10 years later, the court will almost certainly dismiss your claim.
Texas is stricter than many states in regard to statutes of limitations due to the lack of a discovery rule, which usually extends filing deadlines in cases where the patient could not have reasonably known about an injury until a later date. While there may be some exceptions to this rule, such as cases involving fraudulently concealed information, it is important to speak to an attorney at AK Law Firm as soon as possible to determine your filing deadline.
What to Do if You’ve Been a Victim of Medical Malpractice
A medical error can have a devastating impact on your health and well-being. However, the lawsuit process can be lengthy and complex, requiring several pieces of evidence and specialized medical knowledge to prove.
To preserve evidence and protect your health, take the following steps as soon as you realize you may be the victim of medical malpractice.
- Find another doctor. Your first priority should be your health, and if you believe a medical professional committed an act of malpractice, you need to find another physician who can undo the damage and provide appropriate treatment. In addition, seeking the opinion of a second medical professional will provide valuable evidence for your case.
- Request copies of your medical records. These records will play a vital role in your claim, so it is important to obtain as much documentation as possible. Save all records from any future appointments as well.
- Document your symptoms and experiences in a journal. Keeping a journal will create a record of what you had to endure due to the doctor’s negligence, which can be valuable for your claim. Each day, write notes about your condition, how the medical error has impacted your life, the treatment you receive, and whether you had to take time off from work to correct the error.
- Contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Medical malpractice lawsuits are very complex and can be difficult to win without the knowledge, support, and resources of an attorney. Your medical malpractice lawyer from AK Law Firm can guide you through each stage of your case, allowing you to focus on treatment and recovery.
The moments after experiencing medical malpractice can feel overwhelming and disorienting. However, acting quickly to secure evidence and seek help will protect your best interests later on in the case process. Since Texas’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice is relatively short, taking these steps immediately will help you ensure that you meet the appropriate filing deadline and preserve your right to compensation.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Houston Today
At AK Law Firm, our Houston medical malpractice lawyers fight aggressively for victims of medical malpractice and aren’t afraid to take on insurance companies. If you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, contact us for help and to schedule a free consultation. There are time limits to pursue your medical malpractice case, so do not delay.