Medical Malpractice Attorney in Houston, Texas
When Healing Becomes Harm
Doctors are charged to “first do no harm,” spending years studying and training to learn how to treat and heal the human body. Most doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are dedicated to their profession, yet they are also human—and humans make mistakes and errors in judgment. When such a mistake is made in medicine, there can be tragic consequences. In fact, a 2016 John Hopkins University study concluded that medical errors kill as many as a quarter of a million Americans each year. This makes medical errors the third-largest cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease and cancer. When the appropriate standard of care is not followed by healthcare professionals, harm can result, and that harm may rise to the level of medical malpractice.
Based out of Houston, Texas, The Brothers Law Firm is fiercely committed to those who have had their lives shattered by medical malpractice. Texas medical malpractice claims are complex, requiring in-depth knowledge of the unique laws that govern the claims as well as focus, experience, and resources We are aggressive litigators and skilled negotiators; recovering compensation for these medical mistakes requires a level of courtroom skill and acumen, which comes from years of experience.
John Brothers, the founder of The Brothers Law Firm, began focusing on medical malpractice while still in law school. Since that time, John has amassed an impressive record of success, recovering millions of dollars in compensation and improving the lives of victims and their families. The firm’s broad experience with medical malpractice has earned a reputation as a leader in this complex area of Texas law. The Brothers Law Firm is allied with teams of medical experts and other professionals who provide critical insights; we work with these experts to craft the strongest case for the right outcome.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Any time a licensed healthcare professional deviates from accepted medical practices, and that deviation results in the injury or death of a patient, medical malpractice could have occurred. Medical malpractice usually involves a medical error; this error could be an error in general health management, aftercare, treatment, diagnosis. Often, medical malpractice is the result of inaction—that is, a diagnosis was not properly made in a timely manner, allowing the illness or disease to progress to a much more severe level. It is important to note that not every poor medical outcome is the result of medical malpractice and that certain elements must be present to rise to the level of malpractice. The elements which must be proven for a medical malpractice lawsuit to be successful include:
- The breach of a specific duty of care—that is, that a physician or healthcare provider failed to act with ordinary care or failed to act as an ordinarily prudent physician or healthcare provider in the same or similar circumstance.
- This breach of duty of care directly and foreseeably caused your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.
- That you have the type of damage for which the law permits compensation.
What are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice?
While medical malpractice includes any negligence by a licensed healthcare while providing healthcare, there are some broad categories of medical malpractice that are more common than others. These include the following:
- Medication errors—The wrong medication could be prescribed to a patient, or the wrong amount of the right medication could be prescribed. In a hospital setting, a nurse may administer the wrong drug or the wrong amount of the right drug. In a busy hospital setting, a nurse could conceivably get two patients confused, giving one the medication intended for another.
- Failure to Diagnose—When a medical professional fails to timely or appropriately recognize and diagnose a condition, medical malpractice may have occurred. When a diagnosis is not made in a timely manner, a condition may progress to a much more advanced stage, requiring more treatment and resulting in additional pain and suffering to the patient.
- Misdiagnosis—Like a lack of diagnosis or delayed diagnosis, being diagnosed with the wrong illness or disease can result in a lack of proper treatment administered in a timely manner. Plaintiffs who bring a claim of medical malpractice based on a misdiagnosis, lack of diagnosis, or delayed diagnosis will need expert testimony, which explains to the jury that a competent doctor would have correctly diagnosed the condition—or diagnosed it sooner.
- Failure to appropriately treat—When a doctor makes the right diagnosis but fails to recommend or provide the proper treatment, medical malpractice could have occurred. Failure to treat often occurs when healthcare providers are treating too many patients.
- Birth Injuries—A birth injury may be the most devastating type of medical malpractice. Expectant parents prepare the baby’s room, spend countless hours discussing names and care, and are joyful about adding a new child to the family. When an unexpected birth injury occurs, due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, medical malpractice could have occurred. Birth injuries can result in the need for lifelong medical care, costing millions of dollars.
- Surgical errors—Medical malpractice claims often occurs as the result of a surgical error. Surgical errors can include performing an incorrect procedure, performing unnecessary surgery, performing the surgery improperly, damaging organs, tissues, or nerves during the surgery, using non-sterile surgical instruments, leaving medical equipment inside the patient, or providing inadequate aftercare.
- Anesthesia Errors– While most people think of anesthesia care as what happens in the operating room, it actually begins before surgery and ends after surgery is complete. Anesthesiologists’ responsibilities include obtaining a patient’s history, providing nerve blocks and anesthetics pre-operatively, and ensuring patient safety before, during, and after surgery.
- Nursing Home Neglect/Abuse– Nursing home and neglect and abuse is unfortunately far more common than anyone would hope. Some government agencies have estimated that over 20% of nursing home residents will suffer as a result of an adverse preventable event. Nursing home residents are often some of the most vulnerable patients who are reliant on healthcare providers for their most basic needs. Sometimes they suffer as a result of medical neglect and other times they are the victim of criminal abuse.
What is the Texas Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice?
The time in which you have to bring a medical malpractice claim, or “statute of limitations,” is generally two years from the date the negligent act or omission occurred. However, there are exceptions to the general rule, including the following:
- Continuing course of treatment is at hand. If you received treatment over a period of time, you may be able to argue that the two-year statute began running toward the end of your treatment, rather than the beginning.
- The injured party is a minor. Under Texas medical malpractice laws, a claim for a minor’s medical expenses prior to the minor turning 18, belongs to the minor’s parents, therefore, is subject to the general two-year statute. Other Texas laws regarding statutes of limitations for minors are extremely complex, with discrepancies between the Texas medical malpractice statute and a decision by the Texas Supreme Court. Because of this, it is extremely important to speak to a knowledgeable Texas medical malpractice attorney if a minor is involved.
- The negligence was not discovered until the statute had run. Under certain limited circumstances, when an injured party discovers an injury after the two-year statute of limitations has run, he or she may be able to file a medical malpractice claim under the Open Courts provision of the Texas Constitution. This is also a complex area of the law, that should be served by an experienced Texas medical malpractice attorney.
A determination of the applicable statute of limitation should be made by an experienced medical malpractice attorney after a review of the pertinent facts. In addition, there are other deadlines that may apply. This includes a ten-year “statute of repose” as well as a requirement that when a government entity is involved, notice of the claim is provided, sometimes as early as 90 days from the date of negligence. In addition, investigating medical malpractice cases takes more time than other cases and Texas law requires service of a written expert report shortly after filing suit. Therefore, if you believe you or a loved one has been injured by medical malpractice, it is critically important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible.
What Types of Medical Malpractice Claims Does The Brothers Law Firm handle?
If it involves medical malpractice, chances are we have seen it before. Attorney John Brothers has worked on thousands of medical malpractice cases involving almost every type of healthcare professional. While the most common cases are against doctors and hospitals (as a result of the negligence of the non-physician staff who work there), we also handle cases against dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists, medical transportation companies, rehabilitation hospitals, long term acute care facilities, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, free-standing emergency rooms and urgent care clinics, radiology centers, and home health agencies among others.
How Can a Texas Medical Malpractice Attorney Help?
If you believe you have been injured as the result of medical malpractice, it is extremely important that you speak to a Texas medical malpractice attorney from The Brothers Law Firm. When the trust placed in a physician or other medical professional has been broken, you can trust John Brothers and The Brothers Law Firm to help you recover compensation for your damages. While money will not change what happened, financial resources can go a long way toward helping you and your family move forward. It also can serve as a significant deterrent in preventing the same mistakes from happening again. We are uncompromising in our efforts to better the lives of our clients; to arrange for a free initial consultation to discuss your medical malpractice claim or concerns, contact The Brothers Law Firm at (281) 491-3635.