Medical Malpractice Lawyers in El Paso—Assisting Injured Victims & Their Families Throughout the Area
Medical malpractice occurs whenever a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional fails to provide proper treatment under the accepted standard of care. When medical practitioners act negligently, the consequences can be serious and far-reaching, often requiring unanticipated ongoing medical treatment, temporary or permanent inability to return to work, and severe emotional distress. In very grave cases, medical negligence can even result in death.
At Harmonson Law Firm, our dedicated El Paso medical malpractice attorneys understand just how difficult it is to discover that a trusted medical provider has failed to carry out their duty to keep you or your loved one reasonably safe.
We work hard to fight for the fair compensation our clients are owed after they are harmed by medical negligence. Whether your injuries were caused by carelessness, errors, or intentional misconduct, our firm can help you understand your options and work toward the recovery you need. Get in touch with us today to get started with a free case evaluation. Call 915-584-8777 to learn more!
The following is a case involving an incorrect order for medication. A sixty-five-year-old man was treated at his local ER for congestive heart failure. The man had a documented history of heart issues. When the man was transferred to a rehab facility, the transfer medication list stated he was to receive “0.625 mg. per day of digoxin. The order should have read 0.0625 mg. daily. The man was given the digoxin in the amount ordered—which was ten times the prescribed dose—for four days. His heart rate dropped, and blood work came back with high levels of potassium. The patient died from cardiomyopathy and renal failure. The family brought a medical malpractice lawsuit against the nurse that wrote the order, the pharmacist who failed to catch the error, and the rehab facility. The case eventually settled for a confidential sum.
Local Laws that Apply to El Paso Medical Malpractice
In the state of Texas, there is a time limit called the statute of limitations that governs a patient’s right to file a medical malpractice claim. A person injured by medical negligence usually has two years to bring the lawsuit to court—that two-year time period begins to run on the date the malpractice occurred. The statute of limitations may be extended by 75 days if a special notice letter under Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code is sent to the healthcare provider.
Texas also has a “statute of repose” for medical malpractice claims. This statute of repose states that no matter when an injury caused by medical malpractice is discovered or when the treatment ended, a claim must be brought within ten years of the date the negligent act occurred. The state of Texas also places a legislative cap on medical malpractice damages—but only on non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that can be quantified, like lost wages, lost future wages, medical expenses, and future medical expenses. Non-economic damages are pain and suffering which includes loss of enjoyment of life, actual physical pain, emotional pain, and trauma, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and PTSD.
There is a $250,000 cap per claimant on non-economic damages in cases involving a single physician or a single medical professional. These caps can be increased in certain circumstances where multiple medical professionals or healthcare institutions are involved in committing malpractice. Before you can file a medical malpractice claim in Texas, the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Coe, Section 74.051 requires that you (through your attorney) provide written notices of your medical malpractice claim to each health care provider at least 60 days prior to the time your claim is filed. Once a lawsuit is filed, an expert report or reports must be provided by the claimant to the defendant within a certain timeframe provided in Chapter 74, or the case is dismissed.
Local Statistics on Medical Malpractice
Johns Hopkins University found that more than 250,000 people in the United States die each year from medical errors and negligence, making medical malpractice the third-leading cause of death. Yet according to Local Profile, the state of Texas has the lowest malpractice award payout amount per capita. This means that you may have more of an uphill battle with your El Paso medical malpractice claim and that you could benefit significantly from having a highly experienced El Paso medical malpractice lawyer from Harmonson Law Firm act as your advocate and your legal professional.
Establishing Liability in a Medical Malpractice Claim
Establishing liability in a medical malpractice claim involves the four D’s—Duty, Dereliction, Direct cause, and Damages. First, the standard of care must be established. This is the normal duty of care owed to patients by a medical professional. Second, it must be determined that the standard of care was breached.
In other words, if another medical professional who had similar training would have acted differently given the same set of circumstances, then there may have been a breach of duty. The third element involves establishing that the breach of duty on the part of the medical professional was directly responsible for the individual’s injuries. The last element is damages—did the injuries caused by the breach of duty result in economic and non-economic losses?
It’s important that you are able to show that, had you received the same treatment from another competent healthcare professional, you would not have suffered the injuries you suffered. Conversely, if your doctor provided outdated treatment no longer accepted as standard by most other competent healthcare practitioners, you may have a case for medical malpractice. You must also prove that you were injured and that those injuries were caused by the actions or inactions of your healthcare provider.
Examples of medical malpractice include, but are certainly not limited to the following:
- Infant Brain Damage
- Birth errors/injuries
- Anesthesia errors
- Failure to diagnose
- Delayed treatment
- Surgical errors
- Transportation without consent
- Experimental therapy
- Extravasation/burn injuries
- Foreign object/surgical sponge retention
- Lab errors
- Incorrect dosage/overdosage
- Inadequate medication
- Drug reaction complications
- Improper treatment
- Intentional misconduct
- Bed sores/pressure ulcers
Medical malpractice often has serious implications, including life-long health issues, permanently disabling injuries, and death. It’s important to remember that, when such instances occur, it is not your fault. Healthcare professionals have a duty to provide proper care and keep their patients reasonably safe from harm. If they fail to do so, you shouldn’t have to suffer alone.
How Do You Choose the Best El Paso Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
Medical malpractice is a specialized, complex area of law, meaning you will greatly benefit from retaining a highly-skilled, experienced El Paso medical malpractice lawyer who has a thorough understanding of the potential pitfalls. There are a number of unique procedures that must be followed in a medical malpractice claim. Every state has specific procedures and Texas is no exception.
You will want to thoroughly explore the background of your medical malpractice attorney, prioritizing those in your area that have significant experience. Your El Paso medical malpractice lawyer will also be familiar with generally accepted medical standards, have a working knowledge of medical treatments and procedures and have medical experts as resources who can review your claim. Sometimes a medical malpractice lawsuit comes down to a battle between medical experts.
Your attorney may bring in an expert that believes your doctor’s failure to diagnose fell below the professional standards of care while the doctor’s expert may argue a provider in the same specialty would have acted in a similar manner. Since medical experts may play a vital role in the ultimate outcome of your medical malpractice claim, you must have an attorney who has access to experienced, board-certified medical experts.
Helping Good People Injured in Bad Accidents—How the Harmonson Law Firm Can Help
At Harmonson Law Firm, we are committed to helping our clients fight for the just compensation they are owed after medical negligence leaves them injured or their loved ones killed. No matter how complex or difficult your case is, we are prepared to take on the responsible parties and fight for your rights in settlement or trial. El Paso medical malpractice attorney Clark Harmonson has an Avvo Rating of 10.0 Superb (a service of Avvo, Inc.) and, with more than 19 years of legal experience, understands how to navigate the complicated legal process involved in these types of cases.
Call our firm today at (915) 584-8777 to learn more about how we can help you. We offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t have to worry about legal costs unless we’ve recovered compensation on your behalf. Our contingency fees are computed before the deduction of case expenses. Contact Harmonson Law Firm today.