Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider deviates from an accepted standard of care causing a patient further harm or even death. A special relationship exists between medical staff and patients, promoting trust and encouraging a healthy level of care. When that trust is breached and injury occurs, the results can be devastating.
The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that medical negligence accounts for hundreds of deaths in America, right up there with heart disease and cancer. Can this be accurate? The Journal of the American Medical Association believes it is and so do the doctors who pay out billions in medical malpractice damages annually. If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, you need an aggressive medical malpractice attorney with the experience required to navigate the legal system and get you the compensation that you deserve.
The Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C. has been fighting for the rights of victims and winning medical malpractice lawsuits for over three decades, including birth injuries, emergency room errors, surgical mistakes, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis and beyond.
You need an ally
If you or a loved one have been the victim of medical malpractice, you likely have several battles ahead. You will need to heal physically and emotionally while you deal with changing family dynamics, outrageous medical bills, and everyday life. You need a skilled attorney who will give your family the personal attention it needs during this difficult time. The Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C. will handle all of the legal issues so that you can concentrate on what matters most. We offer professional, assertive representation through every step of the claims process. Medical providers are relentless when it comes to protecting their financial interests. It is crucial that you work with an attorney who has the fortitude to preserve your rights while fighting to see justice served.
Are all physician mistakes considered medical malpractice?
No, they are not. There are certain elements that must be present in order to win a medical malpractice lawsuit. You must prove to the court, through testimony or other evidence that 1) The required standard of care was not met by the medical provider 2) This failure to meet the standard of care was the direct cause of injury 3) The injury sustained resulted in damages Medical malpractice suits can become quite complex. However, those are the basic components that must be established in order to prevail.
What if I’m not sure if I may have been a victim of medical malpractice?
If you suspect you may have been the victim of medical malpractice, the best thing you can do is seek legal counsel. Many times a thorough review of medical records may reveal avoidable errors that caused damage or harm. A medical malpractice attorney can have your medical records viewed by an independent medical consultant and conduct a thorough investigation to determine if you may have been the victim of medical malpractice. Your records should not be reviewed by the medical professional or institution that may have been involved.
Who can be held liable for medical malpractice?
Just about any healthcare professional may be held accountable for a preventable medical error that caused injury or harm. This includes, but is not limited to, doctors, surgeons, specialists, paramedics, chiropractors, dentists, psychiatrists, and physical therapists. Depending on the facts of the case, an institution such as a hospital, may also be held liable. Should a thorough investigation determine that multiple parties can be held accountable, they can be named together in a single claim or they can be named separately in multiple claims.
What kind of damages can be recovered in a medical malpractice lawsuit?
Medical malpractice lawsuits can become very lengthy and complex. There are so many different types of injuries that could be included in medical malpractice suits that it can hard to define specific damages. Here is a list of some of the most common damages:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Physical impairment
- Loss of companionship
- Punitive damages
Punitive damages are only awarded in cases where it can be proven that the defendant acted with malice or gross negligence. They are reserved to punish truly reckless parties. The state of Texas does impose a cap on the amount of each type of damages that can be awarded with a claim. An experienced attorney at the Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C. can advise you of those caps depending on the type of damages involved with your case.
How long do I have to file charges in a medical malpractice suit?
Again, every case is different and the statute of limitations varies with the charges. In most cases, charges must be filed within two years of the alleged error or injury. However, if the victim is younger than twelve years of age, then the parent or guardian has until the child’s 14th birthday to file charges. The state of Texas does impose a ten-year statute of repose in some cases. For instance, this would be particularly important in a case involving birth injury, with injuries that were not immediately apparent. If you think that you or a loved one may have been the victim of medical malpractice, it is best to seek out legal counsel as soon as possible.
If I signed a “consent” form does that waive my right to sue for medical malpractice?
No, it does not. A consent for simply informs you of the risks associated with certain medical procedures but it does not excuse the facility or medical staff from liability. If you suffer complications or an injury, medical malpractice attorneys can work with medical experts to evaluate your case to determine if your surgery, procedure or other care involved a reckless or negligent health care professional, such as a nurse, doctor, surgeon, pharmacist, technician or other professional in the hospital or clinic.
Is there a difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence?
No, the terms can be used interchangeably. Malpractice is the term used to describe negligence on behalf of a professional such as a doctor or lawyer. However, in a court of law, medical malpractice is the same as medical negligence.
Contact an aggressive, experienced medical malpractice attorney today
If you think that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, contact the Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C. today. We will take the time to advise you of your rights, help you preserve them, and thoroughly investigate your case. Call (713) 271-5760 or contact us online to schedule an free case consultation with a Houston medical malpractice attorney who has the experience required to handle your case in a way that will maximize your chances of seeing a positive resolution.
The Law Office of Joseph Onwuteaka, P.C., will fight for your rights to help you successfully navigate the litigation process and get you the financial compensation that you deserve. Our law firm represent clients in Houston, Texas, and the surrounding areas.