The Dos and Don'ts of Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims
When you go to the doctor or the hospital to receive medical attention, you never imagine that you’ll come out of it in worse shape. According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, there have been over 1,700 Medical Malpractice Payment Reports (MMPRs) in Texas since 2019. This information, provided through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is a startling reminder that surgical errors, misdiagnoses, and medical negligence happen far too often.
If you’d like more information about what to do when filing a medical malpractice claim, call me, Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law. I can help clients from one of my four locations: Houston, Webster, South Houston, or Pasadena, Texas.
Medical Malpractice Claims in Texas
Patients are able to make a medical malpractice claim if they feel that a medical professional was at fault for damages or injuries caused while the patient was under their care. A successful case must prove that the duty of care of medical staff or doctors was breached, and that their negligence caused your harm. This could be caused by a misdiagnosis by medical staff or an error made during surgery or other medical procedure. Proving this kind of negligence is a high bar to pass, and most victims find they need to work with an attorney to ensure their rights are protected and that they pursue the compensation they deserve.
The Dos and Don’ts When Pursuing a Claim
Do bring the claim as quickly after the injury as possible: Texas imposes a strict two year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit, and the clock starts on the date the malpractice occurred. This may seem like a long time, but it will pass sooner than you think. It’s essential to start working with your medical malpractice attorney immediately.
Do gather/obtain medical records: Key to any successful claim is substantial evidence. This includes doctor’s reports and diagnoses, bills, or witness testimony including professional opinions from other medical providers.
Do hire an experienced attorney: Medical malpractice cases are notoriously hard to bring to court, which is why you need an attorney working on your side. Hospitals and doctors have teams of lawyers working for them to defend against these claims; you need someone with the experience and legal knowledge to present a compelling case.
Don’t sign a release without an attorney: The defense team for the doctor will either try to discredit your claim or have you settle out of court. You should never sign anything, including a release, without first consulting with your attorney and having them review the document.
Don’t argue with the doctor about what went wrong: Even if you feel your doctor is clearly at fault, you should not communicate with them directly about your case and instead leave the negotiations to your attorney. Proving fault or liability in medical malpractice is complicated and you’ll increase your chances of a successful claim by trusting your attorney to represent your best interests.
Don’t miss doctor appointments: Whenever you’re bringing forth a medical malpractice suit, it’s important you attend all doctor’s appointments and follow-up visits. Your actions will be scrutinized and whether you followed your doctor’s orders will be examined to see if the fault lay with the doctor or with you.
Experienced Guidance Every Step of the Way
I have four locations in the area to make it easier to serve my clients: Houston, Webster, South Houston, and Pasadena, but I can also help those throughout the area including Clear Lake, Friendswood, League City, Alvin, Dickinson, Bacliff, Kemah, Seabrook, and Santa Fe. If you’re looking for an experienced attorney who will work tirelessly on your behalf, look no further than Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.