Posted by: Kemmy Law Firm
When you go to a hospital, you expect the doctors there to heal you. However, if you are harmed instead of helped, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim against the hospital.
Texas law has many requirements for those who wish to sue a hospital for medical malpractice. It’s essential to work with a medical malpractice lawyer who is familiar with the process and can help you navigate the complexities of a claim.
If you want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital that caused you harm, there are specific steps you should take.
One of your first steps should be to file a complaint with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). This agency ensures that hospitals and other medical facilities provide safe and responsible care to patients. HHSC investigates claims in some situations.
If your harm involves poor treatment by one or more physicians at the hospital, you can also file a complaint against them with the Texas Medical Board. Allegations of complaints are reviewed by investigators who will create a report that can be used to support your claims.
Pursuant to Texas Law (Civil Code Section 74.051), you must provide the hospital with a notice that you will file a lawsuit against them. This must be completed at least 60 days before filing the suit. The notice must be accompanied by an authorization form to release protected health information.
When you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must include a complaint that states explicitly what harm the hospital caused and your damages. You must also prove that you gave the hospital notice pursuant to Texas law. Then, your attorney can begin the discovery process by collecting evidence against the hospital to prove its liability for your injuries.
The Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information form is a HIPAA release document. It must accompany the notice to the hospital that you plan on filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against. This form allows the hospital to access your medical records, so they can assess the severity of your damages and determine liability.
You can file a medical malpractice lawsuit anytime a hospital or their employees are negligent or act wrongfully and cause you harm. Specifically, that means that a physician or hospital failed to disclose or adequately disclose the risks or hazards involved in the medical procedure you were undergoing.
The only theory on which recovery may be obtained in Texas is that of negligence in failing to disclose risks or hazards that could have influenced a reasonable person to make a decision or give or withhold consent.
For example, if you were diagnosed with cancer and the doctor at the hospital recommended you have surgery, but failed to tell you the possible risks, then you may have a cause of action if you are unreasonably harmed.
The Texas Medical Disclosure Panel (TMDP) was created to determine what risks and hazards related to medical care and surgical procedures healthcare providers must disclose to patients. The TMDP have developed a list of necessary risk disclosures for specific procedures.
If a doctor or hospital fails to disclose determined risks and hazards to a patient, they may be liable for medical malpractice. In most cases, the disclosure must be given to the patient in writing, and it must be signed.
There are certain situations where a medical malpractice claim cannot be filed. For example, under Texas law, a person who, in good faith, provides emergency care is not liable for civil damages for any act performed in an emergency unless the act was willfully or wantonly negligent.
This applies to people who use an automated external defibrillator and volunteer emergency first responders. It also applies to unlicensed medical personnel. It does not apply to emergency medical personnel who provide services at a hospital.
In addition to all the previously discussed requirements, you must meet a strict deadline called a “statute of limitation.” You have two years from the date of injury or when you discover the injury to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. This deadline is strict, and if you don’t meet it, you may forfeit your right to receive compensation for your damages.
If you were treated over a period of time, then the deadline begins running when that treatment ended. You can file a medical malpractice lawsuit two years from the date that your harmful treatment ended.
Medical malpractice claims can be complex. Hospitals often have teams of powerful attorneys who will fight back against any lawsuit you file against them. Work with a medical malpractice attorney who isn’t afraid to stand up for your rights.
Get a free consultation. We do not charge up-front fees, and you owe nothing unless you recover compensation.
When you work with us at Kemmy Law Firm, you are working with a family run firm with more than 50 years of combined experience. We are dedicated and successful trial attorneys practicing in West TX, Hobbs, NM, Midland-Odessa, and across the Permian Basin. Our team handles everything from catastrophic injury claims to complex business matters. We are here to fight for you. We dedicate our time and attention to your case and use every resource available to maximize your claim and obtain the best possible outcome.