In addition, the fact that you like your doctor doesn’t actually mean that he’s any good at what he does. It would be a mistake to let your doctor get away with malpractice if he is exercising a poor quality of care. Remember: the fact that he’s a nice guy doesn’t mean he’s a competent physician. Don’t you want to receive compensation for your injury or the injury of a loved one and possibly keep him from injuring someone else?
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A patient who did not have his or her wounds dressed or treated properly and later develops an infection may decide to sue. If an anesthesiologist or other employee gives the patient a drug that he or she should have known would cause issues, the patient may pursue a medical malpractice claim. A common cause for a medical malpractice claim is when the patient was misdiagnosed or had a delayed diagnosis due to a mistake.
It doesn’t matter that “addiction” can be either physical or psychologic and that there is no reliable way to determine when addiction occurs. Tick’s bill doesn’t define addiction. It also doesn’t matter that people can get addicted to pretty much anything … alcohol, illegal drugs, porn, gambling, even collecting Cabbage Patch Kids. Tick’s bill only cares about those evil doctors. Beware internet service providers, you could be next on the list if your subscribers get addicted to the internet.
There are a number of different ways that improper delay in the provision of medical care could result in harm to a patient -- the delay may have made your condition worse, it may have negated the possibility that certain treatment could be administered, it could have blunted the effectiveness of a certain treatment method, or it could have unnecessarily prolonged or intensified your pain and discomfort.
It is typically the referring physician who orders the tests, or the provider responsible for administering medical tests (a radiologist or pathologist) who is named as a defendant in a malpractice case involving failed communication of test results. Depending on the case, it may also be possible to hold the hospital itself, responsible for patient harm due to negligent failure to communicate the results of medical testing.
You facts do seem to point to malpractice. In light of time limitations, I would consult with a medical malpractice attorney asap, for a free consult - bring your medical records with you as well as any other evidence, so he can thoroughly review it. With any luck, you can settle this case rather then expend huge somes litigating and preparing for trial, because the experts along cost quite a bit.
Texas passed a "tort reform" law taking effect on September 1, 2003. The act limited non-economic damages (e.g., damages for pain and suffering) in most malpractice cases to $250,000 across all healthcare providers and $250,000 for healthcare facilities, with a limit of two facilities per claim. As of 2013, Texas was one of 31 states to cap non-economic damages.
Expert testimony is required. Expert opinions are often a crucial feature of the patient's case. A qualified expert is usually required at trial. (And often, expert testimony or an expert affidavit is required at the malpractice review panel proceedings prior to commencing trial.) State rules vary as to what makes somebody qualified to provide expert medical testimony, but generally it is someone with experience in the particular field at issue. In a very limited number of circumstances, expert testimony is not required, such as when a surgical towel is left inside the patient after a surgery.
Experience: All attorneys are not created equal. Many attorneys today work as general practice attorneys, meaning they handle all types of cases from criminal matters to civil suits. However, if you have experienced a case of medical negligence, it is important to have an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice. You do not want a lawyer whose first trial is going to be this case. Even attorneys who specialize in civil matters rarely go to court, as many of their cases settle without a trial. At The O’Keefe Firm, Stephen O’Keefe has had years of actual trial experience specializing in medical malpractice cases. Although your case may be resolved without stepping into the courtroom, you can be assured that Mr. O’Keefe has the trial experience necessary to fight for your rights in front of a jury.
How can you tell the difference between appropriate, but unsuccessful care and medical malpractice? Ask. Ask your doctor. Get second opinions if possible. Talk to lawyers, who may have medically trained staff that can give an informed opinion, or who may have dealt with the exact same issue (or doctor) you are dealing with. Do whatever you can to attempt to allay any misgivings you have about your care. But take any opinions with a grain of salt. Some doctors simply won’t accuse a “brother physician” of making a mistake. Some malpractice attorneys will exaggerate the potential of your claim in an attempt to make money. Use your best discretion when seeking opinions on your treatment, but be diligent in the pursuit of information. Until you file a lawsuit, you are your own best advocate and investigator.
Ex.: Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases, and has adopted the continuous treatment rule. If a doctor in Texas causes an injury during surgery, and continues to treat the patient for that injury for 4 more years, then the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the doctor has completed treatment. So, the patient in this example has a total of 6 years to file a lawsuit after the injury was inflicted.
An expert's opinion can be used in this situation as well, to show that the patient would have at least been made more comfortable and as stable as possible had the abandonment not occurred. On the other hand, if treatment would have had a significant chance of sustaining the patient's life, the family would probably have a more clear-cut case of medical malpractice case against the doctor.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, stating that “true consent to what happens to one’s self is the informed exercise of a choice, and that entails an opportunity to evaluate knowledgeably the options available and the risks attendant upon each … it is the prerogative of the patient, not the physician, to determine for himself the direction in which his interests seem to lie.”