San Antonio Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Discuss Your Medical Malpractice Case With Our San Antonio Texas Malpractice Attorney Today
Even under normal circumstances, it’s bad enough to have to suffer through the pain of an injury or an illness. But when you’re suffering even more because your medical professional has engaged in malpractice, both your physical and emotional pain is more acute. And it is certain you have a lot of questions and few answers when trying to find out if your doctor or medical professional has been negligent caring for you, or has been willfully inattentive to your pain and suffering due to poor medical care.
The San Antonio medical malpractice lawyer and the veteran medical malpractice investigative team at Ford and Laurel can get to the bottom of things because we work with third-party medical experts to scrutinize your medical malpractice claim. Through our efforts, you can find the answers to these questions, while we work on your behalf to enable you to receive the fairest compensation for your injury, its pain and suffering.
This timely article will help provide insight into the sometimes complicated world of Texas medical malpractice claims, the things that must be taken in order to successfully conclude such a claim in your favor, and the typical challenges to holding all those legally liable medical professionals accountable for their recklessness and negligence, You’ll also get a good idea of what these doctors, their attorneys and insurance underwriters of their malpractice coverage are willing to do to oppose you, especially if you don’t have capable legal counsel to advocate your rightful claims against them.The Necessary Steps to Determine Responsibility for Medical Malpractice in Texas
Most people initially suspect the doctor who performed the surgery, or the medical staff members who administered the drugs, or others involved in your care might be the direct causes of medical malpractice. Some might even believe those who caused the accident which led to the medically-induced additional injury or death were a contributing factor. And while any or all of these parties might be liable, they may not be the only ones.
Healthcare malpractice can occur in a number of different ways. Many times, the failure to correctly diagnose or treat a medical condition within a reasonable amount of time can be grounds for a malpractice lawsuit. And it’s possible that several medical professionals may have each contributed to the overall malpractice case. Any, or all, of the following healthcare professionals can be responsible, and by legal definition, be held accountable for their negligence in civil court. It makes no difference if their involvement was overt or passive, Some of these responsible parties might include:
The primary-care doctor
Any nurse, or specialized hospital technician, who was involved in your care
Dentists, dental hygienists and other dental care specialists
A nursing home attendant
Regardless of whether these offenders worked alone or in concert, if their contribution helped produce additional injury or illness in the patient, or created further pain and suffering, those who suffer from malpractice can seek damages from each liable party relative to their portion of the responsibility. Typically, these defendants are covered by various insurance policies. So you must expect a medical malpractice lawsuit which is filed against multiple liable parties to involve more than one insurance corporation. And it’s every malpractice insurance company’s job to aggressively challenge virtually all such cases in Texas. But we’ll speak more to that in a minute.
Medical malpractice lawsuits can often be the most challenging forms of personal injury or wrongful death cases you will find in Texas. One reason for this sad reality is the simple fact that the medical profession is by-definition, highly technical and sophisticated. Another companion reason is because a number of liable parties responsible for the injury can cloud the issue of responsibility for your injuries. And if malpractice is added atop the original injuries that necessitated your treatment; laying appropriate blame is a very intricate task for your investigative team. These two reasons alone can help you understand why injured victims have no better than a miniscule chance of winning a Texas medical malpractice claim without the legal help of an experienced San Antonio medical malpractice lawyer.
A skilled lawyer knows how to locate the perfect medical experts to stringently review your treatment records and determine whether your malpractice lawsuit is justified. These experts can also help determine the degree of responsibility on the part of everyone who was involved in your medical care. And our experienced medical malpractice attorneys have the means and the skill to take that thorough investigation into your case and apply this substantial evidence into an effective and compelling case on your behalf.
With over 20 years of experience in personal injury and wrongful death law, including medical malpractice claims, Ford and Laurel can help you identify all responsible parties in your malpractice suit so that you can seek fair compensation from them for their for their negligent behavior that made your injury even more painful. Ford and Laurel can also work to make certain their careless actions will not be repeated, and harm some other unsuspecting person.Proving Medical Malpractice Claims in Texas Can be Difficult
A victim of medical malpractice bears the burden of proof in a civil lawsuit to recover damages in Texas. Simply-put you the victim, along with your legal counsel, must prove through a “preponderance of the evidence” that a medical defendant caused your injury. And it is the plaintiff/victim’s responsibility to seek legal action against that liable party. You can’t simply wait around to be reimbursed for your injury from those who were negligent in your care out of the goodness of their heart.
Negligent medical professionals believe that they owe you nothing unless you legally compel them to pay you proper compensation by way of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. And in order to force those liable for your injuries to pay you this fair compensation, your legal advocate must build a compelling case; using strong and substantial evidence that forces all liable parties to accept responsibility by proving the parts they played within the following guidelines:Medical Professionals Owe You a Legal Duty
In medical malpractice terms, a legal duty is described as a “standard of care.” Medical professionals owe their patients a certain standard of care that is proportionate to their peers’ standard of care. More simply-put, your doctors must treat their patients as other doctors in their same field of specialization would treat theirs. By the nature of the medical profession, this is considered a very high standard since medical professionals receive years of unique and highly-specialized training. They must undergo extensive education and rigorous certification in order to learn how to safely treat their patients and be acutely sensitive to their physical and emotional needs when they are responsible for any patient’s care. This is why society in-general expects medical professionals to not only be knowledgeable when it comes to their ability to properly and correctly diagnose, they must also sympathetically treat a patient without causing these vulnerable people further injury or discomfort.
Essentially, a doctor is held to the highest standard of performance than other caregivers, which is higher than normal just the same. And all caregivers are held to much higher standards than people in other professions, due to their specialized occupation. This leads to very high expectations of performance in the eyes of the general public as well as the law. It all comes down to the Hippocratic Oath that all doctors must take. It begins with the words, “First do no harm.”Whether They Are Aware or Not, Medical Professionals Can Violate Their Legal Duty
Once a standard of care has been proven in a malpractice case, the next duty of the plaintiff is to clearly prove that the responsible medical professional who violated that standard of care is specifically liable for your injuries. A simple example might find that a surgeon breaches the standard of care if he or she operates on the wrong leg, or even the wrong patient (yes, it does happen). A doctor can also breach the standard of care by prescribing a drug that is known to cause negative reactions when taken in conjunction with another drug that is already being administered to a patient; or if they are aware that the patient might be more prone to adverse reactions, and the resulting pain or further injury, from taking this drug. In any instance surrounding administering prescription drugs, the medical professional must know to avoid these steps, since such perceived remedies are reasonably considered to be outside of the norm for the standard of care. And sometimes, the drug companies themselves can share a portion of this liability, though that part is commonly pursued through a defective product suit.
But very few people such as you have even the smallest amount of necessary knowledge to understand, or even know, why a doctor, surgeon, or some other medical professional chose to do what they did. This is why expert medical witnesses must be sough-out and retained by your San Antonio medical malpractice lawyer in order to determine whether or not a medical professional has violated the standard of care for their profession. These expert witnesses, usually doctors themselves must have extensive experience in the same fields of medicine as the defendants in order to be beneficial to your Texas medical malpractice claim.
If you seek compensation from an obstetrician accused of malpractice, you will benefit most from an expert witness in the field of obstetrics more than a general practitioner or one who specializes in something different. Specialized witnesses are able to properly and accurately determine whether or not a standard of care was violated, by whom, and to what degree. We can help you locate these expert medical witnesses, either in Texas or across the U. S. who are so valuable in proving your case in proving breach of standard care which is elemental to the success of your malpractice case. Since San Antonio has one of the highest concentrations of renowned medical professionals in the world, chances are we won’t have to look very far.Proving a Medical Professional’s Negligence for a Plaintiff’s Further Injury or Illness is Key
As a plaintiff, your medical malpractice lawyer must effectively prove that the medical professional’s negligence was the cause of your additional injury or illness in a malpractice case. And even if some of those injuries are all-too-apparent, defense attorneys and insurance companies will demand specific and irrefutable proof that your injuries were in point-of-fact, directly sustained through the specific negligence of a medical professional. You must prove this point beyond a shadow of a doubt. This is where the involvement of our third-party medical experts becomes absolutely crucial in effectively proving a malpractice injury claim. Fortified by your experts’ specialized knowledge, you and your San Antonio medical malpractice lawyer are able to clearly prove to a jury how an injury may have been sustained due to medical negligence, and can also work to convince those jury members that this series of events that led to your further injury or illness did indeed happen, and that you should be fairly compensated for their malfeasance.Once Liability is Proven, the Medical Malpractice Victim Deserves Reparation
Damages is the legal term for financial losses sustained as a result of an injury or loss. Damages must have been incurred in some fashion by a plaintiff due to the injury that is experienced as a result of medical malpractice. They can be awarded for economic losses such as medical costs, lost wages, lost future earnings, and pain and suffering.
Calculating damages is a crucial phase to Texas malpractice claims because the amount of damages is equal to the amount of compensation you, as plaintiff, are entitled to receive once you win your judgment. After all, what’s the value of winning a six-figure case and only being awarded five figures in damages because you didn’t correctly assess the value of the damages you have suffered?
Once we help you win your case, the experienced San Antonio medical malpractice attorneys of Ford and Laurel have over 20 years of experience in calculating, then proving the proper amount of damages done to our clients so they are able to receive the fullest and fairest negotiated settlement, or civil trial award for their injury or loss. Our goal is to help you back onto the road to recovery.The Challenges to Successfully Proving your Texas Medical Malpractice Claims
Because of intense pressure by doctors, the insurance industry and their lobbyists, the legislature passed several laws almost ten years ago under a cause they called “tort reform” which has clearly tilted the medical malpractice playing field in their favor. Simply-put, when it comes to medical malpractice civil cases, with very few exceptions, there are now damage award caps. Those that are called “non-economic damages” (such as pain, suffering, lost future income) are capped at $250,000. Economic damages (the actual cost of your medical bills as a result of the malpractice) must be actual and to-the penny. Before tort reform, anyone could sue any doctor, hospital, CAT scan tech or any other licensed medical professional for as much as they wanted and often collected unreasonable damage amounts. We understand that over the years, many unscrupulous attorneys and their clients saw malpractice suits like the Lottery. And we agree that at the time, such reform was necessary in a lot of instances. But, typical insurance industry behavior failed to adequately address the problem when it began pressuring our lawmakers in Austin. So the result ended up benefiting Texas malpractice insurers at the expense of both the doctors they serve, and those who have legitimate malpractice claims.
Today, it’s much more difficult for malpractice victims to recover true value, in both the short and long run, of their injuries, pain, suffering and lost wages from an individual malpractice civil action. That’s why it’s so important for your San Antonio Texas medical malpractice lawyer to be adept at investigating all facets of alleged malpractice. For if other caregivers are responsible for those injuries, more than one injury claim (and lawsuit) can be sought. But the healthcare professionals are the ones who are really getting taken by their insurers, because tort reform has lowered the amount of money their insurance companies are paying out. But since 2003, on-average malpractice premiums have increased by more than one-third. How can the insurance companies increase their rates that much if they’re paying out much less than they were ten years ago? We’ll let you figure that out but the answer is patently obvious to anyone who is over eight years old.
But this behavior on the part of malpractice insurers should give you an idea how hard it is to negotiate a settlement in good faith with these companies. For often, these damage caps inspire the malpractice defendants, their representing attorneys and insurance companies to act more belligerently toward your case because they know it’s easier to strong-arm you into accepting a less-than-fair settlement. So you now have a couple more reasons to find an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to represent you against these predators.Informed Consent Forms, the Doctor’s “Get out of Jail Free” Card?
Often, prior to treatment or undergoing a medical or surgical procedure, a patient usually signs an informed consent document. And though on-the-surface such a document might appear to be harmless because it typically describes the procedure being performed, the possible complications, alternatives to the surgery, and what may happen if the procedure is not performed, an informed consent form can also serve to protect medical professionals should an accident occur during the procedure.
Many medical professionals attempt to use an informed consent document as blanket absolution for anything they do. They believe they are “bulletproof” from any type of liability in the event of a medical accident or negligence. And in some instances they may be right. But on the other hand, a patient’s signature on an informed consent document does not universally determine whether or not a negligent medical professional can be held accountable for their actions, or limit the degree of responsibility to which they may be held if malpractice is proven.
For in the final analysis, the circumstances of a patient’s case ultimately determine if a medical malpractice lawsuit can be brought, and the degree of compensation a plaintiff might rightfully seek. Informed consent doesn’t always preclude your right to sue a negligent medical professional through a malpractice lawsuit. Even if you’ve signed an informed consent document, it is still in your best interests to seriously contact a San Antonio malpractice lawyer at Grossman Law Office. Medical Malpractice and Civil Trial Juries
Usually, very few cases end up in a courtroom. In the real world, trials are the very last resort when all else fails. They happen when every avenue of reaching a fair settlement has been exhausted, usually because the defendants resist. A trial is then inevitable. Now we mentioned a few paragraphs ago that tort reform damage caps might make insurance companies in malpractice cases less-apt to settle. But that’s not always the case, especially if the malpractice is obvious and very easy to prove. Still, malpractice insurers do see reason as often as not because their attorneys know that rials cost money, time and the outcome can be far from pre-ordained, even if one side or the other might appear to have an overwhelmingly strong position.
So just as often, both sides will see reason and settle because when it comes to civil juries, you just don’t know what they will do
Registered voters who are randomly chosen every week must appear for jury duty. When they show up, it’s often with reluctance. It’s likely that you too have been called for jury duty and probably hoped to get out of it. Just like you, those empaneled citizens can think of a hundred places they’d rather be than in a courtroom and listening to a bunch of lawyers argue your case. This is certainly one reason we often see the “get on with it” look on their faces when we’re in court. And sometimes personal injury trials involve a parade of third-party experts rattle on as they explain complicated things that are hard for some jurors to understand. Occasionally we see jurors “resting their eyes.” And a couple of times we’ve even heard a juror quietly snore.
Juries alone are enough to explain why a trial is a very risky proposition for both sides. And it’s not hard to appreciate why only around 10 percent of all civil cases eventually end up in court. Being forced to argue a case in front of a jury is the law’s answer to Russian roulette.It is Best to Seek the assistance of a San Antonio Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
We certainly think so. And we hope you don’t learn through experience that you should have done so after a malpractice insurance company and its attorneys have folded, stapled, spindled and mutilated your claim of liability.
As you have seen, medical malpractice lawsuits in Texas are very complex and pose too many challenges for a victim to represent themselves, or unwisely choose the wrong legal representative. The amount of information you must present to codify your claim is staggering. The necessary access to investigative resources and expert medical witnesses, along with the experience required to see a medical malpractice lawsuit through to a successful completion, in court or at the negotiating table is clearly beyond the limited legal knowledge of a layperson; not to mention the resources of many law firms.
But for your sake, please keep this very important piece of “free advice” in mindBefore you speak with an insurance company, or accept even a single dollar of payment or compensation, or sign anything, or attempt to file a lawsuit on your own, you MUST contact a competent lawyer. If you contact us for a free consultation, we will quickly tell you what your legal options are and how we can help you recover the appropriate compensation for any harm done you due to malpractice.
When the San Antonio medical malpractice lawyers of Ford and Laurel are harnessed to help you seek compensation, we will:
Help you seek proper medical attention if you still need it.
Contend with any insurance adjusters or insurance companies on your behalf.
Thoroughly investigate your Texas medical malpractice claim and gather every bit of evidence to prove your case.
Contact and retain recognized expert medical witnesses to testify on your behalf.
Deal with all communications with all involved parties, compose, receive and manage all correspondence. In other words, we take care of ALL the paperwork.
Clearly prove all parties’ liability and the damages they caused to win the best and fairest compensation amount for your injury.
Tirelessly and aggressively negotiate a fair settlement for you with the defendants, insurance companies and the attorneys who represent them so that you may not have to even see the inside of a courtroom.
Faithfully and diligently work to present the best case possible for you in court if a trial is necessary.
If your claim is legitimate and your injuries are significant enough in order to reasonably justify bringing a malpractice claim, we can share the actual merits of your case with you and outline the steps that need to be taken in order to realize success.