Determining when an injured patient has the right to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit can be a difficult and confusing matter for many victims and families. Often, this confusion stems from the complex nature of medical science and questions about whether injuries could and should have been prevented. While medical advancements have allowed health care providers to treat a range of injuries and ailments successfully, doctors, specialists, and other medical professionals are still not able to treat every ailment, guarantee perfect outcomes, or eliminate all risks associated with treatment. However, they must still provide an acceptable level of care.
Medical malpractice laws allow victims to pursue legal action against doctors, nurses, and other health care providers who cause them harm specifically as a result of negligence (or in cases of intentional harm). Determining whether a medical professional’s conduct rises to the standard of negligence as established by law, however, is always a matter unique to every case.
Generally, a health care provider can be held liable for negligence when they fail to meet their standard of care and cause injuries as a result. This means medical malpractice lawsuits need to prove a defendant:
- Had a legal relationship with a patient and professional duty to treat them;
- Breached their duty by failing to treat their patient in accordance to accepted medical standards (such as when they fail to act as a reasonably skillful health care provider would act under similar circumstances); and
- The medical provider’s negligence caused the patient preventable harm / damages.
In various medical situations, whether they involve emergencies or multiple appointments and testing, medical negligence will involve a health care provider who failed to take the actions other medical professionals in the same or similar circumstances would take. Common examples of this include:
- Misdiagnosing a condition that should and could have been correctly diagnosed by a physician given the available information.
- Failure to properly monitor and respond to fetal distress during birth, resulting in birth injuries.
- Operating on the wrong body part due to communication errors, oversight, or carelessness.
Because not every complication or poor outcome is the result of negligence, determining whether or not you have a valid malpractice claim requires careful evaluation of the health care provider’s conduct and the individual facts and circumstances at hand. That’s why our legal team at Hampton & King focuses on proving the important elements of a claim, including how a medical professional breeched the standard of care when treating a patient, and how that substandard care more likely than not caused a patient harm. Finding the answers to these issues and convincingly presenting evidence that supports them demands thorough investigation, as well as collaboration with medical experts who can provide testimony about why a defendant acted negligently in the given situation.
Medical malpractice cases are known for being complex, and for demanding extensive experience, insight, and resources. By working with our award-winning Houston medical malpractice attorneys at Hampton & King, you can benefit from a team that prioritizes the needs of victims and families, and which leverages our resources to hold medical professionals accountable for their negligence. If you have questions about a potential case, do not hesitate to contact us for a FREE consultation. Our attorneys are available to discuss whether you have the right to compensation.