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Issues to keep in mind regarding medical malpractice claims

Did you seek medical treatment in Texas only to wind up in worse condition than you were in beforehand? Do you suspect that a licensed medical worker's negligence was a direct cause of injury or illness to you or one of your loved ones? Perhaps, you believe you have grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against one or more people who were involved in your or your family member's care.

It is critical that you understand the basic concepts of filing a personal injury claim, which is a broader category of law under which medical malpractice falls. In short, just because something did not turn out as you'd hoped during or after medical treatment, surgery or after taking medication, etc., this doesn't necessarily mean you have grounds for filing a medical malpractice claim.

What are legitimate grounds, then?

You must establish certain facts in order to have grounds for filing a med mal claim in court. First, you must be able to show that the person (or people) you name as a defendant owed a fiduciary duty to you. You must also be able to provide evidence to show that he or she failed in that duty, and that his or her negligence directly caused you to suffer damages.

For instance, if you suffer a disease that may have been preventable were it not for the fact that your doctor failed to properly diagnose your condition, it would definitely warrant further discussion. You might also consider a surgeon who mistakenly leaves a surgical instrument inside your body a care provider who has performed at a substandard level.

More on substandard treatment

Texas licensed medical professionals are legally obligated to carry out their duties according to the highest level of quality care and accepted safety standards. Any diagnosis, treatment, medication dosage or aftercare that does not meet those standards is subject to scrutiny. While there's always a personal risk involved in medical treatment of any kind, you have the right to reasonably assume that your care providers are doing their jobs right. 

What if they're not?

Medical malpractice occurs when a licensed care provider says or does something, or fails to say or do something, that results in illness or injury to a patient. If you report symptoms to your doctor, for instance, and he or she disregards them, then you suffer infection or other injury that might have been preventable had the doctor taken appropriate action, and it might meet the legal definition of medical malpractice.

The best thing to do if you're not sure whether you have grounds for filing a medical malpractice case in a Texas court is to discuss your case with someone who is well-versed in personal injury law.

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