At the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard, we are dedicated to representing the interests of individuals who have suffered from medical malpractice. Our team is devoted to helping clients in Killeen, Texas, and the surrounding areas seek justice and recover the compensation they deserve in medical malpractice cases. If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical negligence, it is essential to understand your rights and the potential legal recourse available to you. This page provides an overview of medical malpractice, the damages that can be recovered, the statute of limitations in Texas, and how our firm can assist you in pursuing your claim.
Call the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard today at (254) 220-4225 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our medical malpractice attorney in Killeen!
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice transpires when a healthcare provider fails to meet the accepted standard of care, harming a patient. These cases can encompass various situations, from surgical errors and misdiagnoses to medication mistakes and birth injuries. To establish a medical malpractice claim, the following elements must be present:
- Duty of Care: The healthcare provider must provide appropriate medical care to the patient.
- Breach of Standard Care: The provider's actions deviated from the standard of care expected in their field.
- Causation: The breach of care directly caused harm to the patient.
- Damages: The patient suffered physical, emotional, or financial harm due to the provider's negligence.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
In a medical malpractice case, various damages can be pursued to compensate the injured patient or their family. These damages can include:
- Medical Expenses: Payment for medical bills related to the malpractice, including surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatment.
- Lost Earnings: Recovery of lost wages and potential future earnings due to the injury.
- Property Damage: In some cases, personal property may be damaged during medical procedures, and these losses can be recovered.
- Funeral Costs: If the malpractice results in a wrongful death, the expenses associated with the funeral and burial may be recoverable.
- Pain and Suffering: Payment for physical and emotional suffering, including mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
- Loss of Consortium: In cases of severe injury or wrongful death, family members may seek damages for the loss of care and support.
- Punitive Damages: Damages may be awarded to punish the offender and deter similar conduct in the future.
- Legal Fees: In most medical malpractice cases, attorneys' fees are typically structured on a contingency basis, meaning the attorney only gets paid if you win the case.
- Court Costs: Costs associated with filing the lawsuit and pursuing the case through the legal system.
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The statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim in Texas is generally two years from the alleged medical malpractice incident date. However, there are some important nuances and exceptions to be aware of:
- Discovery Rule: In some cases, it may not be immediately apparent that medical malpractice has occurred. In such situations, the "discovery rule" may apply, which allows the two-year statute of limitations to start running from the date the patient discovered or should have discovered the malpractice.
- Minors: If the victim of medical malpractice is a minor (under 18 years old), the two-year statute of limitations may be tolled (delayed) until the minor reaches the age of 18. This means that the minor would generally have until their 20th birthday to file a medical malpractice claim.
- Incompetent or Disabled Persons: If the victim of medical malpractice is declared legally incompetent or disabled, the statute of limitations may be tolled until they regain competency or their disability is lifted.
- Statute of Repose: In Texas, there is also a statute of repose, which sets a maximum limit on when a medical malpractice claim can be filed. It generally provides that a claim can be brought up to ten years after the alleged malpractice occurred, regardless of when it is discovered. There are some exceptions, but this 10-year limit serves as an ultimate deadline.
Medical malpractice can have devastating outcomes for victims and their families. At the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard, we are here to guide you through the complexities of medical malpractice claims in Killeen, Texas. Our attorneys are committed to helping you recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact the Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard today to schedule a consultation with our medical malpractice lawyer in Killeen!
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